Phillies 1 win away


POSTED: Tuesday, October 14, 2008

LOS ANGELES » Shane Victorino and the Philadelphia Phillies struck back with long balls rather than beanballs to move within one win of the World Series.

That's the way they've played it all year.

After ducking a pitch thrown over his head the previous day, Victorino and much-traveled pinch hitter Matt Stairs delivered two-run homers in the eighth inning last night, lifting the Phillies to a 7-5 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers for a 3-1 lead in the NL championship series.

Lefty ace Cole Hamels, who won the series opener, can pitch the Phillies to their first World Series since 1993 in Game 5 tomorrow night. He'll be opposed by Game 2 loser Chad Billingsley.

“;This was the biggest game we've won so far,”; Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel said. “;But the next one is even bigger. That's kind of how we look at it.”;

Brad Lidge got his first four-out save for the Phillies, remaining perfect this season. It was the first time the visiting team has won a game in 12 meetings between the clubs this year.

After squandering a pair of leads, Manny Ramirez and the Dodgers have a tough task ahead. Only 11 teams in major league history have come back from 3-1 deficits to win a best-of-seven postseason series—two in the NLCS.

There were no brushback pitches or other trouble last night, unlike Game 3 when the benches and bullpens emptied in the third inning, moments after Dodgers starter Hiroki Kuroda threw a pitch over Victorino's head in retaliation for Philadelphia's high-and-tight pitches earlier in the series.

Victorino was one of seven people fined yesterday for their conduct during the near-scuffle.

With a runner at first and one out in the eighth, Victorino lined Cory Wade's first pitch into the right-field bullpen to tie the game at 5.

“;My emotions obviously kind of got to me last night,”; the plucky Victorino said. “;But going into today's game you turn the page and you forget about it. It was just going out there, trying to get a win and getting one step closer to the World Series. But it's still far from over.”;

After a two-out single by Carlos Ruiz, manager Joe Torre called on closer Jonathan Broxton, the seventh Los Angeles pitcher. Broxton tried to throw a 3-1 fastball past Stairs, and the 40-year-old left-handed hitter drove it more than halfway up the right-field pavilion to put the Phillies ahead.

That was just what Stairs intended.

“;My whole career, even back in the early days, my approach was try to hit the ball out of the ballpark,”; he said. “;And it's something I enjoyed doing. In batting practice, I try to hit every ball out of the ballpark. I'm not going to lie, it's fun. I try to hit home runs and that's it. I'm not going to hit a single and steal second base. So I think the biggest thing is to get up there, swing hard and elevate.”;

Broxton allowed only two homers in 69 innings during the regular season. This one was a no-doubter the moment it left Stairs' bat.

“;I fell behind in the count and made a mistake over the plate and he cashed in,”; Broxton said. “;He's a home run hitter. You've got to wipe it out and get ready to play them again.”;

Stairs has played for 11 teams in his career. Philadelphia picked him up from Toronto on Aug. 30.

The Phillies hit an NL-leading 214 homers during the regular season and have nine in eight playoff games, good for 17 of their 35 runs.

Lidge, the Phillies' sixth pitcher, earned his fifth postseason save in five chances—but it wasn't easy.

A perfect 41-for-41 in save opportunities during the regular season, Lidge entered a game in the eighth in a save situation for the first time this year when he came in with two outs and nobody on. Ramirez greeted him with a double, and Russell Martin struck out but reached first on a wild pitch before James Loney flied out.

Lidge retired the side in order in the ninth, making the Phillies 85-0 when leading after eight innings this year, including six wins in the postseason.

“;It's amazing,”; Lidge said. “;That speaks a lot about our hitters and how much they believe in themselves and the talent they have to come back.”;

Torre said he wouldn't have handled his bullpen any differently.

“;We just didn't get the job done,”; he said. “;Cory Wade's numbers against left-handed hitters this year have been really good. He threw a breaking ball and it stayed up and Shane just knocked the hell out of it.”;

Torre canceled the Dodgers' workout scheduled for today.

