Monday, October 06, 2008

Phils Advance to NLCS

The Phillies powered past the Milwaukee Brewers by a score of 6 - 2 yesterday to win their best-of-5 game series with the Brew Crew 3 games to 1. The Phils advance to meet the LA Dodgers, who swept the Cubs in their NLDS series last night.

Phils starter Joe Blanton pitched 6 strong innings, giving up 1 run on 5 hits and striking out 7. The Brewers hitters continued to be patient, running several deep counts with Blanton, but Blanton was able to get the outs when he needed them. Blanton did come out to pitch the 7th inning, but after two straight hits (one of them a Prince Fielder homer), Ryan Madson came on to relieve Blanton. Madson did give up a run, but at the point of the game that Madson entered, the Phils were up by a score of 5 - 1, so Madson was simply collecting outs to get the game to Brad Lidge.

Offensively, the Phils came out of the gate swinging, getting a homer from Jimmy Rollins to lead off the game. Seeing your team down a run before you even get to your seat can be terribly debilitating to a fan and that is what Rollins' lead off homer was able to accomplish.

The big blow, offensively, came from the bat of Pat Burrell. Burrell, who had been struggling coming into this game, came to bat in the bottom of the 3rd, with 2 on and 2 outs. Burrell took a 2 - 2 offereing from Jeff Suppan and drove it to left center field for a 3-run home run that effectively broke open the game and gave the Phils a 4 - 0. Jayson Werth followed up Burrell's homer with a solo shot of his own to extend the lead to 5 - 0.

As an encore, Burrell hit yet another homer in the 8th inning to close out the scoring.

The NLCS starts this Thursday in Philadelphia, with Cole Hamels facing Derek Lowe.


- Can't stop now! I like the matchup against the Dodgers and I'll say why a little later this week.

- If there was an MVP in the NLDS, it would have to be Shane Victorino. Victorino scored or drove in a run in all 3 Phillies victories, including the decisive grand slam against CC Sabathia in Game 2. For the series, Victorino hit .357 with 3 doubles, a homer, and 5 RBI. He also had an OPS of 1.256 for the series.

- Between the Phillies still being in action, the Eagles playing on Sunday afternoon, and the Flyers starting regular season play this Saturday, in addition to all of the college football action, how much marital discord will this coming weekend cause?

Photo: by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

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