Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Philadelphia Phillies rout Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 3 of the NL Championship Series

Jayson Werth rounds first after hitting a two-run blast to center off Hiroki Kuroda during the Phillies’ four-run first.

Getty Images

Jayson Werth rounds first after hitting a two-run blast to center off Hiroki Kuroda during the Phillies’ four-run first.

PHILADELPHIA — The Dodgers' decision that Hiroki Kuroda was ready to start Sunday proved horribly wrong. And the Phillies overcame any lingering aftereffects of their self-inflicted Game 2 loss and showed they were all right.

As a result, Game 3 wasn't much of a contest, as the Phillies rolled to an 11-0 win. And unless the Dodgers can rebound tonight and even it up, the NL Championship may not be much of a series.

"So far, so good," rightfielder Jayson Werth said. "You hear Charlie (Manuel) say a lot that we're resilient, and I really think we are."

The Phillies got a tremendous eight-inning effort from starter Cliff Lee; offense from throughout their powerful lineup, headlined with home runs by Werth and Shane Victorino and a triple by rumbling Ryan Howard, who extended his postseason RBI streak to a record seven games; and the benefit of a warm homecoming on a cold night, 46 degrees at first pitch.

But their biggest break may have come Tuesday on a field in Arizona, which is where Dodgers manager Joe Torre and pitching coach Rick Honeycutt went to watch Kuroda — who'd been out three weeks with a herniated disc in his neck — pitch in a simulated game and determined he was ready to rejoin the rotation.

Twenty pitches into Sunday's game — when Kuroda was already down 4-0 — it was clear that wasn't the case.

"I don't second-guess the decision because we made it on what we saw," Torre said. "His bullpen (session) was good for this start. The bullpen (Sunday) coming into the game was good. He came into the game and he just didn't — the ball didn't behave. That's basically all I can tell you."

Kuroda, who lasted only 10 batters, said there were no issues — not his neck, not the rust, not the chill. "It was a disappointing game," he said.

Lee, the Phillies' prized pickup from Cleveland, continues to surpass expectations. He dazzled from the start and improved to 2-0, 0.74 ERA in three postseason starts.

"What can I say about him," Phillies manager Manuel said. "He was just absolutely outstanding."

"That was the Cliff we expected," shortstop Jimmy Rollins said. "Cy Young style Cliff."

It looked as if Lee, who threw 114 pitches, was going to have a chance for the complete game. Manuel let him hit with no outs and one on in the eighth, and he singled, but after Victorino's homer extended the lead from 8-0 to 11-0 — apparently enough for Manuel to trust his beleaguered bullpen — he decided to have Chad Durbin finish.

"If I would have known that were the case," Lee joked, "I would have tried hitting into a double play or something to go back out there."

Much as they were on their way to winning the World Series last year, the Phillies rocked Citizens Bank Park, where they are 9-1 over the past two postseasons.

Werth hit a long two-run homer in the first, Victorino capped it with his three-run blast in the eighth and Carlos Ruiz had a couple of key hits in the middle as all nine starters scored a run.

But the highlight had to be when the big man joined the band, Howard — the 6-foot-4, 255-pound first baseman — lacing a ball down the rightfield line then racing around the bases, diving in headfirst for a first-inning triple that gave the Phillies a 2-0 lead.

"Full-out panic going around second base," Howard said. "No, I mean, it was a lot of fun."

Marc Topkin can be reached at topkin@sptimes.com.

NLCS, Game 4: Dodgers at Phillies

8:07 tonight, TBS, 1040-AM Phillies lead 2-1

Phillies 11

Dodgers 0

NLCS Game 3

Philadelphia Phillies rout Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 3 of the NL Championship Series 10/18/09 [Last modified: Monday, October 19, 2009 12:44am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Warren Sapp has firsthand advice as Bucs try to toughen up

    Bucs

    TAMPA — It was a molten morning, surface of Mercury, on the football field at Skyway Park, near Tampa International Airport. Bucs Hall of Fame defensive tackle Warren Sapp was working with some Bucs defensive linemen. HBO Hard Knocks crews followed them. Training camp was a week away. Sapp pointed to Bucs …

    Bucs defensive tackle Warren Sapp made it clear as a rookie that he wasn’t backing down from anyone, mixing it up with the Dolphins during summer scrimmages. [Times file]
  2. Rays Tales: With Rays surprising buyers, a look back at previous deadline deals

    The Heater

    The buildup to this July 31 trading deadline is different for the Rays, for the rudimentary reason that they are working — feverishly, from what we hear — to add on to a team they feel has a legitimate chance to make a playoff run.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher David Price (14) throws a strike to open up the first inning of the Pittsburgh Pirates at the Tampa Bay Rays in Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Wednesday, June 25, 2014.
  3. Former Rays/current Cubs manager Joe Maddon featured on NBC Sunday news show

    Blogs

    Former Rays and current Cubs manager Joe Maddon will be featured on this week's "Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly" show at 7 p.m. on NBC, the Harry Smith interview covering not just Maddon's on-field accomplishments but his extensive efforts to help his hometown of Hazleton, Pa.

    "Here's what's so …

    Joe Maddon talking with NBC News' Harry Smith.
  4. For starters: Souza returns to lineup

    Blogs