“;These guys are fighting their hearts out, and just I told them to be back here on Wednesday to be ready to play baseball,”; he said. “;We have to win the remaining games. We can only do it one at a time. I sense we'll be back right here with the right attitude.”;


All times Hawaii time
L.A. Dodgers vs. Philadelphia
Philadelphia 3, Los Angeles 2
Philadelphia 8, Los Angeles 5
Los Angeles 7, Philadelphia 2
Philadelphia 7, Los Angeles 5, Philadelphia leads series 3-1
Philadelphia (Hamels 14-10) at Los Angeles (Billingsley 16-10), 2:22 p.m.
Los Angeles at Philadelphia, 2:22 p.m., if necessary
Los Angeles at Philadelphia, 2:22 p.m., if necessary





Phillies 7, Dodgers 5
Rollins ss411011.118
Werth rf511002.176
Utley 2b503102.462
Howard 1b421110.188
Burrell lf301010.357
Bruntlett lf100000.000
Victorino cf311200.188
Dobbs 3b201000.500
a-Feliz ph-3b200000.111
Ruiz c312010.417
Blanton p200002.000
b-Jenkins ph000000.000
c-Taguchi ph100000.000
Durbin p000000—-
Eyre p000000—-
Madson p000000—-
e-Stairs ph1112001.000
JRomero p000000—-
Lidge p000000—-







Furcal ss221020.267
Ethier rf511000.278
MRamirez lf202130.500
Martin c500102.154
Loney 1b402111.417
Dewitt 2b300010.091
Berroa 2b000000.000
f-Garciaparra ph100000.500
Blake 3b512103.267
Pierre cf312000.667
Kuo p000000—-
Wade p000000—-
Broxton p000000—-
g-Kent ph100000.000
DLowe p201001.250
Kershaw p000000—-
Park p000000—-
Beimel p000000—-
d-Kemp ph-cf100010.250







Los Angeles1000220005110



a-popped out for Dobbs in the 6th. b-announced for Blanton in the 6th. c-popped out for Jenkins in the 6th. d-walked for Beimel in the 6th. e-homered for Madson in the 8th. f-flied out for Berroa in the 9th. g-lined out for Broxton in the 9th.

E—Howard (1). LOB—Philadelphia 7, Los Angeles 12. 2B—Utley (2), Dobbs (1), MRamirez (2), Loney (2), Pierre (1). HR—Stairs (1), off Broxton; Victorino (1), off Wade; Blake (1), off Durbin. RBIs—Utley (3), Howard (1), Victorino 2 (6), Stairs 2 (2), MRamirez (6), Martin (1), Loney (2), Blake (2). SB—Rollins (1). CS—Bruntlett (1), Pierre (1). S—Victorino, Furcal, Kuo. GIDP—Victorino, Ethier, Dewitt.

Runners left in scoring position—Philadelphia 3 (Rollins, Werth, Taguchi); Los Angeles 6 (Loney, Dewitt 3, Kemp 2).

Runners moved up—Howard, Ethier, Martin.

DP—Philadelphia 3 (Utley, Rollins and Howard), (Utley), (Rollins and Howard); Los Angeles 1 (Dewitt, Furcal and Loney).





Eyre 1/3 00010140.00
Madson W, 1-01 2/3 10011200.00
JRomero H, 2 2/3 0001060.00
Lidge S, 31 1/3 10002240.00







Kershaw H, 1 1/3 11110144.50
Park BS, 1 1/3 0001070.00
Beimel 1/3 0000010.00
Kuo H, 1111102144.50
Wade L, 0-1 BS, 1 2/3 2220066.00
Broxton1 1/3 21111303.86



Durbin pitched to 3 batters in the 6th, Kuo pitched to 1 batter in the 8th.

Inherited runners-scored—Eyre 2-1, Madson 3-0, Wade 1-1, Broxton 1-1, Park 2-1, Beimel 2-0.

IBB—off Blanton (Loney) 1, off Eyre (MRamirez) 1, off Blanton (MRamirez) 1. WP—Lidge, Park.

Umpires—Home, Ted Barrett; First, Mike Winters; Second, Gary Cederstrom; Third, Mike Reilly; Left, Jerry Meals; Right, Mike Everitt.

T—3:44. A—56,800 (56,000).