9th Inning Heroics Send Phils to NLCS

Vengeance: as cold as the Rocky Mountains. The Phillies showed why they are the best come-from-behind team in the majors last night in their 5-4 win over the Rockies, lifting them into an NLCS rematch versus the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Cliff Lee was once again stellar in his second start in the playoffs, going 7.1 innings and allowing three runs, one earned. After walking Deter Fowler, Todd Helton hit a soft grounder to Chase Utley, who attempted to place a tag on Fowler. Instead, Fowler jumped over Utley and was safe at second after Jimmy Rollins failed to hold onto Utley’s flip. Ryan Madson came in to the game and this is when the wheels fell off.

Ben Francisco also entered because it was a double switch and played left field in place of Raul Ibanez. Troy Tulowitzki hit a shot to left but Francisco made the incredible diving catch. With two outs now, Jason Giambi hit an RBI base hit to tie the game and Yorvit Torrealba hit a two-run double to right center that put the Rockies up 4-2.

Everyone was writing this game off and Cole Hamels was probably mentally preparing for game 5 but the Phillies offense told Cole to start doing his home work on the Dodgers. After Greg Dobbs pinch-hit for Francisco and struck out, Rollins redeemed his error with a base hit. Shane Victorino then hit a ground ball that got Rollins out but Victorino’s hustle kept the Phillies alive. Victorino then stole second and Utley drew the walk.

Up to the plate came Ryan Howard, aka Mr. Red October. He sent a shot well over the head of right fielder Carlos Gonzonlez that scored both Victorino and Utley to knot the game up at 4. The Jayson Werth continued his hot bat with an RBI base hit that scored Howard to put the Phillies on top 5-4.

Scott Eyre started the 9th and got into a bit of a jam. With two outs and runners on 1st and 2nd, Brad Lidge entered the game with a one run lead. While listening to “Soldier” by Drowning Pool, Lidge’s entrance song of 2008, I watched as he struck out Tulowitzki on his patinent slider to end the game.

I will post a series preview of the Phillies vs Dodgers series either tonight or tomorrow. They first play on Thursday at 4:07 EST. Hamels will be the game 1 starter.

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