The 2008 National League Championship Series (NLCS), the second round of the 2008 National League playoffs, was a best-of-seven baseball game series. The series matched the NL West Champion Los Angeles Dodgers against the NL East Champion Philadelphia Phillies, who had home field advantage for this series due to their better regular-season record. The teams split their season series, with the home team sweeping their two four-game series in August.
The Phillies won the series, four games to one.
This series marked the first postseason meeting for the Phillies and Dodgers since the 1983 NLCS, which Philadelphia won 3–1 en route to a loss to Baltimore in the World Series. It also marked the first NLCS for both teams since the Division Series was instituted in 1995. Overall, this was the fourth time these two teams had met in the postseason. Prior to the 1983 NLCS, the Dodgers had defeated the Phillies 3–1 in the NLCS during both the 1977 and 1978 post-seasons.
|2008 National League Championship Series|
|MVP||Cole Hamels (Philadelphia)|
|Umpires||Mike Reilly (crew chief), Jerry Meals, Mike Everitt, Ted Barrett, Mike Winters, Gary Cederstrom|
ESPN Latin America
|TV announcers||Joe Buck and Tim McCarver (Fox)|
|Radio announcers||Dan Shulman, Steve Phillips (Games 1–2) and Orel Hershiser (Games 3–5)|
Philadelphia won the series, 4–1.
|1||October 9||Los Angeles Dodgers – 2, Philadelphia Phillies – 3||Citizens Bank Park||2:36||45,839|
|2||October 10||Los Angeles Dodgers – 5, Philadelphia Phillies – 8||Citizens Bank Park||3:33||45,883|
|3||October 12||Philadelphia Phillies – 2, Los Angeles Dodgers – 7||Dodger Stadium||2:57||56,800|
|4||October 13||Philadelphia Phillies – 7, Los Angeles Dodgers – 5||Dodger Stadium||3:44||56,800|
|5||October 15||Philadelphia Phillies – 5, Los Angeles Dodgers – 1||Dodger Stadium||3:14||56,800|
|WP: Cole Hamels (1–0) LP: Derek Lowe (0–1) Sv: Brad Lidge (1)|
PHI: Chase Utley (1), Pat Burrell (1)
Derek Lowe and Cole Hamels faced each other at Citizens Bank Park for Game 1. In the first inning, Manny Ramírez missed a home run by mere feet to center field and settled for an RBI double to give LA a 1–0 lead, and later in the fourth, Matt Kemp scored on a sacrifice fly by Blake DeWitt. However, in the sixth inning, as Lowe was rolling, a throwing error by Dodgers shortstop Rafael Furcal put Shane Victorino on second base, apparently breaking the momentum for Lowe, who on the next pitch surrendered a home run to Chase Utley that tied the score. After a Ryan Howard groundout, Pat Burrell homered to left and put the Phillies out front 3–2, and that would prove to be the final score. Brad Lidge tossed a perfect ninth for the save.
|WP: Brett Myers (1–0) LP: Chad Billingsley (0–1) Sv: Brad Lidge (2)|
LAD: Manny Ramírez (1)
Philadelphia starting pitcher Brett Myers surprisingly batted 3-for-3 with three RBIs as the Phillies opened up an 8–2 lead on the Dodgers, chasing Dodgers starter Chad Billingsley in the third inning. Billingsley was also criticized for not retaliating for inside pitching by Myers, a response that would have to wait until Game 3 by Dodgers starter Hiroki Kuroda. The Phillies batted through their whole lineup in both the second and third innings, scoring four runs in each. Manny Ramírez made things closer with a three-run home run off Myers in the fourth, but in the seventh Casey Blake was robbed of a potential bases clearing hit in deep left center by a leaping Shane Victorino. Four Phillies relievers pitched scoreless baseball in four innings of work with Brad Lidge remaining perfect in save opportunities in the regular season and postseason. Before the game Charlie Manuel learned that his mother died, and Shane Victorino learned that his grandmother died the same day after the game.
|WP: Hiroki Kuroda (1–0) LP: Jamie Moyer (0–1)|
LAD: Rafael Furcal (1)
The first game at Dodger Stadium in the series, Game 3 saw a dramatic benches-clearing incident in the third inning, after Dodgers starter Hiroki Kuroda threw a fastball over the head of the Phillies' Shane Victorino. This came in apparent retaliation for Phillies starter Jamie Moyer hitting Dodgers catcher Russell Martin in the knee in the first inning and reliever Clay Condrey nearly hitting Martin again in the second, which came after Brett Myers nearly hit Martin and threw behind Manny Ramírez in Game 2. In a wild first inning, five Dodgers scored, mostly in part due to a three-run triple by Blake DeWitt, and Rafael Furcal homered in the second, his first home run since May 5, forcing Moyer to leave the game after just 1 1⁄3 innings. In the third inning confrontation, only words were exchanged and nobody was ejected, and Kuroda pitched a solid six innings to lead LA to a 7–2 victory over the Phillies, cutting their lead to 2–1. The attendance was 56,800, an all-time Dodger Stadium record.
