Ace pitcher Tim Lincecum let up just two hits through nine innings, striking out 14 for the San Francisco Giants to win over the Atlanta Braves 1-0 in Game 1 of the NLDS last night at AT&T Park. “As far as shutouts go, I think that was up there with my better ones,” said Lincecum after completing his outing on seven days’ rest. “I was pretty anxious to get out there a couple days ago. You just have to deal with those extra days.” The two-time Cy Young Award winner joined Roger Clemens (2000 Yankees) as the only pitchers to strike out 14 or more and allow two hits or fewer in a postseason shutout.
The Giants lone run came in the fourth inning when Cody Ross singled in Buster Posey following a controversial call at second base. “I guess it’s a good thing we don’t have instant replay right now,” said Posey. “It was a beautiful slide, wasn’t it?” Veteran right-hander Derek Lowe scattered four hits during his time on the mound before making his exit in the sixth inning. Game 2 is scheduled for tonight at 9:37 PM ET.
Roy Halladay struck out eight through nine innings in the midst of his first career post-season start, no-hitting the Cincinnati Reds to lead his Philadelphia Phillies to victory in Game 1 of the National League Division Series. The 13-year veteran became the second pitcher in MLB history to throw a no-hitter in the playoffs behind Don Larsen, who tossed a perfect game for the New York Yankees in the 1956 World Series. “It’s surreal, it really is,” said Halladay. “I just wanted to pitch here, to pitch in the postseason. To go out and have a game like that, it’s a dream come true.”
The Phillies lineup produced all four runs in the first two innings to take the pressure off their ace. Shane Victorino scored the initial run courtesy of a Chase Utley sacrifice fly to right. Victorino came through again in the second with a base hit to center to bring in two runs. Even Halladay contributed from the plate with an RBI single and run scored. “This is what you come here for,” Halladay continued. “It’s a good team, they know how to win. It’s been a great year, a fun year, we obviously have a ways to go.” Game 2 is scheduled for Friday, October 8th at 6:07 PM. Find the best deals for Phillies vs. Reds NLDS tickets right here at Ace!
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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Yorvit Torrealba knocked a two run homer in the second inning and from there the Colorado Rockies held on to win 5-4 against the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 2 of their National League Division Series. “It’s huge,” said Torrealba. “Going back to Denver, that was our goal, if we can win at least one game here – and we did.”
Aaron Cook allowed three runs and seven hits in five-plus innings for Colorado. The sinker specialist earned 12 of 15 outs from strikeouts or grounders. “His sinker was downhill and he was really working both sides of the plate,” Torrealba added.
The Phillies came back from an early 4-0 Rockies lead to even the score heading into the eighth inning, when Jason Werth homered to right center for the go-ahead run. The series is all tied up as they make their way to Coors Field in Colorado. Game 2 is scheduled for October 10th at 9:37 PM.
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Phillies starting pitcher Cliff Lee retired 26 straight batters in his first career playoff start, as Philadelphia went on to win over the Colorado Rockies 5-1 in Game 1 of their National League Division Series. “Up until the fifth, it was one of the better games he had pitched over the course of the month,” Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. “He was really, really on his game into the fifth. He had all his stuff.”
In all nine innings pitched Lee allowed just six hits with four coming from two hitters (Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki). Ryan Howard, Jayson Werth, and Raul Ibanez all knocked multiple hits for Philadelphia. The NL East champs will again host the Rockies at Citizens Bank Park today at 2:37 PM. Cole Hamels will get the call to take the mound for the Phillies against Colorado’s Aaron Cook.
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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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Los Angeles Dodgers vs. St. Louis Cardinals
The Los Angeles Dodgers have coasted into the playoffs this year as the NL West representatives and top National League team based on their regular season record at 96-67. Although they may be favored this post-season, don’t count out the NL Central Division Champion St. Louis Cardinals. Veteran players on the Cards know what it’s like to play in the big games, knowing the club has advanced to the World Series twice and the NLCS five different times since 2000.
