Two nights ago the Dodgers were one out away from tying their NLCS at two games each with Philadelphia until Jimmy Rollins did what money players do.
Down by a run in the ninth with two outs, Rollins lined a two-run double off All-Star closer Jonathan Broxton into the right-center gap to push the Dodgers onto the brink of winter.
“This is big,” Rollins said. “The pressure’s all on them. … We understand we still have a job to do. We look forward to trying to close it out.”
With a win tonight, Dodgers manager Joe Torre said the pressure reverts back to Philadelphia because the series would return to Los Angeles. Torre knows it is possible. While managing the Yankees in 2001, New York lost its first two games against Oakland in the ALDS, but ran the table to advance. Then, in 2004, his Yankees blew a 3-0 series lead and lost to Boston in the ALCS.
Game 6 Friday in LA is contingent on the Dodgers beating Cole Hamels, who has given up eight runs in 10 1/3 innings this postseason.
“Any time you hand him the ball, I think he’s capable of going out there and shutting the other team out,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said of Hamels, who is 5-0 with a 2.19 ERA in seven career starts against Los Angeles.
Vicente Padilla starts for Los Angeles, and his biggest obstacle is Ryan Howard, who has driven in at least one run in eight straight postseason games, and is 5-for-13 (.385) with two home runs, eight RBI in this series.