With two quick swings of the bat from Pat Burrell and Chase Utley in the sixth inning tonight, the Phillies turned a 2-0 deficit into a 3-2 lead. Cole Hamels and the Phillies' bullpen nailed down that lead and the Phils go to sleep tonight with a 1-0 lead in the NLCS. That's all well and good, but they're going to need three more wins to take this home. So what does Game 1 really mean to them?
I think a Game 1 win was much more important for Philadelphia than for LA in this series. Cole Hamels vs. Derek Lowe is definitely their most favorable pitching matchup and losing tonight with Chad Billingsley (definitely the Dodgers' best pitcher right now, no matter what you might have heard from Fox's broadcast view about Lowe during tonight's game) going tomorrow and three games in LA after. That's not a situation I'd want to be in.
All told, I still think the Dodgers have the overall advantage in this series, but the Phillies got a great jump on them tonight. Now they don't need Brett Myers to outpitch Billingsley to stay in the series. Instead, all of the pressure is now on the 24-year-old to keep the Dodgers out of a 2-0 hole. That's got to be a situation that the Phillies' big bats like. You can't win a series in one game, but having a 1-0 lead is always better than the alternative.