Part II: The Brooms

In Part I, we looked at the history bewteen the Phillies and Dodgers in the National League Championship Series. In this post, we will focus on this years meets between the Philadelphia Phillies and Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Phillies and Dodgers each split their season series, 4-4. The Dodgers swept the Phillies at Dodger Stadium, and the Phillies swept the Dodgers at Citizen's Bank Park. Playing on their home field will help the home team.

In mid August, the Phillies made a trip to the West Coast. Manny Ramirez was just recently acquired by the Dodgers at the time.

At the time, the Phillies led the National League East by 2 games, and the Dodgers trailed the Arizona Diamondbacks by 1 game in a weak NL West. The Dodgers were at .500, with a record of 59-59. On the other hand, the Phillies were 10 games over .500.

In game 1, Kyle Kendrick, who was left off the postseason roster, was rocked. He lasted just 3.1 innings, allowing 7 earned runs. Casey Blake homered off Kendrick.

The Phillies managed just 3 runs off Derek Lowe in 6.1 innings. The Phillies will face Lowe in game one of the NLCS.

In the game, Ryan Howard got his 100th RBI of the season. Manny Ramirez, James Loney, Casey Blake, and Jeff Kent each had RBI for the Dodgers.

The Phillies would rally late, but still fell short in the Dodgers 8-6 victory.

In game 2, the Phillies looked to get a win with their ace, Cole Hamels, on the hill. Hamels dominated allowing just 2 runs in 7 innings of work. To go along with that, he struck out 7, and walked 2. He left the game with a 3-2 lead, with the help of Chase Utley's 30th homerun off Clayton Kershaw. Kershaw pitched 6 innings, struck out 8 and gave up 3 earned runs.

However, the bullpen got into trouble. Chad Durbin allowed a sacrafice fly to Casey Blake which tied the game. In the 9th, J.C Romero gave up a walk off single to Andre Either as the Dodgers won 4-3.

In game 3, Joe Blanton got the ball for the Phils against Brad Penny. The Phillies jumped to an early 6-1 lead. Howard, Greg Dobbs, and former Dodger Jayson Werth each homered. However, Blanton gave the runs right back. He gave up 4 runs in 5 innings, including a homerun a Manny Ramirez and an Andre Eithier homerun.

Although the Phillies had a 6-4 lead in the 8th inning, the bullpen blew it for the second straight game. Durbin became the victim again giving up 2 runs. Nomar Garciaparra ended the game with a walk off homerun off Clay Condrey.

The Phillies tried to avoid the sweep with Brett Myers on the mound. Myers, who struggled prior to being sent down to the minor leagues, was on a hot streak. He pitched 7 innings allowing just 3 runs and struck out 8. Matt Kemp homered off him.

However, Hideki Kuroda, who the Phillies will see again in the NLCS, was better. He allowed just 1 run in 7 innings. He gave up only 2 hits, and did not walk a batter. He struck out 7 as the Dodgers went onto win 3-1 as they swept the series.

The Phillies lost their NL East lead by one game, and the Dodgers became tied for the NL West lead.

The Phillies looked to redeem themselves in a week later when the Dodgers came to their home park. The Phillies weren't messing around. In fact, only one game was close.

The Dodgers just acquired Greg Maddux from the Padres. The Phillies saw Maddux a week earlier when they faced the Padres. The Phillies beat Maddux and the Padres 1-0 in an old fashion duel: Moyer vs. Maddux, the two oldest players in baseball.

Game on would be Maddux's first start with the Dodgers in 2008. After getting just one run off Maddux a week earlier, the Phillies rocked the future hall of famer. Maddux lasted 5.2 innings and gave up 7 runs. Howard, Chris Coste, and Utley each hit homeruns.

Kyle Kendrick and the bullpen held the Dodgers as the Phillies won, 8-1.

Cole Hamels faced Clayton Kershaw in game 2. A week after pitching very well against the Phils, Kershaw lasted just 4 innings and gave up 6 earned runs. Burrell hit a homerun off Kershaw. On the otherhand, Cole Hamels once again pitched 7 innings giving up 2 earned runs to the Dodgers. Russell Martin homered off Hamels.

Game 3 was a wild game. Kuroda dominated the Phillies once again. He allowed just 1 run on 2 hits in 6 innings of work. Joe Blanton also gave up just 1 run in 6 innings.

The Dodgers had a 2-1 lead in the 9th inning. Pedro Feliz, who did not start the game, came off the bench to pinch hit, which tied the game. In extra innings, Feliz won the game hitting a 3 run walkoff homerun. Feliz finished the night with 4 RBI. Not bad for not even starting.

In the final game, Brett Myers faced Chad Billingsley. Myers gave up 9 hits and 3 walks, but got out of the jams and did not allow a run.

Billingsley pitched 6 innings and gave up 3 earned runs. Jimmy Rollins, Werth, and Coste, each had RBI in the final game.

The Phils redeemed themselves as the swept the Dodgers at home. The Phils and Dodgers split the season series at 4 games a piece. The Phillies found themselves a half game ahead in the east, and the Dodgers fell to 3 games out.

Eventually, the Dodgers and Phillies won the East, their NLDS series, and meet again in the NLCS.

Be sure to check in for Part III: Series Keys & Preview where we preview the matchups and tell you the Phillies keys for a successful series.


J. SPIKE ROGAN said...

I can not wait for Thursday. Maybe the Soul ended the cities jinx and this will lead to a parade down broad street.

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