You'd think an early 3-0 lead with Roy Halladay throwing would make for a relatively painless game, but Monday night's 5-3 victory had its share of tense moments.
The Dodgers had two men on with one out in the bottom of the seventh, trailing the Phillies 4-1. Roy Halladay didn't have his best stuff all evening, but when Charlie Manuel walked to the mound following the walk to Casey Blake, Doc didn't want to come out.
It didn't matter what Halladay wanted on this occasion, as Charlie had already made up his mind and signaled to the pen for Antonio Bastardo to face Andre Ethier.
When they came back from the warm-up commercial break, Halladay was seen sitting on the bench, visibly upset, mouthing swear words to nobody in particular.
Bastardo missed on his first three straight pitches -- all close, but not on the plate. Ethier had a green light and was swinging at what could have very well been ball four. On the next pitch, he grounded to Jimmy Rollins who flipped it to Chase Utley over on to Ryan Howard to end the inning.
As Wheels said during the telecast, for all Roy Halladay does for this team, every once in a while you've got to pick him up. And they tried to do just that, but certainly didn't make it easy. Bastardo's double play ball was huge.
Stutes came in to pitch the eighth and didn't look sharp from the get go. He allowed a pair of singles, a run scored, had a throwing error, and recorded one out before Charlie yanked him in favor of Brad Lidge. The former closer had to make things interesting for old time's sake. Lidge walked Rod Barajas to put men on first and second with one out.
Pinch hitter Juan Rivera singled to left to score Aaron Miles and advance the tying run of Velez to second. That's when things got weird with Dee Gordon coming up to bat with the Phils still holding on to a slim 4-3 lead.
The Dodgers' speedster hit a slow chopper towards Chase Utley, who appeared poised to handle the ball cleanly when he was absolutely bulled over by Rivera on his way to second. With Utley never getting a chance to handle the ball cleanly, the play is ruled dead and Rivera is out. Velez was forced to go back to second. Lidge then made a fantastic fielding play complete with glove flip to Ryan Howard on a bunt attempt along the first base line by Tony Gwynn Jr to end the wild inning.
Shane Victorino golfed a homer, reminiscent of his beautiful jack in the 2008 NLCS, in the top of the ninth to push the Phillies cushion to 5-3 before Ryan Madson took over for the save attempt.
Madson gave up a single to Casey Blake to start, before getting Ethier to pop up to Martinez in foul territory followed by getting Kemp on strikes for two outs. Mad Dog's change up was working something nasty.
On the final pitch of the night, Aaron Miles bounced a ball in front of the plate which Chooch handled cleanly and threw down to Ryan Howard to secure the win for Roy Halladay, his 15th of the season, and send us Phillies fans to sleep happy.
How They Scored: Big Piece hit an RBI infield single in the first. J-Roll ripped a two-run double in the second. Howard delivered again in the 7th with an RBI double. And Victorino jacked his 12th homer in the ninth.