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Still Eight More Wins To Go

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Manny Ramirez and James Loney stare into their first playoff loss together. AP Photo/David J. Phillip

You can’t win them all.

The Dodgers lost last night’s game 3-2 on three mistakes in the bottom of the sixth inning: a throwing error by Rafael Furcal on a Shane Victorino infield grounder and two sinkerballs that stayed up over the plate for Chase Utley and Pat Burrell for homeruns.

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Other than that it was a spectacular performance by Derek Lowe who went 5 1/3 innings giving up those three run, two of which were earned, on six hits and two walks. At one point he had gotten 11 consecutive groundball outs on balls put in play. The first fly ball hit in the game by the Phillies was Jimmy Rollins’ fly ball out to left field to end the fifth inning.

The Dodgers led the scoring in the first inning on consecutive doubles by Andre Ethier and Manny Ramirez for a 1-0 lead. In the fourth inning Matt Kemp doubled, advanced to third on Casey Blake’s groundout and scored on Blake DeWitt’s sacrifice fly.

The alarming part of the Dodger offense was at the end of the game when it looked like panic set in. The batters who have been praised on their patience at the plate during the Cubs series seemed to lose some of that and forced the issue. The coaching staff should have this remedied by this afternoon's game.

All in all it was a great opening act (to steal the words of Vin Scully) for the NLCS. It was a tight game that was very well pitched. It's only one game, so it's not the end of the world.

For this afternoon's game Chad Billingsley will look to continue is dominating performance from game two of the NLDS. Being a strikeout pitcher, he will need to expand the strike zone while being careful not to leave any pitches up in the middle of the plate. As evidenced in game one, the Phillies will capitalize on any mistake thrown to them.

Meanwhile the Phillies will send Brett "I-Got-Drunk-and-Punched-My-Wife" Myers to the hill. Although he dominated the Brewers in game two of their series, he ended the season on a bad note giving up 14 earned runs in 8 1/3 innings. However in his last outing against the Dodgers in Citizens Bank Park, he went seven innings pitching a nine-hit shutout. The Dodger hitters will need to remember to be patient at the plate since they will get their opportunities to score against Myers.

Having lost game one could be a good thing for the Dodgers. Given the young player's tendency to be overconfident it will bring them back down to earth. They must not believe that every series will be as easy as the Cubs series.

So rest assured Dodger faithful. The Dodgers will win this game.