The Phillies-Dodgers Game 3 was expected to be a pitchers duel. However, the Phillies-Dodgers Game 3 was only a pitching showcase on one side. After the Phillies-Dodgers Game 2, it looked like the Phillies would have a hard time recovering, especially against the difficult Hiroki Kuroda. But the Phillies-Dodgers Game 3 had a long awaited awakening for the Phillies bats, and Cliff Lee handled the rest, in an 11-0 walloping.
The Phillies-Dodgers Game 3 followed the ideal Philadelphia blueprint to a t. Game 3 started with a Ryan Howard two-run triple, and a Jayson Werth home fun. The four-run first was all Cliff Lee needed – but the Phillies know that no lead is safe against the Dodgers, and with their bullpen. But by making it an 11-0 Game 3 win, and with Lee going eight innings, the bullpen finally got a rest.
Unlike Games 1 and 2, the Phillies-Dodgers Game 3 didn’t need to go down to the wire – a welcome relief for Phillies fans. With a rare easy 11-0 win, Philadelphia got a 2-1 NLCS lead over Los Angeles, exactly where they were at this time last year – except the next two games are in Philadelphia.
But the next two games won’t have Cliff Lee, to the Dodgers relief. Other than the bats, the Phillies-Dodgers Game 3 was defined by Lee, who threw eight scoreless innings and gave up three hits – only one of them to someone other than Manny Ramirez.
For all the times the Phillies often get into slumps, the Dodgers’ bats have gone quiet lately, having not scored a run in 15 straight innings against Philadelphia starting pitching. It will be up to Joe Blanton to keep that going for tonight’s Game 4.
The Phillies-Dodgers Game 4 looks a lot like how Game 2 was set up. Philadelphia comes in with a one-game lead, looking to take total control of the series. They will send out a pitcher who hasn’t started in a while, but if Joe Blanton does what Pedro Martinez did in Game 2, the Phillies will be in good shape. Also, the Dodgers send out a former Phillie who has revived his career in Los Angeles the last few months – and they need Randy Wolf to do what Vicente Padilla did in Game 2.
Such a Game 2 setup nearly worked for the Phillies – otherwise they could have closed the series out tonight. Instead, despite how well the Phillies-Dodgers Game 3 went, one slipup tonight and the NLCS is tied, with a shaky Cole Hamels pitching Game 5. But if the Phillies maintain control, they can still win the pennant in Philadelphia.
The Phillies-Dodgers Game 3 cannot linger long in Los Angeles’s mind, as they go right back to Game 4 tonight at 8 p.m. est on TBS.
Philadelphia Daily News- “Bats more like it: Phillies explode to dominate Dodgers in Game 3” www.philly.com/dailynews/top_story/20091019_BATS_MORE_LIKE_IT.html
MLB.com- “Phillies eye chance for repeat Series trip” mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp