YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections


Dodgers' response expected

October 13, 2008|Kevin Baxter and Jim Peltz | Times Staff Writers

The Phillies were careful not to make too much of their victories in the first two games of the National League Championship Series last week in Philadelphia. So after losing to the Dodgers, 7-2, in Game 3 on Sunday at Dodger Stadium, they were equally cautious about taking their first loss in stride.

"You kind of take it as it's one game, whether you lost it by a large margin or you lose it in a walk-off," reliever Chad Durbin said. "It's essentially a one-game series every game. The most important game of the series was tonight. Once that game's been played, the most important game of the series is the next one."

The Phillies and Dodgers have played 11 times this season and neither team has lost at home, so Philadelphia expected a battle when the series shifted to Los Angeles.

"We knew," reliever J.C. Romero said, "the Dodgers were going to make a statement here."

And they did, scoring nearly as many runs in their first at-bat as they did in two games in Philadelphia. After that, the contest was even. The series, however, is still in Philadelphia's favor.

"They got off to a good start, putting up five runs, and had momentum on their side," first baseman Ryan Howard said. "We've got to look at it and say we're still up 2-1. We just got to come back and focus."

Vision quest

Howard, who led the majors in home runs and runs batted in during the regular season, collected his first two hits of the series, but he has driven in only one run in seven postseason games and Manager Charlie Manuel said Howard appears to be pressing.

"He's overanxious," Manuel said of Howard, who had 48 home runs and 146 RBIs. "He's not following the ball, he's not seeing the ball good out of the pitcher's hand."

Speaking of not seeing the ball, leadoff hitter Jimmy Rollins struck out twice, giving him six strikeouts in his last eight at-bats to drop his series average to .077.

Going to the dogs

Phillies outfielder Pat Burrell has two dogs, including an oversized English bulldog named Elvis that has become something of a good-luck mascot for the team.

Burrell brought Elvis to Citizens Bank Park for the final series of the regular season, leaving him in a laundry room off the clubhouse during the games as the Phillies swept the Washington Nationals.

Elvis was back in his lucky spot for the first two games of the division series with the Milwaukee Brewers and the series with the Dodgers, and the Phillies again went unbeaten. But since the dog can't fly, Burrell took a picture of Elvis with him to Milwaukee and Los Angeles and that's apparently where Elvis' magic ends since the Phillies lost the first games they played in each city.

Oh what a relief

When the Dodgers got to J.A. Happ for a fourth-inning run on Nomar Garciaparra's two-out single, it was the only run the Phillies bullpen has given up in 12 2/3 innings in the series and the fifth in 22 2/3 postseason innings.


Los Angeles Times Articles