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October 14, 2008

Phillies Score 4 in Eighth for Comeback Win

by @ 5:28 pm. Filed under 2008 Dodgers

The Dodgers are a loss away from elimination after Monday’s 7-5 loss to the Phillies.

The Phillies touched Derek Lowe for two early runs in the first but the Dodgers gained a run in the first, with Rafael Furcal getting a leadoff bunt-hit and coming around to score on James Loney’s two-out double. They took the lead with two runs in the fifth, ledoff again by Furcal with a walk. Andre Ethier singled and Furcal scored on Manny’s RBI-single before Ethier scored the go-ahead run on Russell Martin’s groundout. The Phillies tied it again in the sixth but Casey Blake put the Dodgers on top with a solo homerun.

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Lowe gave up three hits in the first that resulted in a quick 2-0 lead, but recovered for four shutout innings after that. The Dodgers pulled ahead with their two runs in the fifth, which prompted Torre to pull Lowe after just 74 pitches, likely because he had started on three days rest. It took three relievers-Kershaw, Park, and Beimel-to get through the sixth, but not before the Phillies tied it up, with Ryan Howard scoring on a wild pitch by Park. Hong-Chih Kuo threw a 1-2-3 seventh and took the mound for the eighth but was lifted after giving up a leadoff single. Cory Wade then gave up a two-run homerun to give the Phillies the lead and was replaced by Broxton after giving up another single. Matt Stairs’ then drove a two-run homerun off Broxton to complete their four-run inning.

The Dodgers are at the brink of elimination, with Chad Billingsley taking the mound on Wednesday in a must-win Game 5. Billingsley tossed a one-run win in the NLDS before taking the loss in Game 2 in Philly, with a career-high eight runs given up. Billingsley will be back at home, though, where he has a 6-0 record with a 1.65 ERA in his last seven starts. He will face Cole Hamels, who is unbeaten this postseason and went 1-0 against the Dodgers this year.

October 13, 2008

Five-Run First Gives Dodgers First NLCS Win

by @ 6:34 am. Filed under 2008 Dodgers

Hiroki Kuroda cruised through six innings while the offense rallied for five runs in the first in a 7-2 win over the Phillies to move the series to 2-1.

Manny Ramirez again triggered the offense in the first, driving in the first Dodger run with an RBI-single before Casey Blake followed up with the same to make it 2-0. The bases were then loaded with two outs for Blake DeWitt, who blasted a triple to the right field corner to clear the bases and give the Dodgers a quick 5-0 lead. Phillies got on board in the second but Rafael Furcal answered back with a solo homerun that same inning. Nomar also drove a run in in the fourth in his first start of the postseason to make it 7-1.

Kuroda picked up the win after giving up two runs on five hits in six-plus innings. He gave up a run in the second but still had a four-run lead after the offense’s big first inning rally. Kuroda hurled a pitch behind the head of Shane Victorino in the third, after an inside pitch to Russell Martin in the first, that cleared the benches and was close to being a brawl but ended up just having both pitchers warned. Kuroda started to tire in the seventh, giving up a run and leaving two men on for Cory Wade, who got out of the inning and tossed the eighth before Broxton got some work in the ninth.

The Dodgers have a chance to even up the series tonight, with Derek Lowe taking the mound on three days’ rest to face Joe Blanton. Lowe is 2-1 with a 5.09 ERA lifetime on three days’ rest, and is 4-1 lifetime against the Phillies. Blanton went 9-12 in the regular season and is 1-0 with a 3.32 ERA in three career starts against the Dodgers.

October 11, 2008

Dodgers Roughed Up by Myers

by @ 7:37 pm. Filed under 2008 Dodgers

The Dodgers fell 0-2 for the series with a 5-8 loss on Friday, with Brett Myers holding the Dodger offense while going 3 for 3 with 3 RBI.

James Loney and Blake DeWitt each drove in a run in the second and third inning, but the Phils scored four in the second to hold the lead. Manny drove a three-run shot in the fourth to bring the Dodgers within three runs, and Casey Blake had a chance to tie it in the sixth but fell inches short of a homerun to center.

Chad Billingsley escaped the first and struck out the first two batters in the second before the Phillies rallied for four that same inning, with Myers getting his first RBI-hit to tie it at 1-1. Three runs and one inning later, Billingsley gave up a two-RBI hit to Myers before giving up two more runs to exit the game. James McDonald struck out Pat Burrell with the bases loaded in the third in his postseason debut and went on to three more scoreless innings. Clayton Kershaw and Cory Wade each came out of the ‘pen to toss, which likely eliminates Kershaw as a Game 4 starter.

The Dodgers need to win at least one of their next three at home to bring the series back to Philly, where they are now 0-6 this season at Citizens Bank Park. Hiroki Kuroda will get the nod for Game 3 on Sunday and face veteran Jamie Moyer. Derek Lowe will also likely be the starter for Game 4. Kuroda went 1-0 with a 1.38 ERA against the Phils this year while Moyer was 16-7 overall in the regular season and lost his NLDS start to the Brewers.

October 10, 2008

Phillies’ 3-Run Sixth Gives them Game 1 Win

by @ 12:43 pm. Filed under 2008 Dodgers

The Dodgers let a 2-0 lead slip away in the sixth as the Phillies scored three to take Game 1 of the NLCS.

Manny contiued his postseason hit streak in the first, driving in a run with an RBI-double that was a hopper off the wall that would’ve been a homerun in any other part of the park. Blake DeWitt made it 2-0 in the fourth with a sac fly to score Matt Kemp.

