The 2009 National League Championship Series (NLCS) was a best-of-seven baseball game series pitting the Los Angeles Dodgers against the Philadelphia Phillies for the National League Championship and the right to represent the National League in the 2009 World Series. The Phillies defeated the Dodgers four games to one. Los Angeles, whose NL-best 95–67 record topped Philadelphia's 93–69 record, retained home-field advantage. The series, the 40th in league history, began on October 15 and finished on October 21. TBS carried the championship on television.
The Phillies won the series, four games to one, advancing to the World Series for the second consecutive year. They were, however, defeated by the New York Yankees, 4–2.
This was the second consecutive NLCS between the Dodgers and Phillies and the fifth overall. The first two meetings were won by the Dodgers in 1977 and 1978, and the third by the Phillies in 1983; none of the three resulted in a World Series Championship by either team. The Phillies defeated the Dodgers in five games in 2008 en route to their 2008 World Series title. This match-up is the most frequent in the history of the NLCS (as of 2009) tied with the Pirates vs Reds.
In 2009, the Dodgers won the regular season series, four games to three, outscoring the Phillies 26–25.
Philadelphia won the series, 4–1.
Thursday, October 15, 2009 — 8:07PM (ET) at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California
James Loney gave the Dodgers an early lead with a solo home run in the second inning. Dodger starter Clayton Kershaw was solid through the first four innings, but the Phillies finally got to him in the fifth inning. The Phillies scored five runs that inning on a Carlos Ruiz three-run home run, and later a Ryan Howard two-RBI double. The Dodgers made up most of the deficit in the bottom half of the fifth, when Andre Ethier reached base on a Chase Utley throwing error that scored Russell Martin, immediately followed by a Manny Ramirez two-run home run. With the Phillies ahead by one run in the top of the eighth, Philadelphia outfielder Raúl Ibáñez padded his team's lead with a three-run home run off George Sherrill, his former teammate in Seattle. The Dodgers scored two runs in the bottom half of the eighth on Martin's RBI single and a Rafael Furcal sacrifice fly, but Ryan Madson shut down the eighth-inning rally and Brad Lidge, despite allowing a hit and a walk, pitched a scoreless ninth to earn the save.
Friday, October 16, 2009 — 4:07PM (ET) at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California
Game 2 featured a pitching duel between Vicente Padilla and Pedro Martinez; two pitchers who were not even on their respective teams' Opening Day roster. Martinez pitched seven innings of scoreless ball and Padilla nearly matched him with 7 1⁄3 of one run ball. The only run came on a Ryan Howard solo shot in the fourth. That RBI gave Howard six for the post-season which was tied for a record in the span of six post-season games. However, in the eighth the Phillies bullpen ran into trouble when Casey Blake singled to start off the inning and Ronnie Belliard bunted for a hit. On a 3–2 pitch Russell Martin grounded into a tailor-made double play to Pedro Feliz, but Chase Utley threw the ball away which allowed the Dodgers' first run of the game. It was Utley's second error in two games; he had just three in 156 games during the 2009 regular season. Later in the inning, with the bases loaded, Andre Ethier drew a walk which scored the go-ahead run to win the game for the Dodgers. Five relievers were used in the bottom of the eighth. Jonathan Broxton closed out the game and the Dodgers evened the series 1–1.
Sunday, October 18, 2009 — 8:07PM (ET) at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Philadelphia jumped out early against Hiroki Kuroda in the first from the two-run triple by Ryan Howard. The next batter, Jayson Werth, hit a two-run shot into the hedges behind the center-field fence. The Phillies added two more runs in the second from a two-run Jimmy Rollins double. They added two more runs in the fifth from a Pedro Feliz triple and a Carlos Ruiz single. Three more were added in the eighth thanks to a three-run homer by Shane Victorino. Pitcher Cliff Lee held the Dodgers to three hits and had ten strikeouts in eight innings of work. With the large lead in hand, Lee batted in the bottom of the eighth stroking a single and scoring on the Victorino home run, but he did not start the ninth inning.
Monday, October 19, 2009 — 8:07PM (ET) at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
The Phillies once again jumped out to an early lead in the first inning when Ryan Howard hit a two-run home run off Dodgers starter Randy Wolf. As a result, Howard tied Lou Gehrig's record of most consecutive posteason games with an RBI, at eight. The Dodgers tied the game in the top of the fourth inning when Phillies starter Joe Blanton allowed RBI singles to James Loney and Russell Martin. The Dodgers took the lead in the fifth inning on a Matt Kemp solo home run, and tacked on another run in the sixth on an RBI hit by Casey Blake to make it 4–2. Chase Utley answered in the bottom of the sixth with an RBI single of his own, cutting the Dodger lead to 4–3, which is where it would stand until the ninth inning. Jonathan Broxton, trying to work a four-out save for the Dodgers, retired Raúl Ibáñez to start the ninth inning. He then walked Matt Stairs and hit Carlos Ruiz. After a Greg Dobbs line out to third base, Jimmy Rollins stepped to the plate with runners on the first and second base with two outs. On a 1–1 count, Rollins hit a line drive into the right-center field gap, easily scoring pinch runner Eric Bruntlett and Ruiz, giving the Phillies a 5–4 walk-off win. It was later reported that Manny Ramirez hit the showers before the game was over.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009 — 8:07PM (ET) at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
The Dodgers took an early lead in the first inning after Cole Hamels gave up a solo home run to Andre Ethier. The Phillies would come right back in the bottom of the first after Jayson Werth deposited a three-run home run into the right field seats. The Phillies did not look back after taking the lead on their way to clinching the NL pennant with a 10–4 victory over the Dodgers in Game 5.
2009 NLCS (4–1): Philadelphia Phillies over Los Angeles Dodgers