Trying to recover from last night’s thrashing, the Los Angeles Dodgers try to even the NLCS tonight with former Philadelphia starting pitcher Randy Wolf. Wolf was with the Phillies during the time that they were starting to become respectable during the mid- nineties.
Wolf started the first game ever to be played at Citizens Bank Park back in 2004. He has always pitched well in his former home park and as a visitor, he sports a 1-0 record with 17 strikeouts with a 2.25 ERA in two games pitched.
The Phillies will counter with Joe Blanton who was picked up at the trade deadline in 2008 in the same fashion Cliff Lee was picked up this year. Blanton has seen postseason action as a Phillie last year as well as this season.
Blanton was used in the bullpen during the Colorado series, but with this being a best of seven contest it was expected that he would get a start. Joe had a very good and quite consistent year pitching for the World Champions. He went 12-8 in 31 starts and posted an ERA of 4.05. Having the run support which most Phillie pitchers have had this year, Blanton was able to pitch late into most games he started.
The Dodgers will have to put last night’s game behind them and try to forget not only the 11 runs the Phillies put on the board, but also the zero runs the Dodger hitters were able to produce.
The Phillies can beat you with the long ball everyday if given the opportunity. They are also getting great production from their six, seven, and eight hitters in the lineup.
For the Dodgers to even the series, Randy Wolf must find a way to quiet the Phillies hot bats and must find some of their own. Ethier, Kemp, Loney, and even Manny Ramirez have been relatively quiet in the first three games and these guys have to come alive or the Dodgers will have played their last game at Dodger Stadium this year.
With Cole Hamels and then possibly Pedro Martinez and Cliff Lee again looming on the horizon tonight is certainly a must win game for the Dodgers. On the other hand, the Phillies are confident they won’t be needing to go back to LA. The only way they want to see the west coast this postseason is if the Angels can come back from a 2-0 deficit against the Yankees.
Not publicly of course, but privately to a man the Phillies want to play the Yankees in the World Series. It means less travel and an opportunity to defend their world title against, who many fell is the best team in baseball.
Prediction: So far so good. I am 3-0 in this series and tonight I see the Dodgers rebounding from last night’s disaster and tying this series up at two games a piece. LA in a close one 6-4.