I believe the stat that TBS announce crew used is that the winner of Game #1 has gone on to win NLCS in 14 of the last 16 years. But if tonight’s game was any indication of what this Phillies-Dodgers series will be like, you might want to hold the champagne for a few more days.
That being said, the Phillies took “Step #1” in trying to reach their second straight World Series and defending their title.
Philadelphia used two big innings and some shaky, but effective relief work to beat the L.A. Dodgers, 8-6. Three-run homers by Carlos Ruiz and Raul (OK, everyone… RAUUUUUUUUUUUULLLLLLL) Ibanez.
This game had the exact same type feel as Game #1 of the Division Series against the Rockies when Colorado starter Ubaldo Jimenez was lights out for the first four innings and then the Phils turned him around in the 5th Inning. Tonight, the Phils took advantage of more wildness by Clayton Hershaw. Ruiz hit a three-run homer for the lead. Then, Ryan Howard ripped a two-run double to right field (just like his game-tying two-run double in Game #4 the other night) for a 5-1 lead.
But the Dodgers responded to cut the deficit to 5-4 before J.A. Happ got Rafael Furcal to ground out to end the inning.
Another Phils star was Chan-ho Park, who came back from injury to shut down the Dodgers in the 7th Inning after a leadoff double off Antonio Bastardo. And then Ibanez jumps all over a George Sherrill hanging slider for his three-run blast for an 8-4 lead.
Ryan Madson struggled, giving up two runs in the 8th Inning, but held the lead and allowed Lidge to close the door in the 9th Inning.
Here are a few interesting tidbits from the game…
* RISP… Phils (3-for-5), Dodgers (3-for-14)
*Left On Base… Phils (5), Dodgers (10)
* Phils have won 14 of last 18 NLCS games
All this and a quick turnaround with a 4:00 PM ET start for Game #2 on Friday.