10/10/08 12:11 AM ET
Phillies Short Hops: Game 1
Utley, Burrell tag team Dodgers with power, behind Hamels
By Michael Schwartz / MLB.com
Chase Utley's two-run homer tied it, and Pat Burrell's solo shot put the Phillies up for good to back another Cole Hamels gem.
When Utley jumped on a first-pitch fastball and launched it deep to right field in the sixth, the ball seemed to hang in the air for hours before finally landing in the seats to tie the game.
83-0 -- The Phillies' record when leading after eight innings this year after Brad Lidge closed down the ninth with a scoreless inning to remain perfect in save opportunities. Game balls
His home run was the deciding factor in a game dominated by pitching.
Utley's long ball changed the momentum of the game, as a contest that seemed to be setting up perfectly for Los Angeles' stellar bullpen all of a sudden was tied.
Going into the series, Hamels was regarded as being the top starter in an NLCS featuring a number of quality starting pitchers, and he proved his worth in Game 1 by just barely outdueling Los Angeles' Derek Lowe.
Sense of October
The scene at Citizens Bank Park was the definition of "playoff atmosphere" in the sixth, when Burrell nailed his go-ahead homer, with white towels waving throughout the stadium punctuated by the noise of 45,839 screaming fans.
4 AB, 2 H, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 R
Comment: Utley helped beat the team he grew up rooting for with a game-tying two-run homer in the sixth.
7 IP, 2 R, 6 H, 2 BB, 8 Ks
Comment: Hamels lived up to his ace billing after some early scuffles to set the tone for the NLCS, just like he did in the NLDS.
"I think any time in a playoff, when the round starts, like a first round, second round or even when you go to the World Series, first game definitely becomes important. I mean, that's huge. But you still have to win four games, and tonight, you know, like we played a good team and we played very good and we came away with a victory, and now we've got to concentrate on winning tomorrow." -- Manager Charlie Manuel
Brett Myers will get the call in Game 2, looking to give the Phillies a commanding 2-0 lead before the series shifts to Los Angeles.
Michael Schwartz is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.