Thursday, October 16, 2008

World Series Bound

(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Your 2008 National League Champions!

The Phillies finished off the Los Angeles Dodgers last night, 5-1, in game 5 of the 2008 NLCS. With the win Philadelphia advances to the World Series, their first since 1993 and 6th all-time.

Jimmy Rollins got the game started with a lead off home run, his second of the post season, against Dodgers starter Chad Billingsley. The Phillies would add two more in the third to take a 3-0 lead. After Cole Hamles struck out, Rollins walked and stole second. Following a Jayson Werth strike out, Chase Utley walked. Ryan Howard then singled to right, scoring Rollins and movinh Utley to third. Pat ("The Bait") Burrell copied Howard with a single, scoring Utley and moving Howard to 3rd. The Phillies would add their final two runs in the fifth, with a little help from Dodgers SS Rafael Furcal.

(AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins hits a lead off home run, his second of the post season, off of Dodgers starting pitcher Chad Billingsley.

With Utley on 2nd and Howard on 1st, with one out, Burrell hit a gorunder to Furcal. Furcal misplayed it with his glove and then booted the ball. Utley headed for home. He scored safely because Furcal's throw home was way off target, his second error in 10 seconds. On the throwing error Howard and Burrell advanced a base. A sure-fire double play ball resulted in a run and two runners in scoring position. Furcal's blunders were not over. After Shane Victorino was intentionally walked and Pedro Feliz struck out, catcher Carlos Ruiz grounded to Furcal. Furcal rushed his throw to 1st and it bounced in the dirt in front of 1B James Loney, allowing Ruiz to reach safely and Howard to score. The inning would finally end with the Phillies leading 5-0. The only other scoring came in the bottom of the 6th. Free agent LF Manny Ramirez homered to right off of Hamels.

(AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Phillies second baseman Chase Utley scores in Wednesday night's NLCS game 5 after a throwing error by Dodgers shortstop Rafael Furcal, one of his three errors in the inning.

Hamels got through 7 innings, allowing 5 hits and 1 run while walking 3 and striking out 5. He was choosen as the NLCS MVP. Ryan Madson worked a strong 8th, allowing one hit and that was it. Up 4, Manuel decided to hand the ball to closer Brad Lidge to shut the door on the Dodgers season and catapult the Phillies to the World Series for the first time in 15 years. Lidge allowed a single to Loney before getting Casey Blake and Matt Kemp to fly out to center. Carlos Ruiz ended the game on a Nomar Garciaparra pop out in foul territory. Game over. 2008 NATIONAL LEAGUE CHAMPIONS.

(AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, Pool)
Phillies starting pitcher Cole Hamels was named NLCS MVP for his superb work in games 1 and 5.

What an amazing series. These current Phillies have written themselves in to Philadelphia sports lore; they will always be remembered. But how good will it be? Will they be remembered like the 1993 team or like the 1980 team? It's up to them to decide. They can become the biggest icons this city has had in 25 years. And that will last forever. Four more wins, boys. FOUR MORE.

(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Phillies center fielder Shane Victorino holds the Warren Giles Trophy, which is annually awarded to the National League champions.

FUN FACTS: The Phillies are 86-0 when leading after 8 innings (includes regular season and post season). ... Greg Maddux, who pitched 2 innings in last nights game and allowed 2 unearned runs, also pitched the last time the Phillies won the N.L. pennant, game 6 of the 1993 NLCS for the Atlanta Braves. ... Ryan Howard finally woke up in the last game of the NLCS. Howard went 3 for 4 with a walk in 5 plate appearnces. He had 1 RBI and also scored a run.

No comments: