Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Phillies Win NLCS

The Philadelphia Phillies defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-1 in Game 5 to win the National League Championship Series.

This marks the first time the Phillies have reached the World Series since 1993 when they fell to the Toronto Blue Jays when Joe Carter hit the walk off home run off Mitch Williams in Game 6.
It is the sixth time the Phillies have reached the World Series (1915, 1950, 1980, 1983 & 1993). Their only World Series title was in 1980 when they bested the Kansas City Royals in six games.

The Phillies took control of the NLCS in Game 1 when they came back from a 2-0 deficit on home runs by Chase Utley and Pat Burrell. Cole Hamels pitched seven strong innings with Brad Lidge earning the save.

In Game 2, the Phillies scored 4 runs in the second and third innings to take an 8-2 lead. Manny Ramirez would make it close with a three run home run in the 4th but Manny couldn't do it alone. Phillies won 8-5.

Their only loss was in Game 3 when the series went to Los Angeles. Phillies starter Jamie Moyer got tagged for six runs in just over an inning pitched. Dodgers won 7-2.

In Game 4, the Dodgers had a 5-3 lead into the 8th inning. But the bullpen gave up home runs to Shane Victorino and Matt Stairs. It gave the Phillies a 7-5 lead and they never looked back. It was nice to see a low key Canadian like Stairs have his moment in the sun after 17 years in the majors without a post-season appearance.

Tonight, Cole Hamels put in another dominant performance. It was enough for Hamels to be named the NLCS MVP.

As for the Dodgers they had a hell of a run in Joe Torre's first year at the helm. But I suspect Manny Ramirez will be in a Yankees uniform in 2009. The Dodgers didn't have to pay him in 2008 but will in 2009. Can the Dodgers afford $20 million?

The Phillies will face either the Rays or Red Sox in the 2008 World Series beginning on Wednesday. As of now, the Rays have a 3-1 lead in the ALCS. The Rays could clinch in Game 5 tomorrow night. I should note that I have been offered a ticket to this game and unless I am mauled by wolves I will be attending possibly the last game of the year at Fenway Park. It's do or die. Either way I'll be rooting for them until the last out.

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