Chooooch, Rauuuul, Chan Ho and More In Game 1
Some quick hits after the Phillies’ 8-6 victory over Los Angeles in Game 1 of the NLCS:
- Since the NLCS moved to a seven-game format in 1985, the team taking a 1-0 lead has won 16 of 23 series, including 14 of the previous 16. Eight of the 10 NL teams that took a 1-0 lead on the road have reached the World Series, including the last seven.
- In the NLCS and ALCS since ’85, the Game 1 winner is 28-18.
- Carlos Ruiz hit a three-run homer in the fifth against Clayton Kershaw to make it 3-1. Ruiz, a career .246 hitter in the regular season, has hit .354 (17-for-48) with three doubles, two home runs, 10 RBIs and eight walks in his last 15 playoff games. “He likes the bright lights,” Ryan Howard said.
- Howard smacked a two-run double to right field in the fifth to give the Phillies a 5-1 lead. It was Howard’s 17th and 18th RBIs in the postseason, which set a Phillies playoff record. Howard has 18 RBIs in 22 postseason games. Mike Schmidt had 16 RBIs in 32 postseason games.
- Dodgers left-hander George Sherrill has allowed just two home runs to left-handed hitters the past two seasons: June 14, 2008, against Adam LaRoche and last night to Raul Ibanez. “I think that was a shock for everybody, especially the walks, which really hasn’t been something that he has done a lot of,” Dodgers manager Joe Torre said of Sherrill. “You know, that was a blow.”
- Cole Hamels allowed four runs in 5 1/3 innings. He got rattled in the fifth when Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley could not turn a double play. Manny Ramirez followed and hit a 2-0 changeup for a two-run home run to cut the lead to 5-4. “It’s tough because you’re battling,” Hamels said. “I got exactly what I wanted and unfortunately the results didn’t happen. It takes a lot out of you because these guys are very tough hitters, so when you do get them in a situation where you can seal the deal, it takes a lot to really get through that. I really thought we had that. It’s the process I’ve had to go through all year – learning how to deal with my emotions and learning to control them and forgetting about what just happened.”
- Hamels went 4-0 with a 1.80 ERA in five postseason starts last year. He is 1-1 with a 6.97 ERA in two starts this postseason, but sounded upbeat after the game. Everybody in the clubhouse thought Hamels had thrown much better than his line indicated, for what that’s worth.
- Chan Ho Park pitched great. He entered the game in the seventh inning with a runner on second and no outs. He got Ramirez to ground out to Pedro Feliz to keep Andre Ethier at second. He struck out Matt Kemp and got Casey Blake to ground out to Utley to end the inning. It was the pitching performance of the night. “I thought he was outstanding,” Rich Dubee said. Charlie Manuel and Dubee said they did not consider sending Park back out to start the eighth. They had Ryan Madson rested, and did not want Park going out throwing 50 pitches his first time back since Sept. 16.
Random thought: I’m looking forward to seeing Pedro Martinez pitch today in Game 2.