Phillies display short memory
Game 2 loss quickly forgotten in romp over Dodgers
PHILADELPHIA -- On the long flight home from Los Angeles on Friday night, the Phillies talked about putting an excruciating 2-1 loss to the Dodgers behind them as quickly as possible.
"If we get beat, it's definitely put behind us and we look forward to the next day when we can get on the field and win," he said.
Granted, the best-of-seven National League Championship Series was even after two games, but the way the Phillies lost after a brilliant pitching effort by old folk Pedro Martinez cut deep.
In short, even though the Phillies were playing in cozy Citizens Bank Park on Sunday night for the first time since Oct. 8, they were ripe for the picking.
It didn't happen.
They destroyed the Dodgers, 11-0, vaulting to a 4-0 first-inning lead before many in the sellout crowd of 45,721 found their seats on the bitter cold night.
The temperature was 46 degrees when Cliff Lee delivered his first pitch and the biting wind made it feel even colder.
It was the worst setback in the postseason for the Dodgers since they were routed by the Chicago White Sox, 11-0, in the opener of the 1959 World Series.
It remains to be seen how devastating this loss will be for Los Angeles. Often losing by such a lopsided score is easier to come back from than a close loss -- like the Phillies' on Friday.
The Dodgers won that '59 World Series in six games.
"You never want to get your rear end kicked," said Dodgers manager Joe Torre. "But this is one you can put away a lot quicker even though it's a lot uglier than most."
Manuel, shedding his uniform an hour after Sunday's final out, muttered the same theme: "This was just one game, one win. We have to continue what we did tonight."
That said, the manner in which his team attacked the Dodgers satisfied Manuel.
The Phillies are enormously successful when the top third of their batting order gets on base.
The plan was to put Friday behind as quickly as possible and send a strong message to the team which had the best record in the NL during 2009.
"That's what we talked about -- having the right attitude and being resilient," Manuel said.
In the 2-1 loss on Friday caused by a bizarre eighth inning and Chase Utley's throwing error on a would-be double play, the top third of the order was 1-for-12. Utley's first-inning single made him the only baserunner in that trio.
Sunday night through four innings, the top three had been on base six times.
With one down in the first, Shane Victorino and Utley singled and raced home on Ryan Howard's booming triple to the right-field corner. Jayson Werth followed with a two-run homer.
Victorino put the finishing touches on the night with a three-run homer in the eighth inning. Utley ripped a single for the 11th and final Philadelphia hit.
"It was definitely important to put that loss [Friday] behind," said shortstop Jimmy Rollins, who doubled home a run in the second inning. "Having the day off [Saturday] helped. It also helped to have a change in scenery, to come home. You know you're going to lose games and hate to lose them that way. But a loss is just a loss. Try to win the next one."
Werth said, "We have a saying for J-Roll: 'You go, we go.' He and Shane at the top of the order set the tone. Those are two guys that can wreak a lot of havoc on the basepaths. Like I said, those two guys set the tone for our offense. You get them on, you're in good shape."
Manuel said when the top of the lineup gets on, the Phillies score runs.
"If you want to score runs, you've got to get them on base," Manuel said. "What they did tonight is what this team's all about. That's how important the top of the order is for us."
Manuel said the speed of Rollins and Victorino is important.
"We can make a lot of things happen when they get on. It's that simple," Manuel said.
The Phillies sent Dodgers starter Hiroki Kuroda to the showers after just an inning and a third.
In the 1983 NLCS against the Phillies, starter Bob Welch lasted only an inning and a third. Philadelphia won that game, 7-2, and went on to win the series and go to the World Series.
"Today is one of those games," said Torre. "You know, they scored 11 runs, but they only beat us once. So, that's good news for us."
Or, as Manuel put it: "We'll celebrate tonight, and once we leave here we'll start thinking about winning tomorrow.
"That's how we play."
Hal Bodley is the senior correspondent for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.