PHILADELPHIA — This postseason is starting to look very familiar for the Phillies. A lot like last year, in fact, with a dramatic Game 4 win over the Dodgers and LHP Cole Hamels on the mound for the potential pennant clincher in Game 5.
Hamels also started the suspended Game 5 World Series clincher. He said with a 3-1 advantage it's important for the Phillies to take charge early tonight and close out the Dodgers, as they did to them and the Rays last season.
"Very important," he said. "I think that really happened when we played Tampa Bay in the World Series. We were really able to take the games away from them, and you could tell in Game 5, weather permitting, that they didn't really have the jump in their step. And that was something that we tried to hammer down.
"You especially have to do it at home. You have the advantage. I mean, you have the fans, and especially these fans. They really can put more pressure on them, and if we're able to jump out early, we can ride that positive emotion and just the way that we play the game and the style, we can ride that all the way to the end, and I think it'll make it very hard for them."
PITCHING IN: Dodgers manager Joe Torre chose RHP Vicente Padilla to start tonight ahead of young LHP Clayton Kershaw for several reasons: "Because of experience, because of how he pitched against St. Louis (seven innings, no runs, four hits in Game 3 of the division series), because of how he pitched against this ballclub earlier (71/3 innings, one run, four hits in Game 2). And he's on full rest, so we're not taking anything away from him."
DODGER BLUES: Dodgers LF Manny Ramirez said he didn't see Monday's game-ending hit because he was in the shower. Torre said he had no problem with Ramirez, who'd been taken out for the bottom of the ninth, missing the ending: "As we say, Manny is Manny. He's a cool customer. But he certainly didn't have any lack of respect because of that. I think the way it turned out, it probably doesn't look good. But it's nothing different than he had done before."
LIGHTS-OUT LIDGE: Brad Lidge, 0-8 with a 7.21 ERA and 11 blown saves in the regular season, is 3-for-3 in playoff save chances and earned the win Monday. "When I brought him in the game and I told him some things that we wanted to do, and he was very calm, and he talked to me very at ease, and he was very comfortable," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said.
MISCELLANY: The only teams to rally from 3-1 NLCS deficits were the 1996 Braves (over the Cardinals) and 2003 Marlins (over the Cubs). … With their ownership in limbo due to the pending divorce of Frank and Jamie McCourt, the Dodgers on Tuesday announced what they called a "long-term" contract extension for GM Ned Colletti.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.