Friday, October 16, 2009

2009 Chachi #72 NLCS Game 1/Carlos Ruiz & Raul Ibañez

NLCS Game 1 - October 15, 2009
Phillies 8, Dodgers 6

It got a little hairy in the middle innings, but the bullpen and a Raul Ibañez 3-run home run sealed the Game 1 victory for the Phillies in Los Angeles.

The Phils were behind early due to a 2nd inning James Loney solo homer off starter Cole Hamels. However a 5-spot in the top of the 5th, highlighted by a 3-run home run from Carlos Ruiz and a 2-run double from Ryan Howard, put the Phillies up, 5-1. The big inning also knocked out Dodgers' starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw, who had been cruising up until the 5th. At this point, the team hoped for a shut-down inning from Cole Hamels, but it was not to be. The Dodgers scored three times in the bottom of the 5th to pull within a run. The big blow was a 2-run home run to center from Manny Ramirez. (I'll admit, it stung a little to see former Phillie Jim Thome celebrating wildly in the dugout after this homer.)

Following Cole's early exit in the 6th, the bullpen combination of Chad Durbin, J.A. Happ and especially Chan Ho Park managed to shut down the Dodgers until the 8th inning. Fortunately, Raul Ibañez added his three-run home run in the top of the 8th to give the Phils a 4-run lead at the time. It was Raul's first career Postseason home run and the insurance runs proved to be huge.

Ryan Madson decided to make things interesting in the bottom of the 8th, allowing two runs before inducing a weak grounder to third from Manny Ramirez to end the threat. Brad Lidge allowed a few runners in the 9th, but with Joe Blanton and Scott Eyre warming in the bullpen, he was able to record the final out for his third save of the 2009 playoffs.