The Phillies-Dodgers score was unpredictable throughout, and the best indication for a long series. The Phillies-Dodgers Game 1 score should have been lopsided, but the Phillies-Dodgers score just wouldn’t stay safe for Philadelphia. Two four-run leads almost went away, but the Phillies-Dodgers score was still a win for the defending champions, by 8-6. But is the Phillies-Dodgers score last night an indication that the Phillies can’t hold on like this much longer, or that they may just have enough dumb luck to go all the way again?
The Phillies-Dodgers score exploded after the fourth inning, as the box score looked incredibly weird at the end. Most of the innings were scoreless, but the fifth inning shows five runs for the Phillies, and three for the Dodgers, while the eighth had three Phillies runs, and two for the Dodgers. And the Dodgers could have well had more, if the Phillies bullpen and Cole Hamels had bent just an little more.
The fact that the Phillies-Dodgers score still went in Philadelphia’s favor is a sign – but a sign of what is unclear. It could be a sign that the Dodgers still can’t get over the hump against the Phillies in the NLCS. Once again, the difference was a big eighth inning, three run home run in Dodger Stadium – this time by Raul Ibanez against the usually solid George Sherill.
But it could also be a sign that the Dodgers are closer to going over that hump, since they almost had two big comebacks last night. The Phillies-Dodgers score could have been a crushing blow to Philadelphia, if they had completely lost their 5-1 and 8-4 leads. So the Dodgers have established that they will never go away, which could lead to a long series. And in such a long series, the Phillies bullpen may not hold up forever.
However, the Phillies-Dodgers score may be a sign that, against all logic and odds, this Phillies team still has the October magic. The defending champions have won three straight road games that they may have had no business winning. But their October experience, and unlikely big hits, are carrying this team along. Whether it can carry them into November is unknown, but given how they eek out victories, it may not be safe to bet against them.
Although the Phillies-Dodgers score in Game 1 was very crucial, it only makes Game 2 much more important. The Phillies have their all important win in Los Angeles, so there is less pressure on the rusty Pedro Martinez today. However, if he strings together more October magic, the Phillies can go up 2-0 and have a chance to finish the Dodgers in Philadelphia. But if the Dodgers win, the series is even 1-1, with Phillies killer Hiroki Kuroda against Cliff Lee in Game 3.
The Dodgers can keep the pressure on and ensure this to be a long, draining, exhausting NLCS, just as Game 1 was. Or the Phillies can take an early stranglehold on the series and send Los Angeles into a panic. The 08 Phillies had that killer instinct, and the 09 Phillies are starting to establish it as well – but how much longer can they keep it up at this rate?
Both teams will get another clue today, as the Phillies-Dodgers Game 2 gets underway at 4:07 p.m. est on TBS.
Philadelphia Inquirer- “Two 3-run homers propel Phils to Game 1 win” www.philly.com/inquirer/sports/20091016_Phillies_8__Dodgers_6.html
MLB.com- “Phillies relievers trump heralded LA ‘pen” mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp