NLCS Game 4: Phillies Stun Dodgers With Walk-Off Win

Jimmy Rollins lined a two-out, two-run double off Dodgers closer Jonathan Broxton in the ninth inning to cap a dramatic rally as the Philadelphia Phillies beat Los Angeles, 5-4 and take a 3-1 lead in the NLCS.

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VIDEO: Watch Rollins' Walk-Off, Two-Run Double

In case this happened after your bed time on the east coast, or you just wanna listen to Chip Caray get excited, here’s the final play from Game 4, which gave the Phillies a 3-1 series lead.

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Rollins Thunder Sweeps Across Philadelphia

It’s amazing how quickly one play can change the way you look at a game. Before Rollin’s swing, Philadelphia had played a mostly-frustrated 8 innings, undeserving of victory. After Rollin’s swing…

With one picture-perfect swing on a Jonathan Broxton fastball, Jimmy Rollins put 8 2/3 innings of frustration for his team—and the better part of a full season for himself—in the rear-view mirror. Rollins’ two-out, two-on double to the gap scored Eric Bruntlett and Carlos Ruiz with the tying and winning runs as the Phillies took a walkoff thriller against the Dodgers in Game Four of the NLCS and claimed a three games to one series lead.

Keep an eye on Phillies blog The Good Phight for more post-game thoughts.

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New Year, Same Game Four Result For Dodgers

Dodgers lead Phillies in Game 4 of the NLCS only to see the Phillies win the game. True Blue LA has heard this one before.

The Dodgers had this game. Bottom of the order facing Broxton with a lead is easy money. I really don’t know what else to say. There is no game tomorrow, so we have roughly 44 hours to hear about how this series is over. From where I’m sitting, I can’t say I disagree.

Get some of that 44 hours-worth of talk at True Blue LA while you await the inevitable.

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Game 4 Recap - Jimmy Rollins Saves Best For Last, Spoils Dodgers Day

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Jimmy Rollins lined a two-out, two-run double off Dodgers closer Jonathan Broxton in the ninth inning to cap a dramatic rally as the Philadelphia Phillies beat Los Angeles, 5-4, to take a commanding lead after four games in the National League Championship Series.

Broxton (0-1) got out of a two-on, two-out jam in the eighth inning by retiring Jayson Werth on a fly ball to right field. But in the ninth, pinch- hitter Matt Stairs walked with one out. Carlos Ruiz was then hit by a pitch on his elbow.

Pinch-hitter Greg Dobbs, who batted .167 as a pinch-hitter during the regular season, hit a soft liner to third for the second out. Rollins then lined a 1-1 pitch to the gap in right-center field, plating pinch-runner Eric Bruntlett and Ruiz without a throw to the plate.

Ryan Howard added a two-run homer on a milestone night for the Phillies first baseman. He tied the major league record by driving in a run in his eighth straight postseason game. That equals the mark held by Hall of Famer Lou Gehrig, spanning between the 1928 and 1932 seasons.

The Phillies, up 3-1 in the series, are one win away from securing a second straight trip to the World Series. The defending champions can attain that goal with a Game 5 victory Wednesday at Citizens Bank Park when Cole Hamels is expected to pitch for the Phillies while LA goes with Game 2 starter Vicente Padilla.

It was an eerie result for Broxton, considering in last year's NLCS he gave up a go-ahead homer to Stairs in a 7-5 Game 4 loss in LA. The Phillies won that series in five games before topping Tampa Bay in the Fall Classic.

Dodgers left fielder Manny Ramirez scored twice and made a shoestring catch to save the tying run from scoring in the sixth inning, but Broxton failed to hold the lead, putting LA in a big hole.

Matt Kemp homered and scored on a James Loney single for the Dodgers and starting pitcher Randy Wolf, a former Phillie, allowed four hits and three runs over 5 1/3 innings.

Philadelphia starter Joe Blanton yielded six hits and four runs -- three earned -- over six frames.

Brad Lidge (1-0), who had a pair of strikeouts in the top of the ninth to leave Rafael Furcal at third base, got the win.

With two outs in the fifth, Kemp took Blanton's 2-0 pitch to dead center field for a 3-2 lead. The ball went beyond Shane Victorino, who climbed the wall in an attempt to make the catch.

The Dodgers tacked on a run in the sixth, but it could have been worse for Blanton. Ramirez was safe on a throwing error by third baseman Pedro Feliz. Ronnie Belliard singled with one out, and with two down Casey Blake's soft line single down the right field line made it a two-run margin. Blake stole second, but with a pair of runners in scoring position, Blanton retired Wolf on a fly ball to center.

