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Former Dodgers broadcaster Ross Porter analyzes Game 1 of the NLCS

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The Los Angeles Times is pleased to have Ross Porter providing analysis of the Dodgers
playoff games. Ross was a Dodger announcer for 28 seasons (1977-2004) and is a
member of the Southern California Sports Broadcasters Hall of Fame. You can visit Ross’ website at
realsportsheroes.com.


Philadelphia’s Philllies lead the National League in runs and home runs so their eight runs and a pair of three-run homers against the Dodgers in game 1 of the LCS were not that surprising.
What really hurt the Dodgers in an 8-6 defeat were three walks doled out by Clayton Kershaw and two by George Sherrill. Five of the Phils runs scored as the result of walks issued to Pedro Feliz, pitcher Cole Hamels, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Jayson Werth.

The 21-year-old Kershaw, who looks like a young Orel Hershiser, was brilliant for four innings and the Dodgers led, 1-0 on only James Loney’s second home run at Dodger Stadium this year in the second inning. With two on and no one out in the fifth, Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel spurned the sacrifice, and it paid off when number 8 hitter Carlos Ruiz blasted a home run to give the Phillies a 3-1 margin. It made Ruiz 9 for 15 against the Dodgers in 2009.
After a four-pitch walk to pitcher Hamels and a free pass to Utley, Howard, who batted only .207 against lefties this year, lined a two-run double to chase Clayton and make it 5-1. Kershaw was scheduled to be the second hitter in the bottom of the fifth. Is that why manager Joe Torre stayed with him so long?

In the Dodger fifth, the inability of Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins to get the ball out of his glove and start an inning-ending double play cost Hamels a chance to escape unscathed. One run scored on the play and Manny Ramirez crushed a two-run homer to cut the deficit to 5-4.
Ramirez hit .533 against Philadelphia in last fall’s NLCS. The teams combined to score eight runs in the fifth inning.

The Dodgers, who left the fewest runners on base in the National League this season, squandered scoring chances after that. In the sixth, Rafael Furcal, who has hit much better left-handed, came up with the bases loaded and two outs against rookie lefthander J. A. Happ, and on a 3-2 pitch, batting righthanded, grounded out to second.
Andre Ethier doubled to start the L.A. seventh, but former Dodger pitcher Chan Ho Park, activated before the game and placed on the Philadelphia roster after overcoming an injury, came out of the bullpen to retire Ramirez, Matt Kemp and Casey Blake to keep it a one-run game. Southpaw Sherrill walked the first two batters in the eighth, and Raul Ibanez, who had a better average against lefties than righthanders this season, drilled a three-run homer, giving the Phillies a four-run cushion.

Back charged the Blue Crew to tally two runs and had two men on base when a struggling Ryan Madson induced Ramirez to roll out to third. Brad Lidge, whose 11 blown saves topped the majors, used Blake’s double play grounder to work out of the ninth, and end the four-hour
marathon. The road triumph gives the Phillies home field advantage.

Vicente Padilla, who is 5 and 0 with the Dodgers, will pitch in game 2 Friday afternoon. He’s a
former Phillie and is matched against one-time Dodger Pedro Martinez. Pedro has not pitched since September 30 and has not gone more than three innings since September 13. Manuel
would like to get 90 to 100 pitches out of the three-time Cy Young Award winner.

If the series goes the full seven games, the Dodgers will likely see five left-handed starting pitchers, and they have hit better against southpaws than against righthanders this season.

The winner of game 1 has captured 14 of the past 17 NLCS.

The Los Angeles Times is pleased to have Ross Porter providing analysis of the Dodgers
playoff games. Ross was a Dodger announcer for 28 seasons (1977-2004) and is a
member of the Southern California Sports Broadcasters Hall of Fame. You can visit Ross’ website at
realsportsheroes.com.

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