The Phillies flexed their muscle with three-run homers by Carlos Ruiz and Raul Ibanez, along with a two-run double by Ryan Howard, in capturing the first round of the Championship Series 8-6
Here's the 10-cent version of what we just watched: Chooch is big-time, baby. Big time. What a huge moment that was, opening up and belting that high fastball to break the back of Clayton Kershaw, who had been dominant through the first four. What a clutch player Chooch has become, and what a weapon for the Phils batting out of the eight-hole. There's nowhere to hide if you're facing this lineup. Mix in a couple of superb at bats by Ryan Howard, plus, Ibanez continues to have one hell of a postseason, churning out the RBIs like a machine. What a great moment that was, too, coming against big, bad George Sherrill, who laid a giant egg this game. Pitching-wise, Cole Hamels gets the win, Brad Lidge gets the save, but Chan Ho Park delivered the single-best effort out of any Phillies' pitcher used tonight. Not to minimize the work of the pitching staff, but this one belonged to the Phillies' hitters. Now the pressure falls on Vicente Padilla and the Dodgers to salvage Game 2. You gotta love it.