It wasn't until Manny Ramirez's third at-bat that the sellout crowd at Citizens Bank Park finally chanted in unison. All game, even before pregame introductions on the field, Ramirez was lustily booed by the Phillies' faithful.
When he stepped to the plate in the seventh, Ramirez was drowned with chants of "You took steroids!" Cliff Lee struck out Ramirez on seven pitches.
After the game, a quiet Ramirez - who had two of the Dodgers' three hits last night - wasn't playing along with the fans' fun.
"Where did they get this crazy idea you took steroids?" a reporter asked Ramirez, who has denied using performance-enhancing drugs since his 50-game suspension earlier in the season. Ramirez sighed. "Next," he said.
Ramirez is the only Los Angeles hitter who showed life against Lee. He singled to lead off the second inning but was erased on an inning-ending double play by James Loney. He was also stranded in the fifth after a single.
Ramirez, who is 3 for 12 in the series, would not say the team is looking to him for the big hit. The Dodgers' offense has gone two games without an extra-base hit. "I don't know about my teammates," Ramirez said. "Ask them. I just go out and play my game."
And as for the Philadelphia crowd that serenaded him all night? "It was good," Ramirez said. "Pretty good, like always."
Billingsley takes one for team
Chad Billingsley went from starting Game 2 of last season's NLCS to long reliever in Game 3 of the 2009 NLCS.
Needing someone to chew up innings after Hiroki Kuroda lasted just 11/3, manager Joe Torre turned to the ex-ace Billingsley. Billingsley started 32 games for the Dodgers during the regular season but has been relegated to the bullpen during the playoffs with the emergence of Vicente Padilla.
Billingsley pitched 31/3 innings last night and allowed two runs. He struck out three and walked two. All told, the Dodgers used four relievers to clean up the mess started by Kuroda.
Torre said he has been around enough lineups to know when he can make changes and when he can't. During the regular season, he used 113 different batting orders. (In contrast, Charlie Manuel used 68 for the Phillies.)
So last night, when Torre inserted Ronnie Belliard into the No. 2 hole, he was comfortable with it even though Belliard had hit second just twice in his 24 games with Los Angeles.
"I've done it because you do it by feel," Torre said of juggling his lineup. "You know who you're facing, and you know who you want protected and who you want doing the protecting." Belliard went 1 for 4.
Forget and move on
Torre said blowout losses like last night are a little easier to forget than others.
"You never want to get your rear end kicked, there's no doubt about it," Torre said. "But these games, you don't toss and turn wondering, 'If I had made this move or that move.' This is one you can put away a lot quicker even though it's a lot uglier than most."