|WP: Ryan Madson (1–0) LP: Cory Wade (0–1) Sv: Brad Lidge (3)|
PHI: Shane Victorino (1), Matt Stairs (1)
LAD: Casey Blake (1)
Game 4 was a seesaw battle between the two teams. The Phillies struck first; in the top of the first they collected three hits and two runs off Derek Lowe, who started on three days' rest. In the bottom of the inning, James Loney hit a ball off the center field wall to score Rafael Furcal and cut the lead to 2–1. Starter Joe Blanton began strong, but in the fifth inning gave up two runs and forced Charlie Manuel to go to his bullpen. In the sixth, the Dodgers' bullpen faltered first, when Clayton Kershaw gave up a walk and a hit, and Chan Ho Park threw a wild pitch to tie the game. In the bottom of the sixth, Casey Blake homered to left, and with two on, a throwing error by Ryan Howard allowed Juan Pierre to score. The inning ended when Chase Utley made a diving catch and stumbled to second base for the double play. Things looked great for the Dodgers until Cory Wade relieved in the eighth and Shane Victorino hit a two-run home run that landed in the visitor's bullpen to tie the score. Jonathan Broxton came in after Carlos Ruiz singled off Wade and promptly gave up another two-run homer to pinch-hitter Matt Stairs, the veteran's first career postseason homer. Brad Lidge then came in and pitched his first save of 2008 that consisted of more than three outs, his 49th consecutive save.
|WP: Cole Hamels (2–0) LP: Chad Billingsley (0–2)|
PHI: Jimmy Rollins (1)
LAD: Manny Ramírez (2)
Dodgers fans were psyched for a possible comeback in Game 5, but Jimmy Rollins spoiled the party early with a leadoff homer off Chad Billingsley, who in his second bad outing of the series was knocked out of the game in the third inning after giving up three runs. The Phillies added two more runs when Rafael Furcal committed three errors (two on the same play) in the fifth inning. Manny Ramírez, in another strong performance, did manage to bring the Dodger Stadium crowd to life with a home run in the sixth inning. However, the Dodgers never threatened after that, and the Phillies won the series in five games and their first pennant since 1993. Winning pitcher Cole Hamels was named the series MVP after winning both of his starts with a 1.93 ERA.
|Los Angeles Dodgers||7||2||1||5||2||3||0||0||0||20||43||5|
|Total attendance: 262,122 Average attendance: 52,424|
The 2008 Los Angeles Dodgers season featured the Dodgers celebrating their Golden Anniversary in Southern California under new manager Joe Torre as they won the National League West for the first time since 2004, and returned to the postseason after missing the playoffs in 2007. They swept the Chicago Cubs in the NLDS to advance to the NLCS. It was their first playoff series win since 1988 when they went on to win the World Series. However, they lost to the Philadelphia Phillies in five games in the NLCS.2008 in baseball
The following are the baseball events of the year 2008 throughout the world.2009 Los Angeles Dodgers season
The 2009 Los Angeles Dodgers season saw the team defend their National League West title while earning the best record in the National League, and marked the 50th anniversary of their 1959 World Series Championship. The Dodgers reached the National League Championship Series for the second straight season only to once more fall short in five games against the Philadelphia Phillies.2010 Philadelphia Phillies season
The Philadelphia Phillies' 2010 season was the 128th season in the history of the franchise. As the two-time defending National League champion—having appeared in the 2008 and 2009 World Series—the Phillies won their fourth consecutive National League East championship, and also finished with the best record in baseball. After sweeping the Cincinnati Reds in the NLDS, however, the team lost to the San Francisco Giants in the NLCS.Carlos Ruiz (baseball)
Carlos Joaquín Ruiz (born January 22, 1979), nicknamed "Chooch", is a Panamanian professional baseball catcher for Chiriqui in the Panama Major League. He formerly played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Philadelphia Phillies, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Seattle Mariners. During his time in the big league, Ruiz stood 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m) tall, weighing 215 pounds (98 kg). He batted and threw right-handed.
As a seven-year-old, Ruiz resolved to play in the big leagues after both his father and grandmother died within two weeks of each other. He made his way through the Phillies farm system from 1998 until 2006, playing at each level of Minor League Baseball (MiLB). Ruiz soon fulfilled his childhood dream, making his MLB debut with the 2006 Phillies. He battled adversity in his progression through the system, including feeling homesick, a position change, and the language barrier (he spoke Spanish, while most teammates and team officials spoke English).