Victorino tripled to left with one out in bottom of the sixth and Chase Utley followed with an RBI single to right. Howard walked, but Ronald Belisario came in from the bullpen and got Werth to bounce into a broken-bat fielder's choice. Blake delivered the ball to Belliard, who dropped the ball at second on the transfer to his throwing hand, but Howard was ruled out. Raul Ibanez then hit Hong-Chih Kuo's first pitch to left field, but Ramirez made a shoestring catch on the sinking line drive to keep it a 4-3 game.

Ryan Madson escaped a jam with two men on base in the eighth by striking out Blake.

Although Broxton, who saved Game 1 of the NLDS and Game 2 of the NLCS, retired Ibanez on a grounder to start the ninth, it then fell apart for the big right- hander.

Coming off Cliff Lee's eight-inning gem in an 11-0 blowout win by the Phillies Sunday night, Philadelphia bolted to a quick lead in Game 4. Rollins singled to left to start the bottom of the first inning. Two outs later, Howard drilled a 3-1 pitch on a liner over the wall in right field.

Blanton retired the first 10 batters he faced and didn't allow a hit until Ramirez's two-out single to left in the fourth that put runners on the corners. Loney followed with an RBI base hit to left to plate Kemp, who walked earlier in the frame. Belliard walked before Russell Martin's liner into left-center tied the game. The Dodgers, though, left the bases loaded when Blake grounded out to Utley at second base.

Before this game, Broxton was 3-for-3 in save opportunities over the past two postseasons...Howard has 14 RBI this postseason and has reached base safely in 17 straight playoff contests. He also has six career postseason homers, tying Lenny Dykstra for the all-time Philadelphia playoff lead. Howard has 20 RBI in his last 11 postseason games, after having four RBI through his first 14 career postseason games...Utley has reached base safely via hit or walk in 24 straight postseason games, which is one shy of the major league record, done by Baltimore's Boog Powell from 1966-71...At home in the NLCS, the Phillies have gone 9-8 in their history, however, they are 9-2 since going 0-6 in their first six home NLCS games...The Phillies have won 10 of their last 13 postseason games against the Dodgers.

-Full Boxscore

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Full Recap: Lee's Arm Plus Phillies' Bats Equals Unfair Advantage

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) – Cliff Lee pitched eight innings of three- hit ball, and Shane Victorino hit a three-run homer to cap a torrid offensive night for the Phillies, who dealt the Dodgers an 11-0 drubbing in Game 3 of the National League Championship Series.

Lee (2-0) was brilliant in his start, striking out 10 and walking none to get the win, which gives Philadelphia a 2-1 lead in the NLCS. Game 4 is scheduled for Monday night back at Citizens Bank Park.

In three starts this postseason, Lee has been outstanding for the Phillies, allowing only two earned runs in 24 1/3 innings for a 0.74 ERA. The left- hander, who the Phillies acquired from Cleveland in July, has also struck out 20 and walked only three.

“When you’ve got the offense that we’ve got, I don’t want to go out there and walk guys and have long innings and stuff like that,” Lee said. “I’ve got to go out there and attack hitters and throw strikes and give our offense a chance to score runs. Tonight we did that pretty early and made things a lot easier for me.”

The Phillies scored six runs off Los Angeles starter Hiroki Kuroda (0-1) in the first two innings. Kuroda lasted only 1 1/3 frames before being pulled.

Victorino finished with two hits and two walks, while Jayson Werth hit a two- run homer and Ryan Howard hit a two-run triple for Philadelphia. Carlos Ruiz continued his hot postseason, going 2-for-3 with a walk and run batted in.

Manny Ramirez had two hits for the Dodgers, who had only one runner reach second base the entire game.

Sunday’s game, which started with a temperature in the 40s, looked like it might have been a pitching duel between Lee and Kuroda, who entered the contest with a 0.95 ERA in three career starts against the Phillies.

But the Philadelphia bats got to Kuroda early and often, as Victorino singled with one out and stole second. Chase Utley followed with another base hit to put runners on the corners for Howard, who ripped a ball down the right field line to the corner, plating two runs and allowing Howard to leg out a triple.

“Full-out panic going around second base,” Howard said. “No, I mean, it was a lot of fun. I saw where the ball was. I saw where [Dodgers right fielder Andre Ethier] was. It was one of those things where I had to make my mind up if this is going to happen or not. So once I hit second, it was pretty much going full bore.”

Werth followed by crushing a homer to center, making it a 4-0 game.

