Last night, the road-ready Phillies toppled the Dodgers 8-6 in NLCS Game One, grabbing home-field advantage as the Phils pitchers stranded a bunch of Dodgers runners. Heck, even Brad Lidge did some stranding and came away with a save. Here are the three most important folks from the game last night, as decided by a panel of seventeen judges from all walks of life:
- Chan Ho Park: Look at that handsome beard! Park did his best Mariano Rivera impression, entering the game in the 7th inning with a runner on and nobody out and retiring all three batters he faced with hot hot heat. Manny Ramirez, Matt Kemp, and Casey Blake, the heart of the Dodgers lineup, were eliminated one-two-three, ground out, strikeout, ground out. In fact, Park's beard outshone Blake's beard on the night; Park had his big shutdown inning while Blake went 0-for-5 and left four gentlemen on base. Chan Ho really made our American taco pop.
- Carlos Ruiz: The Phillies catcher put the team on the board in the fifth with a three-run dong that should have informed Dodgers manager Joe Torre that Clayton Kershaw was in trouble. Torre left Kershaw in the game and the Phillies plated two more runs on Ryan Howard's double. Ruiz ended the night with two hits and a walk to go along with his would-be knockout punch and tidy three RBI. More importantly, Ruiz handled every pitch that came his way, unlike his Dodgers counterpart J. Russell Martin who could not get a handle on Clayton Kershaw's three wild pitches in the fifth inning, an LCS record.
- George Sherrill: The former Orioles reliever gave up the three-run tater tot to Raul Ibanez in the top of the eighth inning that negated the Dodgers small rally in the bottom half. It was said that the Dodgers would be better served having a "second closer" in Sherrill to set up big boy closer Jonathan Broxton. Instead, Sherrill walked two fellas before
grooving a fastballleaving a curveball hanging and giving up the blast. The Dodgers could have recovered from down 5-4 but not 8-4.