NLCS Game Three: Dodgers @ Phillies


2009 NLCSOh, yeah, there’s that other playoff series. After two thrilling games in the Bronx, the Yanks and Angels enjoy a travel day to take them out to sunny Southern California. Even though we’re stuck without the Bombers for a night, we can still check out their National League counterparts.

The Phillies and Dodgers come east after splitting a pair of games back in LA, the second of which involved a glorious meltdown by Philadelphia’s shaky bullpen. Considering how unreliable Brad Lidge has been this year, Charlie Manuel can’t feel good when his other relievers cough up a lead. Joe Torre doesn’t have to worry too much about his relief corps, he can trot out power arm after power like his replacement in the Bronx.

After missing the NLDS with a bulging disk in his neck, righty Hiroki Kuroda returns to the make the start for Team Torre. The Japanese import faced the Phillies once this year, two-hitting them over seven scoreless innings back in June. The Phillies will counter with an import of their own – trade deadline pickup Cliff Lee. Lee shut the Rockies down in two NLCS starts, and is working on normal rest. I expect great things.

Here’s the lineups:

Los Angeles
Rafael Furcal, SS
Ronnie Belliard, 2B
Andre Ethier, RF
Manny Ramirez, LF
Matt Kemp, CF
James Loney, 1B
Casey Blake, 3B
Russ Martin, C
Hiroki Kuroda, SP (8-7, 3.76)

Jimmy Rollins, SS
Shane Victorino, CF
Chase Utley, 2B
Ryan Howard, 1B
Jayson Werth, RF
Raul Ibanez, LF
Pedro Feliz, 3B
Carlos Ruiz, C
Cliff Lee, SP (14-13, 3.22)

TBS has the call, with first pitch scheduled for 8:07pm ET. The weather report looks ominous, but it appears that there’s a big enough window to get this one in.

If the NLCS isn’t your thing, then go ahead and use this puppy as an open thread. The Bears and Falcons are your late football game, but talk about whatever you like. Just please follow the guidelines and be nice.


  1. Evil Empire says:

    The quest for second best continues.

  2. Salty Buggah says:

    I’m lovin this song:


    I think it’s the new official theme song for the Yanks. It’s awesome.

  3. BC says:

    Let’s go Dodgers. Cliff Lee is going to be the deciding factor in this game. Can’t wait to watch it, hopefully we get a good game.

  4. The Artist says:

    Some people are just occasionally stupid, yet others make a profession of it.


    They drop a few balls in horrid conditions, so now we forget the entire regular season. Gotcha.

  5. The Artist says:


    This is just sad, Leyritz at Stan’s selling pix for $5 a pop.

  6. Evil Empire says:

    So … I guess I don’t really care who wins the NLCS, as the Yankees cannot be stopped so their opponent is irrelevant. It would be more fun if The Fightin’ Torres won just because I think there would be some catharsis between him and us. I think he’d get a standing ovation, than we’d beat the shit out of his club and sweep him in the world series, and everyone goes home happy.

    Still Charlie Manuel is one of the greatest baseball characters this side of Casey Stengel and it would be fun seeing him befuddled at the might of the Yankees.

  7. Fucking James Idehigbo. GET YOUR HEAD ON STRAIGHT.

    (Full disclosure: his brother is engaged to a friend of mine.)

  8. Harold Reynolds just said that Manny making outs early in the count will be a good thing for him because it will make the opposing pitchers think “Hold on! He’ got something going now.”

  9. Mike Pop says:

    Pulled a Romo.

  10. How to be a Jets fan: Introduce your face to your palm.

  11. UWS says:

    Wow, what a FAIL by the Jets.

  12. (cue Martin Lawrence voice)

    DWIGHT LOWERY!!!!!!!!

  13. Stormrider6 says:

    “Do either of these teams want to win today?”

