What Game 3 Means for the Phillies

It's just one loss, right? There's no need to press the panic button after one loss, right? That's probably the truth. The Phillies are still winning the NLCS two games to one, even after their 7-2 thumping at the hands of the Dodgers in Game 3 on Sunday night. They still only need two wins in the last four games to lock up their first World Series berth in 15 years. Still, the Phils shouldn't let that lead mask some serious concerns after three games.

Even with two hits from Ryan Howard last night, he and Jimmy Rollins still on have three combined on the series. Maybe Howard's starting to break out of his post-season slump, but I think I need to see more than a double and a single from the big man to be convinced he's back. And beyond that, Jamie Moyer and Brett Myers have now given up 11 earned runs in the last two starts for the Phillies. Their bullpen is good, but they're going to need either one of those two or Joe Blanton to step things up, because Cole Hamels can't win two games by himself with only one start left in the series.

All of this likely sounds an incredibly negative outlook for a team that's still up 2-1 in the series. It probably is. But it was hard to not get the sense that the series was swinging around significantly between the beating the Dodgers laid on Moyer and the brawl that took place after Shane Victorino watched a Hiroki Kuroda fastball sail over his head. They say that momentum is only as good as your next starter, so it's up to Joe Blanton to be the Phillies stopper. If he can do it, the Phillies should have the series on lock. If he can't, well, I don't think the Phillies want to think about that.

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