NLCS Rematch Anybody?
Chad Durbin allowed the game-winning home run to Dodgers rightfielder Andre Ethier in the 12th inning Saturday to make the first three games of a four-game series between the Phillies and Dodgers at Dodger Stadium pretty memorable.
“About what I expected,” Durbin said afterward.
Two good teams playing close, well-played games, he said.
Cole Hamels shutout the Dodgers on Thursday, Brad Lidge blew saves Friday and Saturday and the Phillies got good pitching and timely hitting in a 7-2 victory Sunday. The Dodgers and Phillies went their separate ways with the two best records in baseball, and there is no reason to think these teams cannot meet again this October in a rematch of the 2008 National League Championship Series:
- The Phillies and Dodgers have the two best offenses in the National League with the Phillies averaging a league-best 5.5 runs per game and the Dodgers averaging 5.2 runs per game. Of course, the Dodgers have been without Manny Ramirez for a significant stretch, but you have to believe these teams will continue to score runs the remainder of the season.
- The Dodgers have a 3.63 ERA, which is the best in the league. The Phillies have a 4.63 ERA, which ranks 15th. But the Phillies have a 3.62 ERA in their 23 games, which shows signs they are capable of pitching like they pitched last season.
- The Phillies have a .991 fielding percentage, which leads the league. The Dodgers have a .989 fielding percentage, which ranks second. (I know there are other ways to rate a team’s defense, but it’s 2:25 a.m. Eastern and I have a flight to catch in a couple hours, so give me a pass.) The point I’m trying to make is these two teams are pretty good defensively, too.
“You never know what happens once you get to the playoffs,” Lidge said. “It seems if everything happens the way it has happened it could be the matchup. You never know who it’s going to be because somebody is going to get really hot going into the playoffs, and at that time you’re going to have to fight them off. Yeah, you’d hope the season progresses the way it does and we can meet these guys in the NLCS.”
“They are pretty darn good,” Dodgers manager Joe Torre said. “We held our own with them. “We beat them on their field and we split here. I think that was important for us to beat them on their field and that was based on the fact that they swept us four games last year, plus the two in the playoffs. If we do meet them in the postseason, I think that is something that we do not have to concern ourselves with.”