Phillies Steal Home Field Advantage

It wasn't easy and it wasn't always pretty, but the Phillies hung on for an 8-6 win over the Dodgers in Game One of the NLCS. That win gives them a 1-0 lead in games and shifts the home field advantage to the defending World Champions.

The script wasn't exactly right. It should have read Cole Hamels pitches seven strong innings, Ryan Madson throws the eighth and Brad Lidge closes it out with a one-two-three ninth.

Instead, Hamels struggled through 5 1/3 innings, Madson was hit around in the eighth, surrendering two runs and Lidge gave up a hit and a walk in the ninth. In the end though, the Phillies won, Hamels got the win and Lidge recorded the save, so it turned out to be a pretty good movie, after all.

Actually, if you take Madson's beating out of the mix, the Phillies bullpen gave the Phillies 3 2/3 shutout innings.

Offensively, Carlos Ruiz and Raul Ibanez each hit three-run home runs to pace the offense. Ryan Howard also delivered a key double to right field, which looked very much like the one he delivered against Colorado in the NLDS against Colorado.

Hamels allowed four earned runs, including a solo home run off the bat of James Loney and a two-run shot from Manny Ramirez.

The Phillies knocked Dodgers' starter Clayton Kershaw out after 4 2/3 innings. After Ruiz' home run gave the Phillies a 1-0 lead, Hamels drew a walk, but was forced out at second base on a ground ball by Jimmy Rollins. Back-to-back wild pitches moved Rollins to third and Chase Utley walked ahead of Howard's double that plated both runners as the Phillies extended their lead to 5-1.

Unfortunately, Hamels couldn't hold the lead and gave up a lead-off double to Russell Martin, who went to third one out later on a base hit by Rafael Furcal. Martin then scored on a ground out and Ramirez delivered his two-run shot to make it a 5-4 game. Hamels made it out of the inning, but then got into more trouble in the sixth and couldn't finish the inning.

The Phillies used six relievers after Hamels exited.

Game Two has Pedro Martinez, who hasn't pitched since September 30 going against former Phillie Vicente Padilla before the series shifts back to Philadelphia for Game Three Sunday night.

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