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NLCS Game 5: Dodgers @ Phillies (PHI leads 3-1), 8:07 PM

The Phillies will try to wrap up their 2nd consecutive NL Pennant tonight at home by defeating the Dodgers (again). Cole Hamels will be making his third start of the postseason, and the first two weren't much to write home about. In game 2 of the NLDS, Hamels allowed 4 runs in 5 innings. In his first game of the NLCS he also allowed 4 runs, only in 5.1 innings.

The Dodgers counter with Vincente Padilla, who is also making his third start of the postseason. Going in, if you'd been asked who would perform better in the playoffs, Padilla or Hamels, who would have picked? Would anyone have gone with Padilla? Probably not, but he's outpitched Hamels significantly. Between his two starts he has gone 14.1 innings, allowing 1 run on 8 hits with 10 Ks and 2 walks. A game in line with his last two would give the Dodgers a good chance to get back to Los Angeles to continue the series.

The Dodgers lineup, which was one of the better ones in the National League during the regular season, has completely tanked this series. Raphael Furcal has been totally useless, Manny Ramirez doesn't look like himself, neither does Matt Kemp. The Phillies have looked much better, especially Ryan Howard, Carlos Ruiz, and Shane Victorino.

I predict the Phillies take the series tonight despite Hamels' troubles so far.