Dodgers strike fast, knock Moyer out
The Dodgers really couldn’t ask for a better start than this. First, Hiroki Kuroda went swiftly through the top of the Phillies' order, aided by a Russell Martin throw to second base that caught Chase Utley on a steal attempt.
Then came the Dodgers' turn. Rafael Furcal led off by lashing a slider for a single. Then Andre Ethier singled and Manny Ramirez, who walked to the plate 18 for 53 with 21 RBIs against veteran pitcher Jamie Moyer, spanked a single that brought home Furcal. Dodgers up, 1-0. Just what they needed: getting on the scoreboard first.
The scoring continued in the first inning. Russell Martin was hit by a 76-mph change-up, sending him to first base. Nomar Garciaparra struck out. Casey Blake singled, scoring Ethier. Dodgers ahead, 2-0. After Matt Kemp struck out, up came Blake DeWitt. Had Moyer, the wily old veteran pitcher, found his range? He threw two strikes, then two balls. DeWitt dug in. Slider, DeWitt swung, and off of his bat went a low laser to the right-field corner, a triple that scored three more runs. Dodgers up, 5-0.
The Phillies scored a run in the second, but Furcal quickly countered with a home run in the bottom half. It's 6-1 Dodgers, and Moyer is out.
After two awful games in Philly, a better scenario for the Dodgers could not have been written than this, the same blueprint spelled out by our left-field friend, Ron Cervenka. Playoff baseball is a game that places a premium on riding momentum swings, and in one inning and a series of hard swings the Dodgers took a step toward getting the old mo’ back on their side for the first time in the NLCS.
-- Kurt Streeter
Photo: Dodgers second baseman Blake DeWitt watches his triple head to the right-field corner in the first inning Sunday. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times