Ramirez led off the second with a single, but Lee used a double play to get out of the inning, and the Phillies continued to add runs in the second.

Ruiz doubled to lead off, went to third on Lee’s sacrifice bunt and scored when Jimmy Rollins roped a double down the right field line. That signaled the end of Kuroda’s outing, as Scott Elbert came in to pitch. But Elbert walked Victorino, threw a wild pitch, then walked Utley to load the bases.

Howard followed with an RBI groundout to push the Phillies’ lead to six, and Chad Billingsley came in to get the final out of the inning.

Lee faced the minimum through four innings, but Ramirez led off the fifth with another base hit. However, Lee fanned Matt Kemp, then induced two groundouts to end the inning and turn the show back over to the offense.

Raul Ibanez worked a two-out walk, then came home when Pedro Feliz tripled off the wall in right-center. Ruiz followed with a base hit to right to make it an 8-0 game.

The Dodgers got their final hit in the seventh, a leadoff single from Ronnie Belliard, who moved to second on a groundout. But Lee struck out Ramirez and Kemp to end the threat. The left-hander mixed his numerous pitches, including a sharp curveball, to keep the Dodgers off-balance and notched two more strikeouts in the eighth.

“He’s pretty damned special,” Dodgers manager Joe Torre said of Lee. “Again, he attacks the strike zone, he works fast. He threw us some pitches to hit, but sometimes with his delivery and how aggressive he is, I think he comes at you quick, and sometimes it startles the hitters where they’re not quite ready to hit.”

Lee appeared like he would go for the shutout, as he batted in the bottom half following a Ruiz walk. He singled, then scored on Victorino’s homer to right.

But Lee, having thrown 114 pitches, was removed for Chad Durbin, who worked a 1-2-3 ninth to end the game.

Howard has at least one RBI in each of the Phillies’ seven playoff games in 2009, setting an MLB record for consecutive games with an RBI in a single postseason…Ruiz has reached base in all of Philadelphia’s playoff games so far. He is hitting .429 (9-for-21) in the postseason, with a .538 on-base percentage, one homer and seven RBI…Billingsley threw 3 1/3 innings for LA, allowing two runs, while Ramon Troncoso threw two scoreless frames…The Game 4 starters are scheduled to be Joe Blanton for the Phillies and Randy Wolf for LA.

Full Boxscore

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Bloggers React To NLCS Game 3

True Blue LA is quick to point out that this loss stands among the worst in Dodger playoff history:
  • 1959 World Series Game 1, 11-0 (Dodgers won series 4-2)
  • Tonight, 11-0

Meanwhile, The Good Phight is all about starter Cliff Lee, who could not do any wrong tonight:

Lee took the lead and did what aces do: pound the strike zone and squeeze all hope out of the opponent. Spotting his low-90s fastball, sweeping curve and deceptive change at will, he didn’t allow a Dodgers hitter to get as far as second base until Ronnie Belliard got there in the 7th. Lee finished that inning by striking out Manny Ramirez and Matt Kemp; an inning later, he notched strikeouts nine, on Loney looking, and ten, on a Russell Martin swing and miss. Lee added a single in the bottom of the eighth and scored on Victorino’s homer before giving way to Chad Durbin for the ninth. In his eight innings, Lee allowed three singles and no walks.

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Quick Recap: Phillies Crush Dodgers, Take 2-1 Series Lead

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Cliff Lee pitched eight innings of three- hit ball, and Shane Victorino hit a three-run homer to cap a torrid offensive night for the Phillies, who dealt the Dodgers an 11-0 drubbing in Game 3 of the National League Championship Series.

Lee (2-0) was brilliant in his start, striking out 10 and walking none to get the win, which gives Philadelphia a 2-1 lead in the NLCS. Game 4 is scheduled for Monday night back at Citizens Bank Park.

In three starts this postseason, Lee has been outstanding for the Phillies, allowing only two earned runs in 24 1/3 innings for a 0.74 ERA. The left- hander, who the Phillies acquired from Cleveland in July, has also struck out 20 and walked only three.

The Phillies provided Lee with plenty of run support, as they scored six runs off Los Angeles starter Hiroki Kuroda (0-1) in the first two innings. Kuroda lasted only 1 1/3 frames before being pulled.

Victorino finished with two hits and two walks, while Jayson Werth hit a two- run homer and Ryan Howard hit a two-run triple for Philadelphia. Carlos Ruiz continued his hot postseason, going 2-for-3 with a walk and run batted in.

Manny Ramirez had two hits for the Dodgers, who had only one runner reach second base the entire game.

Via Sports Network

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