Ruiz spent his first full season in MLB in 2007 and remained there until he left the Mariners, electing free agency after the 2017 season. In 2008, for his strong postseason performance, including a walk-off hit, during the Phillies playoff run that concluded with victory in the 2008 World Series, he earned the nickname "Señor Octubre" (Mr. October). Despite being one of the quietest players on the team, Ruiz was subsequently called the "heart and soul" of the Phillies; he serves as a constant source of encouragement and rebuke alike to his teammates. Over the following seasons, he was a part of the core group of players that led the Phillies to five consecutive playoff appearances, from 2007 until 2011.
Ruiz had his best season in 2012, holding a batting average of over .300, earning his first appearance in the All-Star Game, and finishing in the top 30 of the NL Most Valuable Player (MVP) voting. In 2013, he began the season with a 25-game suspension for using Adderall, and subsequently spent time on the disabled list, ultimately playing in fewer than 100 games for the first time in his MLB career.
Ruiz is the only player in the history of the NL to catch four no-hitters, and one of only two catchers in MLB (the other being Jason Varitek).Clayton Kershaw
Clayton Edward Kershaw (born March 19, 1988) is an American professional baseball pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers of Major League Baseball (MLB). A left-handed starting pitcher, Kershaw has played in the major leagues since 2008, and his career earned run average (ERA) and walks and hits per innings pitched average (WHIP) are the lowest among starters in the live-ball era with a minimum of 1,000 innings pitched. Kershaw has a career hits allowed per nine innings pitched average of 6.61—the second-lowest in MLB history—along with three Cy Young Awards and the 2014 National League Most Valuable Player Award. He has been described throughout the majority of his career as the best pitcher in baseball.Kershaw was drafted seventh overall in the 2006 MLB draft. He worked his way through the Dodgers' farm system in just one full season, and reached the majors at 20 years old. When he debuted in 2008, he was the youngest player in MLB, a title he held for one full year. In 2011, he won the pitching Triple Crown and the National League Cy Young Award, becoming the youngest pitcher to accomplish either of these feats since Dwight Gooden in 1985.
During the 2013 off-season, the Dodgers signed Kershaw to a franchise record seven-year, $215 million contract extension. Kershaw pitched a no-hitter on June 18, 2014, becoming the 22nd Dodger to do so. Being a left-handed strikeout pitcher and playing for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Kershaw has often been compared to Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax. He became the first pitcher in history to lead MLB in ERA for four consecutive years when he did so in the 2011 through 2014 seasons.Off the field, Kershaw is an active participant in volunteer work. He and his wife, Ellen, launched "Kershaw's Challenge" and wrote the book Arise to raise money to build an orphanage in Zambia. He has been honored with the Roberto Clemente Award and the Branch Rickey Award for his humanitarian work.I Love L.A.
"I Love L.A." is a song about Los Angeles, California co-written by Randy Newman and recorded by Newman. It was originally released on his 1983 album Trouble in Paradise. The hook of the song is its title, repeated, each time followed by an enthusiastic crowd cheering, "We love it!"Jonathan Broxton
Jonathan Roy Broxton (born June 16, 1984) is an American former professional baseball relief pitcher. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Kansas City Royals, Cincinnati Reds, Milwaukee Brewers and St. Louis Cardinals.Los Angeles Dodgers
The Los Angeles Dodgers are an American professional baseball team based in Los Angeles, California. The Dodgers compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the National League (NL) West division. Established in 1883 in Brooklyn, New York, the team moved to Los Angeles before the 1958 season. They played for four seasons at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum before moving to their current home of Dodger Stadium in 1962.
The Dodgers as a franchise have won six World Series titles and 23 National League pennants. 11 NL MVP award winners have played for the Dodgers, winning a total of 13 MVP Awards; eight Cy Young Award winners have pitched for the Dodgers, winning a total of twelve Cy Young Awards. The team has also produced 18 Rookie of the Year Award winners, twice as many as the next closest team, including four consecutive from 1979 to 1982 and five consecutive from 1992 to 1996.Matt Kemp
Matthew Ryan Kemp (born September 23, 1984) is an American professional baseball outfielder who is a free agent. He began his professional career in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization in 2003, and played with the Dodgers from 2006 until 2014. He also played for the San Diego Padres in 2015 and 2016 and the Atlanta Braves in 2016 and 2017 before returning to the Dodgers for the 2018 season, and briefly played for the Cincinnati Reds in 2019. He has been named to three All-Star teams and has won two Gold Glove Awards (2009 and 2011) and two Silver Slugger Awards (2009 and 2011).
