Monday, October 13, 2008
Phils Take 3-1 Series Lead
As the 8th inning began, I started preparing for today's blog. The theme of the post was that the Phils just weren't good enough last night. I had plenty of examples too: Joe Blanton's average-at-best starting job, Ryan Howard's defensive ineptitude, Chad Durbin's missing right arm, So Taguchi playing in the game, etc. But with one swing of his bat, the Flyin' Hawaiian dramatically changed the theme of this post and the state of the 2008 NLCS.
After the events of Game 3, it was poetic justice that Victorino was able to round the bases and enter the dugout clapping and cheering as the Dodger fans looked on in stunned silence, their pathetic boos of moments earlier just an insignificant memory. As Chase would say, "Boo? F*ck you."
Do you think anyone in the Dodgers dugout is complaining about Chavez Ravine and its "bandbox" dimensions after Victorino's linedrive homer cleared the rightfield fence? I'm being facetious, of course, but it is worth noting that homers that barely clear the fence happen at all parks. Homers that go about 600 feet happen in all parks also. Speaking of Matt Stairs' homer, I'd love to know where that thing landed. Unconfirmed reports have it touching down in a grocery store parking lot in El Segundo during the 9th inning...
When asked about his approach to the at-bat, Stairs had this to say, "I try to hit home runs, I'm not going to lie. I go up there and swing as hard as I can. I'm not going to single and steal second base."
I think I'm in love...
Hats off to three other players for some key performances:
1) Chase Utley for his unassisted double play in the 6th winning, when the Dodgers had the bases loaded and were threatening to blow the game wide open. If he doesn't make that play, the series is tied 2-2.
2) Carlos Ruiz for his two out hit in the 8th. At the very least, it would have allowed the Phils to lead off the ninth with the top of the order, but we all know how big that hit really turned out to be. Matt Stairs got a shot with two outs to swing from his heels, and the rest is playoff history...
3) Brad Lidge for getting his first four out save of the season. Up until last night, Lidge not pitched in the 8th and 9th to get a save. He made the 8th interesting, but set the Dodgers down in order in the latter to seal the win.
Tomorrow: a preview of Game 5 as the Angryville Angries look to book their ticket to the World Series.