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Werth says it's too early to celebrate

October 11, 2008|Kevin Baxter | Times Staff Writer

PHILADELPHIA -- The Dodgers sent out the best they have, two pitchers who hadn't lost in more than five weeks, had given up an average of two runs a game in their last 14 starts and hadn't been beaten at all this postseason.

And the Phillies pounded Derek Lowe and Chad Billingsley for 11 runs and 14 hits in the first two games of the National League Championship Series, pushing the Dodgers into a hole from which only two NL teams have ever crawled out.

But the Phillies aren't celebrating just yet.

"This series is far from over," said outfielder Jayson Werth, who doubled and scored a run in Friday's 8-5 victory, which sends the best-of-seven series to Dodger Stadium for Game 3 on Sunday with the Phillies leading, 2-0. "We're going to go to L.A. where they played us very tough. But it's nice to have this momentum going into their home park."

Philadelphia is the 19th team to win the first two games of an NLCS. And only twice before -- in 1984 and 1985 -- has the team with the 2-0 lead failed to advance to the World Series.

But the Phillies, who have won seven straight and 12 of their last 14 at home, know the road is a different place. The Dodgers swept them in a four-game series at Dodger Stadium in August. But with just three games scheduled for L.A., the worst-case scenario for Philadelphia has the series coming back to Citizens Bank Park.

The best-case scenario, of course, has them clinching a league title by winning two of three in Los Angeles.

"That's the whole idea of winning the two games where home-field advantage is always huge in the playoffs," Werth said. "If we can go out there and get the first game we're in great shape."

Double threat

Pitcher Brett Myers has never been much of a threat at the plate -- over the last three years he has hit only .047 with two RBIs in 127 at-bats. But Friday he made history with his bat, becoming the first pitcher to collect three hits in an LCS game and the first to drive in three runs since Atlanta's Tom Glavine 12 years ago.

"I'm actually baffled as to what's going on," Myers said. "I can't explain it. I'm not a very good hitter."

That may be changing. After the game, third baseman Greg Dobbs was calling Myers a "difference maker" at the plate.

"He's turned into kind of a double-threat guy all of a sudden," Dobbs said of Myers, who has worked with bench coach Jimy Williams on his hitting. "Credit to him. He's worked hard at it. And the fruits of his labor are showing."


Myers had more hits after two at-bats than former NL MVP Jimmy Rollins has in the series. Rollins struck out four times in five at-bats Friday and is one for nine in the NLCS, dropping his postseason average to .250. . . . Chase Utley became the third player in NLCS history to walk four times when he did it Friday.


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