    Certainly doesn’t seem like it…

  14. The Bills have SIX INTs?!

  15. The Artist says:

    “A.J. Burnett threw another nice game with favored catcher Jose Molina behind the plate, allowing three hits and two earned runs in 6 1/3 innings. So look for Molina to remain his personal catcher thoughout the postseason. Yankees manager Joe Girardi and Burnett have suggested it was Girardi’s call to employ Molina. But of course it comes with Burnett’s unspoken (at least publicly unspoken) approval.”


    Its lines like that from Heyman that make me nuts. The clear implication is that he has some super secret off the record info that he can’t go with, but he wants to get out there. If you’re at all familiar with his work, very few of these inferences bear out over the course of time. I’ve come to the conclusion that he phrases things this way to make it look like he knows more than he actually does, like he’s a real insider. He’s such a fucking hack.

    Heyman’s inference could be read as a personal rift between these two, like AJ’s knocking Jorge off the record. Every reputable beat reporter I’ve heard has gone out of their way to clarify that is simply not the case. That’s not who AJ is, publicly or privately from everything I’ve read elsewhere.

    Heyman is one of the few guys who write this way, and it’s just rumor mongering, plain and simple.

    • If Burnett happens to pitch a road game in the WS, Molina had better not be catching.

      • The Artist says:

        Focus, Matt. I’m killing Heyman and looking for people to pile on with me.

        • Fine.

          Yeah, that’s pretty hackish by Heyman. What’s said is that he’s well respected enough to get by on it. People will pass it on like it’s cold, hard truth: “Well Heyman said…” and then people will click for his articles or read them in SI or whatever, and the cycle will continue.

    • Evil Empire says:

      Hasn’t AJ Burnett actually gone on the record saying it doesn’t matter who his catcher is, and that he doesn’t want the onus of the decision of Molina catching on him because he really doesn’t care?

    • Kiko Jones says:

      Aside from repeatedly stating it was not his decision or desire to not throw to Jorge, and not being that kinda guy in the first place, AJ isn’t dumb or arrogant enough in his first year on the team to diss the 15-year veteran Yankee w/4 rings. As you said, Heyman’s just trying to stir shit and look like the guy w/the inside track. Lame.

      Anybody notice how managerial Jorge looked in the dugout early last night? Hmm…

  16. Andy in Sunny Daytona says:

    “The Fighting city of Philadelphia”……WTF, Chip Caray?

  17. Handtius says:

    This Jets/Bills game is hysterical. I’m not a football fan, but this is like watching clowns at the circus.


  18. Mike Pop says:

    Haha @ the Jets.

  19. UWS says:

    This is…amazing.

  20. Well, I mean, the Eagles did lose to the Raiders…right?

  21. UWS says:

    Thank Mo it’s almost over…worse game ever?

  22. Stormrider6 says:

    Ughhhh… The Bills cannot catch a break. Or a pass, for that matter.

  23. JobaWockeeZ says:

    So i got an email form MLB.com and it asked me to vote for the Best Clutch Player of the Year so of course they deliberately leave off A-Rod.

  24. Here comes another missed FG. This game has tie written all over it.

  25. Riddering says:

    Bunting at the first pitch? Really?

  26. Andy in Sunny Daytona says:

    It’s been “Moral Victory Weekend”. Notre Dame coming close against USC, Arkansas taking Florida to the last second, Brian Fuentes getting 2 strikes on ARod, and the Tennessee Titans not getting beat by 60.

  27. Is it just me or does Raul Ibanez look like a douchebag?

  28. Ron, isn’t that what every pitcher does? Every pitcher and every hitter tries to dictate the pace of an at bat. Why does this guy get paid for analysis?

  29. I am now watching baseball and pretending football doesn’t and never has existed.

  30. I’m looking for another Cliff Lee steal tonight.

  31. Look at all the facial hair on the Dodgers infield. Wow. Grit-tastic.

  32. The Artist says:

    Best nickname I’ve heard this post season
    “Chase Knobloch”

  33. The Artist says:

    Torre calls pitches from the bench?

  34. Andy in Sunny Daytona says:

    That girl behind home plate looks thrilled to be there. Spoiled little brat.

  35. scooter says:

    Throwing down and not-so-in to Ryan Howard – not a great idea

  36. Evil Empire says:

    Ryan Howard triple … that’s gotta be pretty rare.

