I’m sitting on the couch listening to Kanye/Jay-Z/Lil Wayne/T.I. Swagger Like Us and getting pumped for the eighth NLCS in Dodger history, the fourth against the Philadelphia Phillies. Both teams are feeling themselves right now, but I like the way the Boys in Blue are walking the fine line between swagger and boastfulness. They are going to need that confidence, and patience, tonight against the best pitcher in the series, Cole Hamels.
Honestly, if Derek Lowe can return to Phili and be on his game (keeping the ball low) it’s going to come down to the bullpens. The Dodgers have sat Sammy Saito and put Hong-Chih Kuo back in the pen. We need to neutralize their lefties to have a chance, and I like our chances.
It’s time for Dodger Baseball!
Manny is just being Manny! Back to back doubles from Andre Ethier and Man Ram means 1-0 Dodgers. Hamels piped a fast ball to Manny and he made him pay with an absolute shot to the deepest part of the park. It should be 2-0, and I already hate Citizens Bank Park. Should Charlie Manuel have given Manny the pass with first base open?
Harry Kalas has the best voice in sports. Hands Down.
Big Game Lowe takes the mound, and I’m getting a little less nervous. Derek looks on, and the sinker looks October Nasty, but L.B. Poly grad Chase Utley puts a good swing on the slider and singles to center. Fan-biguity runs rampant.
Lowe gets his second ground ball of the inning and Blake DeWitt makes the defensive shift look good. Would Jeff Kent get to that ball? Just sayin…
Hamels gets off cheap and K’s Casey Blake and Lowe. Like Zambrano in Game One in Chi Town, we need to make Cole work for his outs. 10 pitches is not working. Some Cub-like errors wouldn’t hurt.
Manny makes a good hustle play to hold Pat Burrell to a single, and Lowe makes it worth it when he gets Jason Werth to roll into the double play. Honestly, Werth could do some damage this series, only because he’s a former Dodger, and former Dodgers love to come back and haunt me…. I mean us.
Mike and Shar just got back from the Poly/Wilson volleyball game, which Wilson won in three sets. Mike says watching Bruins’ VB is like watching a college team, much like Poly girls’ basketball last year. Check out our story on the game later tonight.
Meanwhile, he also brought in the mail, which included this weeks issue of Sports Illustrated. Who’s on the cover? Manny. Who pops out with a man on first? Manny. That f-ing curse is real, I’m telling you!
Three more ground outs for Lowe is a great sign, but I have to pick my heart up off the floor when he and the Flyin’ Hawaiian roll over each other at first base. In my head, all I can hear is Caddyshack‘s Maggie O’Hooligan telling Danny Noonan “Oh God, that’s all I need.”
Small ball is a beautiful thing. Matt Kemp flairs one for a double, Blake fights off an 0-2 count to get Kemp to 3rd, and DeWitt scores him on a sac fly. Nice high fastball, Hamels. Two fast balls to Manny and DeWitt at the wrong time, and its 2-0 Blue! Makin’ Cole work, and makin’ Cole pay.
Olpep texts me “DeWitt is an animal!” I’d trade DeWitt’s glove for Kent’s bat any day. His play on Ryan Howard’s slow roller keeps the bases empty as Lowe collects his first two K’s.
Hamels starts mixing in his curve and change up and he gets his sixth K. So, the bases are empty when Man Ram fists one into center. That’s a much better strategy than walking him every trip to the plate. The bad news is Hamels looks like he’s settling in.
You’re right Big Fidd, Torre in the Blue in October is a sight. I’d play for that guy any day, any way he wanted.
Lowe gets two ground outs, but then gives up two singles, and here comes Jimmy Rollins. He works it to a full count, but pops out to Man Ram. Is there a bigger drop-off/disappointment this year than J-Roll?
J-Roll redeems himself (kinda) with a double play and a put out. Hamels has pitched very well since the 4th, and even though he had a single last inning, when do the Phills pinch hit for Cole?
You know what, scratch that, because it won’t matter if the top of the Philly line up stays ineffective.
Lowe gets Shane Victorino to roll one to Young Furc, but his throw gets away from Loney. Two pitches later Utley ties it up 2-2 with a home run to right. I’ll take the blame for that one, I sort of called him out, and when Lowe’s sinker didn’t sink, the ‘Rabbit made him pay for it.
And now, the Philly offense has arrived in the NLCS. Lowe falls behind to Burrell 3-1, and Pat ropes a classic Lowe meatball into the left field bleachers. Just like that, Lowe hits the showers. As classic as Lowe success in October is, so is his horrible habit of allowing the big innings late in games. Chan Ho Park comes out of the bullpen.
DeWitt misses the equalizer by a moustache hair when he ropes one just to the right of the right field fair pole. My expletive is heard by Big Fidd in Nor Cal.
With Hamels’ spot coming up in the order, that may be a blessing in disguise if we can get to the 8th down only one.
What a luxury to have a Cy Young/Gold Glove/300 game winner coming out of the pen. Greg Maddux gets out of the way on a hard hit ball by J-Roll so DeWitt can turn a beauty of a double play. That’s the momentum we need… Let’s go boys!
I kindly ask Ryan Madson to put one over the plate for Man Ram, and he obliges. But the hard hit ball goes right in the glove of Feliz at third. Hussle Martin lines a single to left, but Loney bounces it to Utley. “But” aint gonna get it done.
Kuo does his job 1-2-3, and that might be important (for his confidence) later on in the series since this is the first action he’s seen in awhile because of injury.
Kemp and Blake hit Lidge hard, but not hard enough, and the Phillies beat the Dodgers 3-2 to take a 1-0 lead in the NLCS.
My broken blue heart aside, that was a hell of a game. Burrell said it right though, they just waited Lowe out, and took advantage of the few Dodgers mistakes.
Olpep thinks Young Furc blew the game for us, but I’m not so sure. I am sure, and Olpep agrees, that the Game 2 and 3 match ups favor us. Let’s go get this split tomorrow! If you’re skipping work to watch Billingsley v. Myers, come back to LBPostSports.com and watch it with us!