Brett Myers just shook his head in disbelief after registering his third hit of the game as his Philadelphia Phillies defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 8-5 in Game 2 of the National League Championship Series Friday afternoon at Citizen Bank Park.
Myers, who had only four hits all season, laced three singles while driving in three runs and scoring two runs. Those who don’t know Brett Myers, he is a pitcher. Pitchers in the majors are typically not very good hitters. You tell Brett Myers this now; he will just laugh in your face and agree. “I’m not a very good hitter” said Myers who became the first pitcher in history to record three hits in a NLCS game. “I just get lucky occasionally. I’m baffled by it. I would’ve rather pitched better.” On the mound, Myers was less than stellar lasting only five innings while scattering six hits giving up five runs while striking out six batters.
Shane Victorino continued his dominance at the plate going 2-5 with four RBI’s and coming through with a huge defensive play which saved the game in the seventh inning. With two runners on, Dodgers Casey Blake crushed a high fastball by Phillies Ryan Madsen to straight center field. 5’7 Victorino scaled the wall and made what would be a game saving catch to end the threat.
The bottom of the order for the Phillies played dividend as little used Greg Dobbs went 2-3 scoring two runs and inconsistent Carlos Ruiz went 1-4 with an RBI double which sparked a four run second inning.
The Phillies weren’t done just yet after the second inning as they pounded starter Clay Billingsley in the third for four runs which broke the game open, capped off by Victorino bases clearing triple which resulted in Billingsley departure. Billingsley has a rough outing scattering eight hits while giving up eight runs in 2.1 innings.
The Phillies were plagued by the top part of the order which has been consistence all season long. Reigning MVP Jimmy Rollins went 1-5 with four strikeouts. Leading homerun and RBI hitter Ryan Howard went 0-4 with two strikeouts. Pat Burrell went 1-4 with three strikeouts.
Head Coach Charlie Manuel coached with a heavy heart as he found out about the passing of his mother early Friday morning at the age of 87. Brett Myers said before the game that this game was going to be for her. “I’m going to win this one for your mother” said Myers as he kept his promise. At the end of the game Shane Victorino also found out that his grandmother died back in his own state of Hawaii.
Throughout the whole game, the boos you would hear could only be for one player, Manny Ramirez. Manny sounded like the most hated man in Philadelphia for a few split seconds, a man defiantly not running for Mayor of Philly anytime soon. Brett Myers had a little fun with him during his first at bat when he threw a 94 mph fastball behind him. The fans cheered like they won the World Series. Brett later said the “ball got away from me.” After grinning at Brett Myers during that first at bat, Manny tried to spoil the party in the fourth as he lined a three run shot into the flower bed in right field making it 8-5. After that, the scoring was a stalemate as both teams struggled to score runs.
Closer Brad Lidge came in the ninth and recorded his second save in consecutive games boasting his season saves to 45 in 45 opportunities as he walked two batters but quickly dispatched the next three hitters via strikeout.
The Phillies will now travel west to Dodgers Stadium in sunny Los Angeles for three straight games starting Sunday. 47 year old Jamie Moyer will have the ball in game three becoming the oldest man in history to start a NLCS game. His counterpart will be rookie sensation Hiroki Kuroda who recorded nine wins and posted a 3.75 ERA throughout the season.