Big League Stew - MLB

Score and situation: Phillies 11, Dodgers 0, Philadelphia leads series, 2-1

Leading lads: About the only nit I can pick with the Phillies after is that their dominating win made the job of a blogger or reporter a lot harder than it should be. After all, exactly what or who do you lead your articles or takes with?

The early two-run triple from Ryan Howard(notes), who extended his playoff RBI streak to a record seven games and helped key an early dismissal of Dodger starter Hiroki Kuroda(notes)?

Or the continued brilliance of Cliff Lee(notes), who recorded three hits, 10 strikeouts and no walks over eight innings while moving his postseason record to 2-0 with a 0.74 ERA?

To settle the debate, I say we simply call all of 'em out for a curtain call while letting Howard and Lee come out at the end like it's opening night on Broadway. Every Phillie in the starting lineup scored a run en route to creating a nice tonic for that Eagles debacle in Oakland and the biggest NLCS margin of victory since Atlanta beat St. Louis 15-0 in '96.     

Head hangers: We already covered Kuroda's historic appearance (and how Jamie Moyer(notes) can relate), so let's nominate any Dodger batter not named Ronnie Belliard(notes) (one hit) or Manny Ramirez(notes) (two)? There probably aren't many lineups that would have beat Lee on a night like tonight, but the offensive failures have now spread over the last two games. Los Angeles is going to have to quickly shake it off for Monday's Game 4 or it's going to run the risk of flying back home to the offseason.  

Key play: Howard's triple that scored Shane Victorino(notes) and Chase Utley(notes) was not only great fun to watch — who knew the big man could move that fast? — it provided the quarter for the start of an amazing game of Phillie pinball at CBP.  

Key stat: Lee was extremely efficient, facing only two batters over the minimum.

What they're talking about: Our own Alex Remington posted the thought a few days ago, but the people in Philly will definitely shine a greater spotlight on the fact that Lee is making Cole Hamels'(notes) '08 postseason look like the work of a complete hack. Dodgers fans, meanwhile, will hope that the Dodgers can get all facets of their game back on track before Monday night or risk another five-game NLCS ejection from the Phillies.

What they're saying:

"It was one of those things where I had to make up my mind. Once I hit second, I was going for it." — Howard

"You never want to get your rear end kicked. But you don't toss and turn and wonder if you made the right move. It's still only one game and we're in position to tie the series tomorrow." — Joe Torre

What's next: Randy Wolf(notes) tries to even the series for the Dodgers in Game 4, which is scheduled for 8:07 ET. Joe Blanton(notes), meanwhile, gets the opportunity to put Philadelphia one win away from its second straight World Series trip. 

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