10/19/09 2:46 AM ET
Phillies Short Hops: Game 3
Lee, Howard fuel commanding victory over Dodgers
By David Gurian-Peck / MLB.com
The Phillies chased Hiroki Kuroda in the second inning and cruised behind another stellar effort from Cliff Lee to take control of the series. Frozen moment
Ryan Howard smoked a hard ground ball down the first-base line with runners on the corners in the first inning, and, to the delight of the Citizens Bank Park sellout crowd, kept motoring around the bases. The Big Piece wound up with his first career postseason triple. (He has 11 triples over his regular-season career.) Big number
7 -- Consecutive games in which Howard has notched an RBI, setting a Major League record for a single postseason. Lou Gehrig holds the mark over multiple years with eight. Game balls
Staked to an early cushion, Lee did not have to be phenomenal. But he was, allowing no runs, no walks and just three hits over eight innings. He struck out 10 and lowered his '09 postseason ERA to 0.74.
In addition to his record-setting two-run triple, Howard drove in another run in the fifth. He also made a strong throw -- a notorious weakness -- to turn a 3-6-3 double play in the second and is hitting .385 (10-for-26) this postseason.
Werth launched a two-run home run over the center-field wall to cap off the Phillies' four-run first inning. He homered twice against Colorado in the Division Series but had been hitless in the NLCS.
Sense of October
Carlos Ruiz walked, doubled, singled and drove in a run. The Phillies catcher is hitting .429 (9-for-21) this postseason and .625 (5-for-8) this series.
3 AB, 2 H, HR, 3 RBI, 2 R, 2 BB
Comment: The game was long decided before Victorino went deep in the eighth inning. Yet he punctuated the Phillies' biggest postseason victory and, more importantly, reached base four times. The Phillies thrive when he and Jimmy Rollins are getting on.
8 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 0 BB, 10 K
Comment: Lee's 10 strikeouts tied a Phillies postseason record. All told, he has allowed two earned runs over his three postseason starts (24 1/3 innings).
"We don't get too high and we don't get too low. And if we get knocked down, we can get back up, and we try to keep a level head. That's kind of who we are." -- manager Charlie Manuel
Joe Blanton, who has spent these playoffs pitching in relief, returns to the starting rotation Monday. He will try to bring the Phillies one win away from the World Series.
David Gurian-Peck is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.