Phillies-Dodgers: 10 Game Three NLCS Notes

October 18, 2009 by  
Filed under Fan News

10) Hideki Kuroda’s star-crossed year (Opening Day pitcher, DL’d for months afterward, intermittently dominant and maddening) might have ended tonight, because it’s hard to see how Joe Torre trusts him with any more innings this year. He had nothing, and you have to think that the Dodger manager has other options.

9) You’d never know from this postseason that Ryan Howard isn’t the best first baseman in baseball, mostly because left-handed pitchers either haven’t worked to him, or haven’t thrown him strikes.

He’s fielded his position well, legged out a triple like a runaway beer truck, and set a new MLB record with RBI in seven straight games. They’ve been playing baseball for a real long time, so setting that kind of record is kinda meaningful.

If Howard can keep up this hot streak for another couple of weeks, this marvelously flawed team could win it all again, and maybe make Philly a baseball town. (Well, OK, no. But it’ll narrow the margin a bit more.)

8) I like that they’ve got first base mic’ed up, and that we learn that Shane Victorino is as chatty as a little kid when he gets there. His parting “Good Luck” to first baseman James Loney had all the sincerity of what people say at the poker table.

7) Chooch Ruiz did it again tonight, going 2-for-3 with a walk, two runs scored and an RBI. He’s now hitting .625 for the series, and ended the game tonight with a nice leaning grab of a ball that was in the stands. The sweetest heroes are the ones you don’t expect.

6) It was, I have to admit, kind of fun to see Chad Billingsley get smacked around as well tonight, on the off chance that Dodger Fan wanted to think that this was just a matter of picking the wrong starter. The Dodgers‘ rotation really isn’t the team’s strength.

5) The worrisome thing about games like this one is that it feels like you’re going to need these runs tomorrow…but honestly, that’s not how baseball works. When you pound a team into submission, and draw seven walks and hit multiple big run homers, that’s more likely to show up again in a series than not. And it also doesn’t hurt that no one on the Dodgers has really hit in the first three games of the series.

4) No one will remember this later, but I thought that Shane Victorino’s first inning stolen base was huge. Had shortstop Rafael Furcal caught the ball further back and applied the tag correctly, maybe the umpire calls the play the other way, and Kuroda suddenly has two outs and no one on.

Instead, he wound up giving the Howard triple and the Werth homer, and with Lee looking sharp early and often, the four runs were all that were needed.

3) Did you catch Philly Fan serenading ManRam with “You Took Sterr – Oids!” during his at-bats? Moments like that make me proud of my home town, really. Especially since I’m pretty sure that he’s the only Dodger that Philly Fan really dislikes. According to the box score, the Bank was filled to 104.8 percent of capacity tonight. Hard to do, Harry.

2) At some point in this series, either Furcal or Jimmy Rollins will actually be worthy of being the leadoff hitter for either of these teams. Considering the struggles both had with the wood this year, maybe I’m waiting in vain, but it’s not like they both didn’t end the year hot.

1) Philly Fan’s Man Crush on Cliff Lee can’t be measured; that’s what happens when you go eight shutout innings with 10 strikeouts. Note that manager Charlie Manuel let him hit in the bottom of the eighth even though he wasn’t going to let him pitch the ninth, and Lee responded to the ovation with a base hit and a run scored.

This, on top of his earlier playoff heroism against the Rockies, and the man even stole a base earlier in October.

He works fast, he throws strikes, he can do no wrong. At least, not until he starts again. It’s a tough town.

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Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

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