YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections


Phillies come back to beat Dodgers in the 9th, 5-4

Jonathan Broxton gives up a two-run walk-off hit to Jimmy Rollins. Philadelphia takes a commanding three games to one lead in best-of seven series.

October 20, 2009|DYLAN HERNANDEZ

PHILADELPHIA — Win -- or else.

Or else the Dodgers will end their season on Wednesday.

Or else they won't play another game at Dodger Stadium until April.

Or else Jonathan Broxton will head into the winter with another October meltdown to ponder.

One out away from tying the National League Championship Series at two games apiece Monday night, the Dodgers instead moved to within a single defeat of elimination, dropping Game 4 to the Philadelphia Phillies in the cruelest fashion.

Broxton served up a two-out, two-run double to Jimmy Rollins in the bottom of the ninth inning to send the Dodgers to a 5-4 defeat at Citizens Bank Park, the scene reminiscent of the game- and series-altering two-run home run he gave up to Matt Stairs in the very same Game 4 a year ago.

As was the case last year, the Dodgers had a chance to tie the series, 2-2, and instead found themselves down, 3-1.

"We have to fight and do everything we can do to win three in a row," Broxton said. "We were in this situation last year."

But what Broxton neglected to mention was that the Dodgers lost Game 5.

The task of extending their season will fall to Vicente Padilla, who will start the elimination game Wednesday.

"They'll be ready to play," Manager Joe Torre said. "It's obviously a tough one to get past, but, you know, that's our job."

Torre's players spoke of one goal.

"We want to get back home," Andre Ethier said.

That's where Games 6 and 7 would be played -- that is, if the series lasts that long.

And the Dodgers will have to overcome a significant obstacle to get there: Phillies starter Cole Hamels.

Around the clubhouse, the kind of words that were said during the various rough stretches of the regular season were being repeated on this night.

The words might have been the same, but the body language wasn't. Players looked at the carpeted floor of the clubhouse. They spoke in muted voices.

"It's a very resilient group of guys," said pitcher Randy Wolf, who started Monday's game. "Just when you think there's no pulse, we'll get shocked back into having a pulse."

Torre pointed out that his team was able to do that Monday, when it fell behind, 2-0, in the first inning when Wolf gave up a two-run home run to Ryan Howard that cleared the right-field wall.

The Dodgers' offense, held to eight hits in the previous two games, continued to sputter in the early innings, as not a single batter managed to reach base against Phillies starter Joe Blanton the first time through the lineup.

But the Dodgers finally got to Blanton in the fourth inning.

Matt Kemp drew a walk and dashed to third base on a two-out single to left by Manny Ramirez.

A single by James Loney moved the Dodgers to within 2-1. Another single, this one by Russell Martin, drove in Ramirez and pulled the Dodgers level.

A home run by Matt Kemp into the vegetation behind the short fence in dead center put the Dodgers ahead, 3-2.

The Dodgers looked like they were on their way.

Ramirez reached base on a throwing error by third baseman Pedro Feliz in the sixth inning and later scored on a single by Casey Blake to double the Dodgers' lead to 4-2.

Wolf let the Phillies cut the lead to 4-3 in the bottom of that inning by allowing a triple by Shane Victorino and a run-scoring single by Chase Utley, but the Dodgers' league-best bullpen preserved the lead -- until the ninth.

Wolf was charged with three runs and four hits over 5 1/3 innings.

The first pitcher out of the bullpen, Ronald Belisario, got an out.

So did Hong-Chih Kuo, who forced Raul Ibanez to line out to left -- Ramirez made a shoestring catch -- to get the Dodgers out of the sixth inning with their one-run lead intact.

Kuo and his tender elbow went back out for the seventh inning and retired the side.

The eighth was when the first signs of trouble appeared.

With one out, setup man George Sherrill hit Victorino on his right foot and walked Utley to bring up Howard.

Sherrill struck out Howard with a high fastball, then put the game in Broxton's hands.

Broxton got Jayson Werth to fly out to end the inning, but he failed to do what he did twice in the Dodgers' three-game sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals in the previous round -- record the last four outs.

Broxton had a chance to vanquish the memories of last season, as he faced Stairs with one out in the ninth inning.

But Broxton walked him on four pitches, then put a second man on base by hitting Carlos Ruiz.

The All-Star got pinch-hitter Greg Dobbs to flare out to third base, leaving him an out away from earning his most important save of the season.

But Rollins crushed his 1-1 offering to right-center.

"You knew it was getting in the gap," Sherrill said.

Broxton knew what that would lead to -- and he had no interest in watching.

As the Phillies started to swarm out of their dugout and create a mob that slowly that would make its way up the third base line toward Rollins, Broxton turned his back to the field.

"You've got to have a short memory," he said.


Los Angeles Times Articles