LOS ANGELES – Chase Utley has officially ended his slump. I am making that decree. Sure, Utley could post a Golden Sombrero tomorrow night and spiral back into another funk, but based on the home run in Game 1, the four walks in Game 2 and the walk, smoked ground out to first and a double to left in the seventh, it appears as if the All-Star is back to being a threat.
Now all he needs is for the rest of the club to join him.
Ryan Howard got involved with a single to right, followed by an RBI single from Pat Burrell. After Burrell’s hit, manager Joe Torre decided Hiroki Kuroda was finished and summoned righty reliever, Cory Wade.
Torre brought Wade in to face the correct hitter in Jayson Werth, who has struggled at times against righties in the playoffs. Against Wade, Werth was punched out on a questionable check-swing call for the first out.
With two outs and runners on the corners, Charlie Manuel called on lefty Greg Dobbs to pinch hit for Carlos Ruiz. When Dobbs grounded out to short, the sell-out crowd here at Dodger Stadium let out a loud roar.
The Phillies could only get one.
A louder cheer was deserved for 12-year-old singer Ellie Smith, who nailed “God Bless America” and turned out one of the best “Star Spangled Banners” of the year.
But when they showed Tiger Woods on the jumbotron, the place really went nuts.
Does anyone cool go to Phillies’ games?
Meanwhile, Russell Martin’s body must look like a pin cushion right about now. With one out and the bases empty, Chad Durbin plunked him on the back with a curveball. Obviously, the umpires did not believe there was any intent with Durbin’s pitch because he wasn’t tossed from the game. Since warnings were issued to both clubs after Hiroki Kuroda tossed one over Shane Victorino’s head.
Nevertheless, the Phillies missed another chance.
End of 7: Dodgers 7, Phillies 2