The Dodgers selected Kemp in the sixth round of the 2003 MLB draft. After four seasons in the minor leagues, he made his major league debut in 2006. He did not become a full-time player until 2008, when he took over as the starting center fielder for the Dodgers. In 2011, Kemp led the National League in runs scored (115), total bases (353), OPS+ (171), WAR (7.8), home runs (39), and runs batted in (126). Additionally, he became the first player to finish in the top two in both home runs and steals since Hank Aaron in 1963.Matt Stairs
Matthew Wade Stairs (born February 27, 1968) is a Canadian former professional baseball outfielder, first baseman, and designated hitter, who holds the record for most pinch-hit home runs in Major League Baseball (MLB) history with 23. His pinch-hit home run in the eighth inning of Game 4 in the 2008 National League Championship Series off the Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Jonathan Broxton was called "one of the most memorable home runs in Phillies history".In his career, Stairs played for more teams than any position player in MLB history (12 — technically 13 teams, but 12 franchises, as he played for the Montreal Expos and Washington Nationals); Edwin Jackson holds the record for pitchers and all players at 14.He was the second Canadian-born player ever to hit more than thirty-five home runs in a season, and only the second to hit more than 25 home runs and drive in more than 100 runs in back-to-back seasons. He ranks either first or second in power hitting categories for Canadian major leaguers. Stairs also holds the all-time MLB record of home runs hit as a pinch-hitter with 23. His ability to pinch hit made him a valuable asset to several teams and earned him the nickname "Matt Stairs – Professional Hitter". Stairs, Larry Walker, Justin Morneau, Jason Bay, and Joey Votto are the only Canadian MLB players to hit at least 200 career home runs. On February 4, 2015, Stairs was elected to the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame.Philadelphia Phillies all-time roster (S)
The Philadelphia Phillies are a Major League Baseball team based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They are a member of the Eastern Division of Major League Baseball's National League. The team has played officially under two names since beginning play in 1883: the current moniker, as well as the "Quakers", which was used in conjunction with "Phillies" during the team's early history. The team was also known unofficially as the "Blue Jays" during the World War II era. Since the franchise's inception, 2,006 players have made an appearance in a competitive game for the team, whether as an offensive player (batting and baserunning) or a defensive player (fielding, pitching, or both).
Of those 2,006 Phillies, 187 have had surnames beginning with the letter S. Three of those players are members of the Baseball Hall of Fame: shortstop Ryne Sandberg, who played one season for the Phillies before being traded to the Chicago Cubs and converting to second base; right fielder Casey Stengel, who played for the Phillies during the 1920 and 1921 seasons and was inducted as a manager; and third baseman Mike Schmidt, who in 1983 was named the greatest Phillie of all time during the election of Philadelphia's Centennial Team. Schmidt is this list's only Hall of Famer to have the Phillies listed as his primary team, and is one of five members of this list to be elected to the Philadelphia Baseball Wall of Fame; the others are second baseman Juan Samuel, pitcher Bobby Shantz (inducted as a Philadelphia Athletic), pitcher Chris Short, and pitcher Curt Simmons. Schmidt holds numerous franchise records, including most hits (2,234) and most total bases (4,404), and is the only Phillie on this list to have his number retired.Among the 99 batters in this list, left fielder and pitcher Edgar Smith has the highest batting average, at .750; he hit safely in three of his four career at-bats with Philadelphia. Other players with an average above .300 include Monk Sherlock (.324 in one season), Jim Shilling (.303 in one season), Tripp Sigman (.326 in two seasons), Lonnie Smith (.321 in four seasons), Chris Snelling (.500 in one season), Bill Sorrell (.365 in one season), John Stearns (.500 in one season), Bobby Stevens (.343 in one season), Kelly Stinnett (.429 in one season), and Joe Sullivan (.324 in three seasons). Schmidt leads all players on this list, and all Phillies, with 548 home runs and 1,595 runs batted in.Of this list's 90 pitchers, four share the best win–loss record (1–0), in terms of winning percentage: Ben Shields, Wayne Simpson, Paul Stuffel, and Rich Surhoff. Short leads all members of this list in victories (132) and defeats (127), followed closely by Simmons in each category (115–110). Short's 1,585 strikeouts also lead, and he is followed by Curt Schilling's 1,554. The lowest earned run average (ERA) is shared by Surhoff and Jake Smith; each allowed no earned runs during their Phillies careers for an ERA of 0.00. Two other pitchers have ERAs under 2.00: Frank Scanlan (1.64) and Scott Service (1.69).Two Phillies have made 30% or more of their Phillies appearances as both pitchers and position players. In addition to Edgar Smith's batting notes above, he amassed a 15.43 ERA as a pitcher, striking out two. John Strike was hitless in seven plate appearances as a right fielder while amassing a 1–1 record as a pitcher.Rafael Furcal
Rafael Antoni Furcal (born October 24, 1977) is a Dominican former professional baseball shortstop. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Atlanta Braves, Los Angeles Dodgers, St. Louis Cardinals and Miami Marlins. With St. Louis, he won the 2011 World Series over the Texas Rangers.