10/15/08 11:13 PM EST
Dodgers Short Hops: Game 5
Billingsley's short night, Furcal's fumbles end season
By Kevin Horan / MLB.com
Another rough outing by Chad Billingsley and three fifth-inning errors by Rafael Furcal opened the door for the Phillies to take a commanding lead.
The Dodgers had a chance to squash a Phillies rally in the fifth, but Furcal couldn't field what may have been an inning-ending double-play ball. Furcal's problems continued when his throw sailed wide of catcher Russell Martin, allowing Chase Utley to score and Ryan Howard to move up to third base.
2 2/3 -- Billingsley turned in only 2 2/3 innings Wednesday night, unable to make it out of the third inning for the second time in this National League Championship Series. His three runs on four hits Wednesday night followed a Game 2 performance in which he allowed seven earned runs on eight hits. The right-hander's struggles in the NLCS followed what had been a solid regular season, with his 16 wins leading the Dodgers pitching staff. Game balls Manny Ramirez
The scorching left fielder accounted for Los Angeles' only run Wednesday night, a sixth-inning home run. Aside from that, Ramirez reached base in all but one of his at-bats in Game 5. It couldn't have been much of a surprise, given Ramirez's overall performance in the NLCS, which included a .533 batting average (8-for-15).
The 23-year-old reliever made his Major League debut less than one month ago, but has shown plenty of poise on the mound. McDonald turned in two solid innings Wednesday night, holding the Phillies scoreless on one hit.
The center fielder struggled at the plate in the first two games of the NLCS, but was solid through the last few games, contributing two hits Wednesday night.
Even though the Dodgers found themselves trailing from the outset, the Dodger Stadium crowd never lost its intensity. The fans were especially loud after Casey Blake and Kemp led off the fifth inning with back-to-back singles and after Ramirez blasted a two-out homer in the sixth.
3 AB, 2 H, 1 HR, 1 BB
Comment: The left fielder had quite a postseason and put a cap on it Wednesday night.
2.2 IP, 3 R, 3 ER, 4 H, 4 BB, 4 K
Comment: The right-hander struggled for the second start in a row.
"I basically just told them I was proud to be their manager. This was an up-and-down year. I think they learned a lot. I think they learned to come together." -- Dodgers manager Joe Torre, as told to FOX
Kevin Horan is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.