PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Eight years after they won a World Series in Philadelphia, Carlos Ruiz, Chase Utley, and Joe Blanton are playing key roles in trying to do the same in Los Angeles.
The three former Phillies have helped push the Los Angeles Dodgers to the 2016 National League Championship Series.
On Thursday night — the eight year anniversary of the famous Matt Stairs pinch-hit home run — the 37-year-old Ruiz pinch-hit for the 37-year-old Utley in the 7th inning of Game 5 of the NLDS against the Washington Nationals with runners on first and second base.
“This is why the Dodgers wanted to get Ruiz from the Phillies,” the announcer noted as Chooch stepped to the plate.
With the game tied, Ruiz laced a single to left plating the go-ahead run. The Dodgers went on to score two more runs in the inning, four total, and won the game 4-3.
Blanton, 35, has been one of the Dodgers’ most reliable relief pitchers. In Game 5, Blanton pitched a scoreless 1.1 innings throwing just 18 pitches (12 strikes). In four postseason appearances, Blanton is 1-0 and has allowed just one hit and one walk in five innings while striking out five.
In Game 4, facing elimination, Utley hit a clutch go-ahead single helping the Dodgers to a 6-5 win. In Game 3, Ruiz hit a pinch-hit home run. Ruiz is 2-4 with a home run and 3 RBI’s in three postseason games this season.
The Dodgers will face the Chicago Cubs in the NLCS, which begins Saturday at 8:00 p.m.