The Phillies bats came alive tonight early in Game 3 of the NLCS against the Dodgers in an 11-0 win. In the first inning, it appeared the Phils were taking batting practice off a rusty Hiroki Kuroda, who had not pitched in a while due to injury. Ryan Howard drove in 2 runs with a triple and Jayson Werth followed with a 2-run homer to center. That hit by Howard broke yet another record for the slugger; Howard became the 1st player ever to drive in runs in 7 straight post-season games within the same year.
The Phils tacked on 2 more runs in the 2nd with doubles from Carlos Ruiz and Jimmy Rollins plus an RBI ground out from Howard. Ruiz has been the unsung hero this post-season. Hitting in the 8-hole, Ruiz has come up with clutch hits in nearly every game. Ruiz is 9 for 21 so far with 7 RBI; 2 of those hits and 1 RBI came in tonight’s game. This team has been riding the Chooch Train all October.
The overall offensive highlights included 2 doubles, 2 triples and 2 home runs. 11 hits and 7 walks combined for 11 runs. Every Phillie in the line-up except Raul Ibanez, who was struggling a bit, had at least one hit. It was a total team effort.
Chase Utley bounced back after a shaky defensive performance in the first 2 games. He appeared to be back to normal in the field and continued to produce at the plate. Utley’s 1st inning single helped kick off a big inning for the team; he had another hit and a walk as well.
The impressive offensive output tonight was matched by superb pitching from Cliff Lee. Lee tossed an 8 inning, 3 hit shut-out and even had a single at the plate. This man could do no wrong and the excited crowd cheered him on all night long. Hate to repeat myself but, thank-you Cleveland! Chad Durbin pitched the 9th despite the opportunity for a Lee complete game as it was more important to preserve Lee’s arm for future games. Durbin sent the Dodgers down in order.
With the 11-0 win tonight, the Phillies go up 2 games to 1 in the series. Joe Blanton will pitch tomorrow at 8:07pm in chilly Philly against a familiar face, Randy Wolf. I will be there in full winter gear and, assuming my hands do not freeze and fall off, I should be back with photos! Go Phillies!
Ruiz photo by Jenn