Yes, the Phillies bats are off somewhere on vacation…still. Perhaps they have landed on some tropical island in a remote area of the Pacific? I suppose I can understand why they do not want to return home, but have they not been gone long enough? Well bats, have a drink for me, preferable something with a paper umbrella and fruit slices…I need one.
The Phillies remained hitless against Dodgers starter Hiroki Kuroda until part way into the 7th inning when Shane Victorino got the first, and only, Phillies hit of the night. And while Kuroda did a fine job, the Phillies should have been able to get at him…at least a little bit. But as has been the case all year, the Phillies have not been hitting good pitching when they should be.
Amidst the vacationing bats, Roy Halladay had another solid outing wasted. He went 7 innings and allowed 3 runs. The 2 runs he allowed in the first inning were off some very odd bloop hits and a few defensive misses.
Of course, then Rod Barajas nailed Halladay for a homer in the 5th. Barajas has been a Phillie killer since leaving the team after the 2007 season where he did basically nothing for the Phils. He batted .230 with 4 homers. He has 45 homers since 2008 and 9 of those (20%) have been against the Phils. I’ll bet the Dodgers took a look at those stats and quickly sent word that they needed Barajas for this series. Because yesterday was his first game in a Dodgers uniform. Nicely done, Dodgers.
So the Phillies lost Game 1 of the series 3-0 and will send Kyle Kendrick to the mound tonight at 10:10pm. With any luck, the bats will be back soon…
And in case you missed it yesterday, I have created a Facebook page in Mike Sweeney’s honor. Join “I Want A Hug From Mike Sweeney” by clicking on the “LIKE” button on the page. The page is dedicated to his awe-inspiring man-hugs. Yes, real men hug. You go, Sweeney!
Photoshopping by Jenn Zambri Photography
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