The Philadelphia Phillies scored the majority of their runs through the power of Carlos Ruiz and Raul Ibanez last night at Dodger Stadium. Ibanez started the run production in the fifth inning with a three run jack which was later repeated by Ibanez in the eighth, as the Phillies went on to take Game 1 of the NLCS away from the LA Dodgers 8-6.
Cole Hamels threw five innings for Philadelphia, allowing eight hits and four runs but none the less did his job. “It doesn’t look good on paper, but there were a lot of times where the counts were in my favor and I kept them off-balance,” said Hamels. “Unfortunately, some of the results weren’t there, but in the key situations, I was able to get what I needed.”
Game 2 tonight will feature Pedro Martinez on the mound for the Phillies against LA’s Vinente Padilla. In thirteen playoff appearances, Pedro has earned a 6-2 record with a 3.40 ERA.
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The highly anticipated Phillies Dodgers NLCS rematch will start up at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Thursday, October 15th. In 2008 the World Champion Philadelphia Phillies dominated Los Angeles in just five games, but this season the Dodgers certainly believe they have done enough to give themselves a better chance. LA now has left hander’s Clayton Kershaw and Randy Wolf (former Phillie) to counter Philadelphia’s strong offense.
The Phillies have been playing some great baseball themselves, taking four games to knock out the Colorado Rockies in their division series. Wolf looking ahead goes into how the Phillies starting rotation will be quite the challenge. “With Philly, they have a relentless lineup, and even though Cole Hamels isn’t having a typical season, he can dominate. Cliff Lee is a big acquisition, and going against lefties has been a little tough for us.” Wolf continued to speak on behalf of predictions, saying “we were supposed to be swept by the Cardinals. If nobody picks us, that’s fine.” Here he is referring to the Dodgers quick three game ALDS sweep on St Louis.
NLCS Series Schedule – Starting Rotations and Game Times TBDGame 1 – Thursday, October 15th – Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, CA
Game 2 – Friday, October 16th – Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, CA
Game 3 – Sunday, October 18th – Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, PA
Game 4 – Monday, October 19th – Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, PA
Game 5 – Wednesday, October 21st – Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, PA
Game 6 – Friday, October 23rd – Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, CA
Game 7 – Saturday, October 24th – Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, CA
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In the bottom of the ninth inning in yesterday’s NLDS Game matchup, the St Louis Cardinals held the 2-1 advantage over the Los Angeles Dodgers with just one out to go. Left fielder Matt Holliday was given the opportunity to catch a routine fly to even up the series heading back to St Louis. “I didn’t see the ball,” Holliday said. “Obviously, I can catch a ball that’s hit right at me. It’s very difficult to swallow. We had a chance to win the game. It was unfortunate that it happened when it did.” The crucial E-7 was followed by two singles from Ex-Cardinal Ronnie Belliard and pinch-hitter Mark Loretta for the Dodgers to win 3-2.
Loretta, former Red Sox second basemen, really felt the momentum shift their way with a second chance. “Unfortunately, I did know the numbers,” said Loretta. “I really didn’t have a lot of nerves. I felt like all the pressure was on them at that point. I was fortunate to find a little bit of fairway out there.” Game 3 is scheduled for tomorrow at 6:07 PM in St Louis.
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Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp homered in the 1st inning to deep center field, setting the tone for Los Angeles as the bullpen worked together to harness the Cardinals lineup to just one run from the 4th inning on last night at Dodger Stadium. Jeff Weaver picked up the Game 1 NLDS win in relief, shutting down the St Louis offense in his one inning pitched. Shortstop Rafael Furcal led the Dodgers from the plate with three hits and a bonus RBI in the 5th.
The Cardinals scattered 11 hits throughout the game despite putting only three runs on the board. “We had too many chances, too many chances,” said third basemen Mark DeRosa, who left two runners on base in the third inning. “Their bullpen came in, and inning after inning, we didn’t get the big hit we needed.” Game 2 is scheduled for today at 3:07 pm.
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Defending WBC champion Team Japan recently won over Cuba 5-0 to join Team U.S.A, Venezuela, and Korea for the final rounds held at Dodger Stadium this weekend. Korea and Japan still have one second round game left to determine the seeding for the finals. The first semifinal game will start at 6 p.m. Saturday night, which will show Venezuela take on the runner-up from pool one (Japan or Korea). The U.S. will make their WBC semifinal debut against the pool 1 winner the following day at 5 p.m.
The two winners of these games will square off at 9 p.m. Monday night at Dodger Stadium. Team U.S.A. seems very positive after their thrilling win over Puerto Rico. “After last night, I mean, anything was going to be a letdown,” said utility player Mark DeRosa. “That was one of the great moments in a lot of guys’ careers, and it was a special moment rushing out on the field with all your teammates and advancing.”
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Hiroki Kuroda’s first year in the MLB has been a rollercoaster ride. His solid perfomances were generally bookended by abysmal ones. Kuroda’s June started and ended with 6-run, 2.2 inning outings… with a 4-hit complete-game shutout in between.
Kuroda did not seem to be fazed by giving up the hit, his focus was on the score of the game.
“My main concern was that he was the leadoff hitter in that inning, it was a 2-2 count and I didn’t want to walk him because I didn’t have that big of a lead,” Kuroda said through a translator. “I was concentrating more on not allowing any runs. I wasn’t really nervous, but I felt the pressure from the fans because they were expecting something big.”
Kuroda settled down, not allowing any more baserunners on the night. With the win, the Dodgers moved into a tie for first in the NL West with Arizona.
Kuroda spent 11 years playing for the Hiroshima Carp of the Japanese Central League before signing with the Dodgers in December of 2007.
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