Despite the picture, I can’t pin this one on Derek Lowe entirely. He was humming along through five scoreless innings, and got another easy groundout to start the 6th. Of course, Rafael Furcal threw that ball away, and the next batter, Chase Utley, deposits a ball in the seats. After a Ryan Howard groundout, Pat Burrell puts another one out, and that was the end of Lowe and the Phillies’ scoring. You could make the point that neither ball gets out of a more legitimate ballpark, but that’s neither here nor there since the Dodgers are hitting in the same stadium. You can’t completely give Lowe a pass, but Dodgers pitching shut down one of the best offenses in the game for 8 innings, allowed just 3 runs, and kept Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino, Ryan Howard, and Jayson Werth all without hits. Coming into the game, most of us would have taken that.
No, the problem tonight was the offense, or depending on how you look at it, Cole Hamels was outstanding. After back-to-back doubles in the first inning by Andre Ethier and Manny, the Dodgers never once could put together more than one hit in an inning, and never came close to putting a rally together. Much of that, of course, is due to Hamels, who might possibly be the most talented starter remaining in the playoffs.
If there is a bright side to this, it’s knowing that the Dodgers pitching can hang with the Phillies offense, and that it took the Philly ace to eke out a one run victory. But that sure does put a lot of pressure on Chad Billingsley tomorrow.
And don’t forget! It’s a 1pm PST start! I don’t want to hear about work or school – it’s the NLCS. If you miss this, you’d better be dead, or in jail. And if you’re in jail… break out!
- Mike Scioscia’s tragic illness