Phillies look like their old self with win over Dodgers
LOS ANGELES — Brad Lidge has regained that nasty slider. Ryan Howard and Carlos Ruiz are stroking big hits. Cole Hamels is winning postseason games without his best stuff.
Boy, this is looking real familiar for the Philadelphia Phillies.
Ruiz and Raul Ibanez hit three-run homers, reliever Ryan Madson got a key out and Lidge finished off the Phillies’ 8-6 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 1 of the NL championship series Thursday night.
‘‘We do have the talent and just that sort of fight, that we’re going to do everything we can to get those big hits in those big moments,’’ Hamels said. ‘‘Our offense is really what’s setting the tone.’’
Philadelphia took a 2-0 lead in last year’s best-of-seven NLCS, beat the Dodgers in five games and went on to win the World Series.
‘‘Well, they had our number today,’’ Dodgers catcher Russell Martin said. ‘‘Tomorrow is a different day, and last year is over with.’’
Manny Ramirez homered, but grounded out weakly with two runners on against a struggling Madson to end the Dodgers’ two-run rally in the eighth. Their 14 hits set a club record in a single LCS game, but they stranded 10 runners.
‘‘It’s like a prize fight, we just came up a little short,’’ Dodgers manager Joe Torre said.
Lidge worked around a single and a walk in the ninth, helped by a double play that made him for 3 for 3 in save chances this postseason — he posted three saves against the Dodgers in last year’s NLCS.
Lidge was perfect in save tries all last year, but led the majors with 11 blown opportunities this season.
‘‘The Dodgers are a great team. They come from behind a lot so you take everyone seriously,’’ he said. ‘‘Honestly, for some reason I’ve really been locked in this postseason. I felt really good mechanically. I feel like myself. I feel pretty comfortable right now.’’
Home runs dominated on both sides in a game that lasted 4 hours, 2 minutes. Ruiz highlighted a five-run burst in the fifth and Ibanez homered in the eighth for an 8-4 lead as the Dodgers failed to neutralize the Phillies’ left-handed hitting.