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10/16/09 2:45 AM ET
Dodgers face uphill climb after L.A. loss
Phillies have chance to go home with 2-0 series lead
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
LOS ANGELES -- Outfielder Manny Ramirez and pitcher Vicente Padilla were dressed and out the clubhouse door less than 10 minutes after Thursday's Game 1 of the National League Championship Series. Perhaps they felt the Dodgers are going to need all the rest they can get in preparation for Game 2 on Friday afternoon. The Dodgers were thrilled about having the home-field advantage in the NLCS. Now they better use it or they are going to be in trouble, because the next three games after Friday are in Philadelphia.
The Phillies, being the defending World Series champions, have reason to have swagger. They also have no reason to be worried about playing in Dodger Stadium. They have now won seven of their last 10 games on the road over the past two years in the playoffs. They have won three of four at Dodger Stadium. "We like to play," Manuel said. "I mean, we always stay in the game, and we always play out the game. I say it over and over, we definitely come to play, and we focus on today's game. Now, we'll celebrate this one for a little while, and then we'll get ready to play tomorrow. " Dodgers manager Joe Torre expects his team to be ready after the short turnaround. He just wants to see his pitchers throw more strikes. His biggest lament after Thursday's loss was seven walks. "We gave away too much as far as the number of walks issued," Torre said. Or as Dodgers announcer Vin Scully said on the radio after the final out was recorded, quoting the comic strip Pogo from a long time ago, "We have met the enemy and they is us." Torre does know something about coming back from losing the first two games at home in a best-of-seven. The Yankees lost the first two games at home in the 1996 World Series against the Braves and came back to win the Series in six. In 1985, the Kansas City Royals lost the first two games of the World Series at home against the Cardinals and ended up winning in seven. The Mets did the exact same thing the following year against the Red Sox. So it can be done. It just hasn't been done often and not in the NLCS. The Dodgers would prefer not to test it at all. They worked all season for home-field advantage for the NLCS and would prefer Game 2 not be the last game played at Dodger Stadium in 2009. "The Phillies are good, we certainly respect what they've done, what they did last year and what they continue to do," Torre said. "But I just think the way we bounced back [Thursday night] ... I don't have any worries about my team's personality at this point in time. No, I'm not concerned about that."
DOWN TWO AT HOME
|2007||ARI||vs. COL||Lost 4-0|
|2002||STL||vs. SF||Lost 4-1|
|2000||STL||vs. NYM||Lost 4-1|
|1998||ATL||vs. SD||Lost 4-2|
|1995||CIN||vs. ATL||Lost 4-0|
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.