Thursday, October 9, 2008

Dodger Daily Notes--NLCS Game 1

A RETURN TO THE LCS – The NL West Division Champion Dodgers will take on the NL East Division Champion Phillies in Game 1 of the NLCS. This marks the first NLCS game for Los Angeles since Oct. 12, 1988.

BASEBALL’S TWO HOTTEST TEAMS – Since Aug. 30 when the Dodgers started an eight-game winning streak, the team has posted a 22-8 (.733) record, including their three victories in the NLDS. That is the best winning percentage in Major League Baseball during that period, slightly ahead of the Phillies (22-9, .710).

► The Dodgers are 12-5 in their last 17 road games, including the NLDS.

A HISTORY WITH PHILADELPHIA – This series marks the fourth time that the Dodgers and Phillies will meet in the National League Championship Series. The two teams met in consecutive years in 1977 and 1978, with the Dodgers winning both best-of-five series in four games. In 1983, Philadelphia turned the tables and defeated the Dodgers in four games. Detailed recaps of those series appear on pages 183-187 of the Dodgers’ 2008 Postseason Guide.

LEFT HAS BEEN RIGHT – The Dodgers will face two left-handed starters in the first three games of the NLCS – Cole Hamels and Jamie Moyer. This season, the Dodgers went 31-21 against left-handers and batted .275 against them, compared to .260 against right-handers.

LOWE DOWN – Tonight’s starter, Derek Lowe, is the only Major League pitcher to win at least 12 games in each of the past seven seasons. Over his last 11 starts, including the NLDS, Lowe has gone 7-1 with a 1.41 ERA (11 ER/70.0 IP). In his career against the Phillies, Lowe is 4-1 with a 3.02 ERA and two saves in 11 games, including a 2-0 mark and 2.25 ERA at Citizens Bank Park, where he’s held batters to a .216 average.

► Lowe is 5-0 with a 0.85 ERA in his last seven starts and has not lost to the Phillies since 2001. STATS, LLC

INSIDE DODGERTOWN – The Dodgers have launched daily webisodes on, taking fans “Inside Dodgertown.” The four-minute vignettes are hosted primarily by Rick Monday and include exclusive footage, interviews, and behind-the-scenes access to the team and its players.

SEÑOR OCTUBRE – Manny Ramirez graces the cover of Sports Illustrated this week, his fourth SI cover and first as a Dodger. He has hit safely in 38 of his last 43 postseason games, with a .350 (57-for-163) average during that span. His teams are 58-40 overall in the postseason.

BIG GAME JAMES – James Loney has at least one hit in all four of his career postseason games, batting .333 (6-for-18).

► During the regular season, Loney went 12-for-32 (.375) with a team-leading five RBI against the Phillies. Loney has a .400 career mark (16-for-40) with a homer and seven RBI at Citizens Bank Park.

► Others to fare well against Philly in ’08 are Jeff Kent (.364, 4 RBI) and Matt Kemp (.324, 4 2B, HR)

THIS DATE IN DODGER HISTORY – On this date in 1988, Mike Scioscia tied Game 4 of the NLCS with a two-run homer in the ninth inning off Dwight Gooden before Kirk Gibson won it on a 12th inning homer. On this date in 2004, Jose Lima pitched a complete-game shutout in Game 3 of the NLDS.

KUO IN THE MIX – Southpaw Hong-Chih Kuo was added to the NLCS roster in place of Takashi Saito. Kuo had a 1.69 ERA as a reliever, the best mark in the National League and seventh best in the Majors. He held lefties to a .202 average during the year, including a .130 (3-for-23) mark since July 27.

BUILDING FROM WITHIN – Of the 25 players on the NLCS roster, 11 were drafted and developed by the Dodgers – Chad Billingsley, Jonathan Broxton, Blake DeWitt, Matt Kemp, Clayton Kershaw, Hong-Chih Kuo, James Loney, Russell Martin, James McDonald, Chan Ho Park, and Cory Wade. Andre Ethier was drafted by Oakland but reached the Majors for the first time with Los Angeles.

MANUEL LABOR – Charlie Manuel, a reserve outfielder with the Dodgers in parts of the 1974 and 1975 seasons, is the second former Los Angeles player to manage against the Dodgers in the postseason. Former Dodger infielder Willie Randolph managed the New York Mets against Los Angeles in the 2006 N.L. Division Series.

► Other Phillies with Dodger ties are coaches Milt Thompson and Davey Lopes, outfielders Jayson Werth and Shane Victorino and pitcher Rudy Seanez. Dodger players or staff with ties to the Phillies include coaches Larry Bowa, Mariano Duncan, and Ken Howell, injured catcher Gary Bennett, broadcaster Fernando Valenzuela, Chief Operating Officer Dennis Mannion and Premium Sales Executive Allyson Connolly.

BACK HOME IN L.A. – The Dodgers’ front office will watch tonight’s game from the Third Baseline Box Club at Dodger Stadium. In addition, the Dodgers’ Home Base Network is hosting a number of viewing parties in Los Angeles for Games 1 & 2 of the NLCS, with former Dodgers Kenny Landreaux, Rudy Law, and Bobby Castillo in attendance as well as a chance to win tickets to Game 4 at Dodger Stadium. To find one of the 15 local restaurants/bars that are part of the Home Base Network, please visit

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