Derek Lowe cruised through the first five innings, and his offense game him a 2-0 lead as he took the mound in the sixth. Chase Utley tied it with a two-run homerun after Rafael Furcal made a throwing error to put a man on second. Lowe then got MVP-candidate Ryan Howard out before giving up a go-ahead solo homerun to Pat Burrell. Lowe takes his first postseason loss since 2003 and his first against the Phillies since 2001.

Game 2 is an early afternoon start LA time, with Chad Billingsley making the start and facing Brett Myers. Andre Ethier will also be batting behind Manny in the cleanup slot.

October 7, 2008

NLCS Game 1 Preview

by @ 7:07 pm. Filed under 2008 Dodgers

Game 1 is set for Thursday with a 5:22 PST start time. Derek Lowe will take the mound and face LHP Cole Hamels.

Hamels went 14-10 with a 3.09 ERA in the regular season. The 24-year-old got a win in Game 1 of the NLDS, giving up just two hits through eight in a 3-1 win over the Brewers. Lowe got a win in the NLDS at Wrigley last week and is an unbeaten 2-0 in three career starts at Citizens Bank Park. Lowe could potentially pitch on three days rest and start Game 4, with the other potential starters for that being Maddux and Kershaw. Game 2 is set for Friday, with Brett Myers being the starting pitcher for the Phillies and the Dodgers having yet to announce theirs, though it will likely be the same Lowe-Bilingsley-Kuroda shuffle that they did in the Division Series.

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October 5, 2008

Dodgers Sweep Cubs for NLDS Championship

by @ 6:20 pm. Filed under 2008 Dodgers

The Dodgers got a 3-1 win over the Cubs on Saturday to get their first postseason series win since the ’88 World Series and their first postseason series sweep since 1963.

 James Loney drove in two runs with a two-out double in the first, and that was all the Dodgers would need to seal the series. Russell Martin also went 2 for 4 with two doubles and drove in a run in the fifth.

Hiroki Kuroda’s starts this season have been either near perfection or near distasterous, but he came out with near perfection against the Cubs to seal the win. He shut them out for 6 1/3 innings and was lifted in the seventh, walking to the dugout receiving a standing O from his fellow fans. Cory Wade came in and gave up a run in the eighth before Jonathan Broxton got the save with a perfect ninth, striking out the side.

The Dodgers NLCS opponent was a big question mark until the Phillies knocked out the Brewers today. In the regular season, the Dodgers swept the Phillies at home but were swept by them in Philly a week later. The Dodgers have met the Phillies four times in NLCS, but this is the first time it being a seven-game series. The Dodgers will have had a five day rest by the time Game 1 gets underway on Thursday night in Philly, a 5pm start time in LA. Game 2 is in Philly at 1pm PST on Friday before the teams head to LA for a 5pm start time for Game 3 on Sunday.

October 3, 2008

Dodgers Now One Win Away from NLDS Title

by @ 2:31 pm. Filed under 2008 Dodgers

A five-run second inning in Game 2 powered the Dodgers past the Cubs to move the series to 2-0 in a 10-3 win.

Carlos Zambrano managed to stay until the seventh, but not before the Dodgers tagged him for seven runs, with five in the second inning. The Dodgers were helped by back-to-back Cubs errors who helped the Dodgers load the bases for Rafael Furcal, who drove in a run on a bunt single before Martin cleared the bases with a three-RBI double. Manny added his second postseason homerun with a solo shot in the fifth to center to make it 6-0. He then walked in the seventh to sent Zambrano to the clubhouse before being driven home by Kemp’s double. They added two more in the eighth, with Furcal driving an RBI-single and scoring on Manny’s single. Juan Pierre then capped off the scoring in the ninth.

Chad Billingsley got his first postseason win in his first postseason start of his career. He held the Cubs to two hits through six shutout innings before giving up back-to-back doubles in the seventh to end the shutout. Cory Wade got the final out that inning and pitched the eighth before Saito came on for the ninth with a 10-1 lead. Saito gave up three consecutive hits and was tagged for two runs before Broxton got the final three outs.

The Dodgers can get the series sweep to take them to the NLCS with a win tonight. Hiroki Kuroda will take the mound and face Rich Harden.

October 2, 2008

Loney’s Slam Leads Dodgers to Game 1 Win

by @ 3:03 pm. Filed under 2008 Dodgers

James Loney gave the Dodgers a go-ahead grand slam in the fifth as Derek Lowe held the Cubs to two runs through six.

Ryan Dempster shut out the Dodgers through four until he loaded the bases, with walks to Furcal, Manny, and Ethier. Loney then sank into an 0-2 count before drilling the ball to left-center for the go-ahead runs and the first Dodger postseason grand slam since Dusty Baker’s in 1977. Manny and Martin then drilled solo shots in the seventh and ninth innings to make it 7-2.

Lowe gave up a two-run homerun in the second, but otherwise shut the Cubs out before being lifted after six, tallying six strikeouts. Wade, Broxton, and Maddux then each pitched an inning, which likely means that Maddux will not be in the starting rotation for this series.

 In the NL, Game 1 NLDS winners have a 23-3 series record. Chad Billingsley has a chance to put the Dodgers up by two games, making the start tonight and facing Carlos Zambrano. Billingsley led the staff with 16 wins this year, but will also have to watch out for Zambrano at the plate-he had a .337 BA with four homeruns this year.

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