Ramirez, Kuroda Lead NLCS Stats

Manny Ramirez and James Loney hit .533 and .438 and starters Hiroki Kuroda and Derek Lowe both had sub-3.00 earned run averages to lead the Dodgers' final accounting for the NLCS. Nomar Garciaparra posted a .429 average in limited action and Matt Kemp finished with a .333 mark. Relievers James McDonald, Greg Maddux, Chan Ho Park and Joe Beimel didn't allow an earned run.

The team statistics were so remarkably similar despite the Philadelphia's 4-1 win. The Dodgers hit .261, Philadelphia .266. L.A. managed 43 hits, Philadelphia 45. The Phillies outscored the Dodgers 25-20, had 22 RBI to 19 for the Dodgers and both teams had 12 extra-base hits.

The was the difference the pitching?

The Phillies did have a 3.89/4.40 earned run average advantage but the teams were close in hits allowed, walks and strikeouts.

One could also point to the 0-2, 18.00 mark starter Chad Billingsley posted. Or the 4.50 ERA for relievers Kershaw and 4.91 for Cory Wade.

Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp, who finished in the top three on the team in batting average, home runs and runs batted in during the season, couldn't manage a home run or a run batted in during the entire series. Ethier hit .227, Rafael Furcal .211, Russell Martin .118 and Blake Dewitt .077 despite the young second baseman finishing second only to Manny Ramirez's seven runs batted in.

A closer look shows that the Dodgers offensive attack was predominantly due to Ramirez's heroics, with excellent support from James Loney. Philadelphia though so, too, because Manny was walked seven times to give him an on-base percentage of .685. He also had seven of the Dodgers 20 runs batted in, a full 35%.

One might conclude that the Dodgers offense was concentrated too much in too few players. Adding DeWitt's five RBI, the two of them combined for 60% of the L.A. offense. Four Dodgers knocked in more than one run. Philadelphia, on the other hand, had eight players with more than one run batted in.

A check of the pitching department shows Cole Hamels with two wins, a 1.93 ERA and 13 strikeouts in 14 innings with rest of the Philadelphia starting staff recording a horrible 11.15 earned run average.

It seems obvious that in a short series, if you have a top #1 starter and a remarkable bullpen (Phillie relievers worked 18 innings and allowed only two runs for a 1.00 ERA), you have the makings of a post-season winner.

Their relievers held the Dodgers scoreless in the seventh, eighth and ninth during the five-game series.

To sum up: A knockout starter (Hamels) is worth more than an overpowering batter (Ramirez) when you are fighting in playoff territory. Whether Connie Mack said it or not, the premise is pretty close: "Good pitching will stop good hitting every time."

2008 National League Championship Series

 Score by innings
Philadelphia		356 024 140-25
Los Angeles		721 523 000-20

 Batting	 ave   obp   slug gm  ab  r  h  2  3 hr bi  sb
Pierre		.667  .667  1.000  1   3  3  2  0  0  0  0  0-0 
Ramirez		.533  .682  1.067  5  15  4  8  2  0  2  7  0-0
Loney		.438  .526   .563  5  16  0  7  2  0  0  2  0-0   
G'Parra		.429  .500   .429  4   7  0  3  0  0  0  1  0-0  
Kemp		.333  .424   .400  5  15  1  5  1  0  0  0  0-1
Blake		.263  .333   .421  5  19  2  5  0  0  1  2  0-1
Lowe		.250  .250   .250  2   4  0  1  0  0  0  0  0-0
Ethier		.227  .261   .273  5  22  5  5  1  0  0  0  0-0
Furcal		.211  .318   .368  5  19  5  4  0  0  1  1  0-0
Martin		.118  .318   .118  5  17  3  2  0  0  0  1  1-0
DeWitt		.077  .133   .231  5  13  0  1  0  1  0  5  0-0     
Kent		.000  .000   .000  5   8  0  0  0  0  0  0  0-0
Kuroda		.000  .000   .000  1   3  0  0  0  0  0  0  0-0
Berroa		.000  .000   .000  2   1  0  0  0  0  0  0  0-0
Billingsley	.000  .000   .000  2   1  0  0  0  0  0  0  0-0 
McDonald	.000  .000   .000  2   1  0  0  0  0  0  0  0-0
Ozuna		.000  .000   .000  1   1  0  0  0  0  0  0  0-0
 Totals		.261  .363   .388  5 165 20 43  7  1  4 19  1-1
 Phil		.266  .340   .402  5 169 25 45  6  1  5 22  2-2

 Pitching		w-l   era   gm  gs   in    h  bb  so
McDonald	0-0   0.00   2   0   5.1   3   2   7
Park		0-0   0.00   4   0   1.2   1   1   1
Maddux		0-0   0.00   2   0   3.0   3   1   3  
Beimel		0-0   0.00   3   0   0.2   0   3   0
Kuroda		1-0   3.00   1   1   6.0   5   1   3
Kuo             0-0   3.00   3   0   3.0   2   0   3
Lowe		0-2   3.48   2   2  10.0  12   4   6
Broxton		0-0   3.86   2   0   2.1   3   1   2   
Kershaw		0-0   4.50   2   0   2.0   1   2   1
Wade		0-1   4.91   4   0   3.2   3   0   2  
Billngsley	0-2  18.00   2   2   5.0  12   7   9
  Totals	1-4   4.40   5   5  43.0  45  19  37
  Phil		4-1   3.89   5   5  44.0  43  25  42

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