Dodgers manager Joe Torre certainly believes in his team but also looks to their upcoming NLDS opponents as a great challenge ahead. “They beat us five of seven, but we played them close,” Torre said. “I have a lot of friends over there. A manager I played for (Red Schoendienst). Tony (LaRussa) and I are friends. They’re tough pitching-wise. And since they got Holliday, he’s really made a difference in the lineup. So did Mark DeRosa. You can’t give anything away. They’ll suck it up and take advantage of it. They are well-managed, disciplined.” With all of their pieces in place, the Dodgers will look to get past the point where they left off last season in the NLCS against the Philadelphia Phillies.
Series Schedule and Probable Starting PitchersGame 1 – Wednesday, October 7th, 6:37 PM – Dodger Stadium
Randy Wolf (Dodgers 11-7) vs. Chris Carpenter (Cardinals 17-4)
Game 2 – Thursday, October 8th, 3:07 PM – Dodger Stadium
Clayton Kershaw (Dodgers 8-8) vs. Adam Wainwright (Cardinals 19-8)
Game 3 – Saturday, October 10th, 3:07 PM – Busch Stadium
Vincente Padilla (Dodgers 12-6) vs. Joel Pineiro (Cardinals 15-12)
Game 4 – Tuesday, October 13th, Time TBD – Busch Stadium If Necessary Starting Pitchers TBD
Game 5 – Wednesday, October 14th, Time TBD – Dodger Stadium If Necessary Starting Pitchers TBD
Philadelphia Phillies vs. Colorado Rockies
The defending World Champion Philadelphia Phillies are back on top of the NL East Division with a 93-69 regular season record. Their first real October challenge will be the Colorado Rockies in the National League Division Series. Colorado is a team that has certainly been around a fair amount of post-season play themselves. In 2007 the Rockies created a memorable run that led them all the way to the World Series. Falling three games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West this year, the Rockies were able to notch the Wild Card spot.
Both the Phillies and Rockies speaking from experience know the importance of starting off the right way to gain momentum. “It’s huge,” said Phillies slugger Ryan Howard. “You have to go out there and set the tone. It’s all about getting that first one.” The opening NLDS game will feature Colorado’s Ubaldo Jimenez and Phillies veteran Cliff Lee on the mound. Philadelphia has the advantage for 2009 heading into the series based on their 4-2 record verses the Rockies.
Series Schedule and Probable Starting PitchersGame 1 – Wednesday, October 7th, 2:37 PM – Citizens Bank Park
Cliff Lee (Phillies 14-13) vs. Ubaldo Jimenez (Rockies 15-12)
Game 2 – Thursday, October 8th, 2:37 PM – Citizens Bank Park
Cole Hamels (Phillies 10-11) vs. Aaron Cook (Rockies 11-6)
Game 3 – Saturday, October 10th, 9:37 PM – Coors Field
If Necessary Starting Pitchers TBD
Game 4 – Sunday, October 11th, Time TBD – Coors Field If Necessary Starting Pitchers TBD
Game 5 – Tuesday, October 13, Time TBD – Citizens Bank Park If Necessary Starting Pitchers TBD
The NL West Champion Los Angeles Dodgers are on a mission to travel right back to the NLCS where they left last season: defeated by the Philadelphia Phillies. With new additions in place along with their solid core of offensive talent, LA is looking for their first World Series appearance since 1988. For their NLDS matchup they will either face the Phillies or the St. Louis Cardinals.
The Cardinals have already clinched the NL Central Division and Philadelphia is well on their way to earn NL East Division rights with 91 wins. Whichever team comes out on top over the other (based on record) will likely face the Colorado Rockies, who are on the verge to completely hold on to their Wild Card lead. The other will have to travel further west to Dodger Stadium for Games 1 and 2.
The Cardinals and Dodgers last squared off at the NLDS in 2004, where St. Louis beat them out in four games and continued on to appear at the World Series. The Rockies and Phillies last NLDS meeting resulted in a sweep courtesy of Colorado. Philadelphia made last year’s NLCS against LA a short one, lasting just five games. The National League will definitely provide some sensational competition however the matchups play out. Don’t miss the action!
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