The Dodgers pulled off their first four-game sweep of the Phillies since July 2-4, 1962. Tomorrow will be just the sixth day since June 1 that the Phils won’t wake up with at least a share of first place in the N.L. East. But the Phillies will get their chance at revenge. There is another four-gamer, this one at Citizens Bank Park, beginning a week from tomorrow.
“We’re a very confident team,” Phillies 1B Ryan Howard said. “We know we haven’t played well. If you ask anybody in here, I don’t think we’ve played up to our capabilities. The good thing is we’ll get another shot at them (next) week.”
Howard, who began the day as the National League’s HR and RBI leader, went 1 for 14 in this series, with one home run, two walks, a sac fly and six strikeouts. That was one key for the Dodgers. The other key was that Jimmy Rollins, last year’s N.L. MVP, went 3 for 18 — including hitless in his final 11 ABs.
The Dodgers’ bullpen struggled in the opener. But in the final three, the relievers combined to pitch 11 shutout innings, allowing just one hit. Hong-Chih Kuo gets his first major-league save by retiring six of seven in the eighth and ninth tonight. Hiroki Kuroda was the big hero tonight, but you can read all about that in tomorrow’s paper. Dodgers go to 62-59, their first time to three over .500 since they were 26-23 after beating the Cardinals in Clayton Kershaw’s big-league debut on May 25, and they stay tied with the Snakes, nine ahead of the Rox.
I won’t bore you with details of what goes on in the press box AFTER the game, except to tell you that it usually involves me yelling at someone for having a loud conversation in the back while the rest of us are frantically trying to finish our stories and hit our deadlines. I’m kind of Type-A on deadline. The rest of the time, though, I’m a really nice guy.