  37. Riddering says:

    I love good baseball.

  38. Is it just me or did it take Ethier waaaay too long to get to that ball?

  39. The Artist says:

    When we play the Phillies in the WS, Howard is the guy we can’t let beat us.

  40. The Artist says:

    Damn, what a fucking meltdown.

  41. scooter says:

    Joe’s in a tough spot. Ideally, he wants Kuroda to eat innings and keep the Dodgers close – but this could get really ugly really quickly.

  42. Riddering says:

    Well, there’s the offense that had been missing so far this postseason.

  43. Andy in Sunny Daytona says:

    What’s up with Happy Pete’s nose?

  44. Evil Empire says:

    …can someone remind me why Randy Wolf didn’t start one of the first 3 games for the Dodgers this series?

  45. Andy in Sunny Daytona says:

    A very exciting thing happened today in Venezuela. Romulo Sanchez vs. Jesus Montero. The epic battle came to a draw, as Jesus drew a walk from Romulo.

  46. Ivan says:

    Did The Titans play today? Like Seriously, did they show up today? My God.

  47. Riddering says:

    This game is going to be fun to watch.

    As long as you’re not a Dodger fan.

  48. Ivan says:

    Hey Scot Elbert, 1st round draft pick in 04.

  49. Donnie’s lovin’ them seeds.

  50. Attempted grit by Howard.

  51. Really, Joe? You’re gonna play the match up with the lefty on deck? You might as well just leave him in for Werth and Ibanez then go to CB.

  52. scooter says:

    So Billingsley has ‘the stuff to dominate and be an ace’?

    Sounds like a certain other young pitcher with great stuff

  53. dkidd says:

    are people meeting up at the stadium tomorrow?

  54. Mike Pop says:

    Would you guys still trade Cano for Billingsley?

  55. tretiak says:

    hey, i just moved out to santa barbara and i’ve got tickets to game 4. can any of the california yankee fans give me some advice on roads to take and how much time to give myself to get to the angels stadium? are there any good places to eat, especially ones where yankee fans congregate? thanks in advance.

  56. The Artist says:

    Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas

    Totally hot, or totally overrated?

  57. nathan says:

    Anyone know why Ronnie Belliard starts over Orlando Hudson.. is Hudson hurt?

  58. Mike Axisa says:

    ZOMG you guys, maybe Cash could swoop in with an offer of Melky, IPK, and some unsold Legends seats tickets!


  59. No, Ron, it says something about the fact that the NL East was kinda “meh” in 2009 and that the Phillies mash the shit out of the ball.

  60. The Artist says:

    Ron Darling-”The Dodgers will really need to pay their back taxes if the expect to get back in the ballgame.”

    Chip Carey-”Hey Ron, you want to take the next inning off?”

  61. Dela G says:

    carlos ruiz is killing the dodgers

  62. Riddering says:

    Anyone else want to see an offensive burst like this from the Yanks tomorrow night?

  63. Dela G says:

    did anyone see the beginning of this video with michael kay??

    He knows the ROC sign??


    this man is hip!


    • Drew says:

      My name is HOV! H to the O V, I used to move cocaine by the OZ!


      not for nothing but Chris Sheerhan or whatever his name was sounded wasted in that clip.

  64. danny says:

    mercy rule?

  65. danny says:

    mercy rule?

  66. Yankeefan91 Arod fan says:

    Dodgers getting that ass woop

  67. Drew says:

    I know Cliff Lee is a good pitcher. I also know Cliff Lee is not a “great” pitcher. His ’08 season was outstanding. When(if) we play him in the WS, he will not be this immortal that the NL has made him out to be.

    Thinking about it, say Lee and Hamels start 2 games in Yankee Stadium. That means either Pedro(our son), JA Happ or Blanton will be pitching in Philly, the NL park.

    The way I see it, Manuel will be forced to take his starter out early so they can try and PH for some offense when in their NL park. Their bullpen is no bueno.

    All signs point to #27.

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