PHEWWW: Phils Trump Dodgers 8-6 In Game One

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[Photo by Chickie’s & Pete’s / PLAY²]

NEW YORK TIMES: LOS ANGELES — The how-to guide to beat the Philadelphia Phillies is shrinking by the day. It says to attack them with left-handed pitchers, so that was what the Los Angeles Dodgers did. It recommends knocking out their starter early, turning the game over to the bullpen, the underbelly of their pitching staff. The Dodgers did that, too. All they have to show for their strategy is an 8-6 loss Thursday night, a game that burnished the Phillies’ reputation as one dangerous, if delightfully unpredictable, team. In Game 1 of this National League Championship Series, Philadelphia scored all its runs, including two three-run homers, off left-handed pitching; relied on Chan Ho Park, pitching for the first time in a month, to flummox the heart of the Dodgers’ lineup in a pivotal seventh inning; and sweated through a shaky eighth and ninth that Ryan Madson and Brad Lidge nevertheless completed without ceding the lead. Replaced as closer only two weeks ago, Lidge has saved the Phillies’ last three victories, all on the road. MORE

eskins2.jpgALSO: It wasn’t the first time Howard Eskin had blown up at me, though it was the first time he’d called my boss to complain. We’ve had at least three phone conversations since I’ve known Eskin, two of which have ended with his hanging up in mid-sentence. (I tried to reach him for this column, but he never got back to me.) Maybe he’s frustrated. It’s been tough for Howard lately. His ratings dipped, forcing him to look up at ESPN’s Mike Missanelli (Eskin’s longtime antagonist and former radio partner.) Then his ego took another blow when he was saddled with a cohost. The last part is sort of amusing. For months, Howard denied he was getting a partner, even though people at the station kept telling me it was inevitable because of his declining ratings. […] Eskin was apparently upset that I called him a “hirsute curmudgeon” in a recent column, which still seems factually correct. He even criticized the language I employed, saying that 90 percent of the population wouldn’t know what that means. Don’t take it personally, dear reader. I have a much higher opinion of your vocabulary. MORE

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