* Bilfy McBilf himself, Cole Hamels, pitched an incredible game. (It goes without saying that he looked damn good pitching that game, too, but I’m gonna say it anyway. HE WAS SMOKIN’ HOT TONIGHT.) He had me worried there in the first inning with a lot of high pitches, but really managed to calm himself down for the rest of the 7 innings he pitched.
* Speaking of the first inning, how ’bout that J-Roll? Just like the NLDS game against Milwaukee where the Phillies won that series, J-Roll started off the game with a super-awesome home run. Way to keep that momentum with the Phillies, J-Roll!
* Although Utley was hitless tonight, he managed to do some good work on the bases today, and Ryan Howard, who’s been a little on the slumptacular side during this series was truly fantastic tonight.
* The Flyin’ Hawaiian made some excellent plays tonight (as did Utley–he had one truly hot diving catch!). As much as I’m thrilled that Hamels is the series MVP, I really would have liked to see that award go to Victorino. Yeah, Hamels pitched two fantastic games, but Shane was consistently making insane plays in the outfield, catching balls that didn’t look to easy to catch, and getting on base, hitting home runs, and just generally ticking off the Dodgers. He really managed to get under the Dodgers’ skin and rattle them up–much like Manny did with the Phillies.
* Not sure what was up with the Dodgers’ abysmal fielding tonight, but it played a big role in the Phillies winning the game. Furcal is totally my new favorite Dodger! Thanks, ol’ buddy! We heart your errors! (By the way, Billingsley’s cute. A stinky NLCS pitcher, but really cute. Not Cole Hamels kinda cute, and apparently not Cole Hamels kinda talented, but cute. Thanks for a fantastic three first innings, dude!)
* On a pitching-related note: Lidge is a SUPERSTAR!
I couldn’t possibly be more excited that this team’s going to the World Series. I’ve made a lot of screaming phone calls tonight, done a lot of silly little dances, run out to buy donuts for my co-workers (because they’re gonna need some serious sugar in order to keep up with my energetic, excited self in the morning!), left people a lot of hyper Facebook messages… I’m on a Phillies high! I’m so proud of this team. I’m proud of their determination, their focus, their talent, their hard-working attitude, and their truly uncanny knack for having and/or making stuff happen at exactly the right moment–having a really key hit or making a truly superb defensive play. I’ve seen a lot of Phillies playoff magic happen in the NLDS and NLCS. I hope that magic carries over into the World Series. The Phils will face a tough AL opponent (presumably the Rays, but it’s October, and the Sox are no strangers to comebacks, so who knows at this point?), but no matter what happens, it’s gonna be a really exciting (and BILFalicious!) series.
I have no idea how the hell I’m gonna sleep tonight. I’m way too excited! Yay, Phillies! Yay, BILFtastic Phillies! World Series 2008, here we come!!!
As I’m sitting here typing this, the Bay Rays are holding down an incredible 11-2 lead over the Red Sox at Fenway. And it’s only the 7th inning. Tonight hottie Evan Longoria hit his fifth homer, setting a new record for rookies in the postseason.
Last night at Dodger Stadium, the Phillies blew a small lead, spent most of the game trying to catch back up to the Dodgers, tied the Dodgers…and then enter Matt Stairs, whose stats aren’t stellar, who hadn’t hit a damn thing this postseason, who’d barely seen playing time for the Phillies in the regular season…and he hit a 2-run dinger that allowed the Phillies to win the game–the first game that the Phillies have won at Dodger Stadium in not only the postseason, but the regular 2008 season as well.
The Phillies are up 3-1 in the NLCS, and, unless the Sox can find some way to procure 10 more runs in their next three innings, the Rays will be up 3-1 in the ALCS. I think people expected that Manny and the Dodgers would kick the crap out of the Phillies, and that the Red Sox, who are used to being in the playoffs and winning World Series, would stomp all over the Bay Rays, who are taking their first foray into the postseason in franchise history. But that isn’t happening right now. And it might not happen at all. There might not be that epic “Manny vs. His Old Team” series that everyone seemed to think would happen. It very well could end up being two young clubs who have very little postseason experience, but who have surprised everybody this season.
Whoever would have expected that the Rays would walk all over the two most historic franchises in baseball–the Red Sox and the Yankees–to take first place in the AL East and then advance in the playoffs? And who would have thought that the Mets would have managed their second heinous collapse in a row–a collapse from which not even Johan Santana could save them!–to allow the Phillies to win the NL East again? But these things happened, and so the Rays and the Phillies are here, terrifying and baffling their opponents. Victorino’s rapidly becoming the Dodger fans’ #1 persona non grata. Longoria’s setting records. Brett Myers is hitting more than Ryan Howard is. The “wonder hamster” (not as cool of a nickname as “Flyin’ Hawaiian”, but whatevs!) is hitting game-winning 2-run homers. The Sox are being clobbered in their very own stadium in front of a very passionate population of Red Sox Nation inhabitants. Playoff magic is happening!
For a fantastic article on the Phillies’ playoff magic, check out this excellent article written by ESPN’s Jayson Stark.
And speaking of playoff magic? As I’m about to end tonight’s BILF Report entry, the Rays are now 13-2 over the Sox. And it’s only the top of the 8th.
We’re winning! We’re still winning! We’re losing! We’re losing worse! We’re tied! We’re…winning again? Ooh! We’re winning MORE! And now…we’ve WON!!!
That pretty much sums up what any Phillies fan watching tonight’s game felt like. It was a NLCS roller-coaster of a game. Derek Lowe, who had a shaky first inning with the Phillies, then managed to calm himself down…while Blanton, the Phillies’ pitcher, seemed to let Manny get the best of him. (Is it wrong of me to want to punch Manny in the face every time he’s up to bat? I recognize that he’s an exceptionally talented individual, but I just don’t like the guy and his attitude.)
J-Roll managed to break out of his slump tonight. Hot! That cutie Greg Dobbs got in a couple good hits. For the most part, Blanton pitched decently. Madson (purrrrr) pitched verrrrrry well. Chuttles got on base a decent amount. Lidge only managed to scare me a little bit this time. Ruiz got in a clutch hit.
And then there’s Victorino, who by now is probably LA’s Least Favorite Ballplayer. Our favorite Hawaiian hit a 2-run homer to tie the game. Beautiful! And then Matt Stairs hit another 2-run home run (his first home run ever in the postseason!), putting the Phillies on top 7-5 after a very back-and-forth, stressful-to-watch baseball game. And that’s the score by which the Phils ultimately won it tonight. What an incredible, long, heart-pounding, thrill ride of a game. (For a less biased look at the details of this game, head on over to Deadspin!)
If the Phillies can keep playing this way, then dammit, they deserve to win it all. This is how winners act. They do not give up. They do not let dreadlocked attitude problems give ’em hell. They push themselves to win on the road against a team who’s won every game they’ve played at home against the Phillies (until now, that is).
The Phillies deserve to win it all. And I sincerely hope that they do.
What an incredible couple of days in the world of Phillies baseball.
Today’s an off day for the Phillies–they’ll continue their series with
the Dodgers tomorrow in Los Angeles. Presently the Phillies are up 2-0
in the series, with some pretty incredible stuff happening in the first
Game 1: Cole Hamels pitched
well, despite giving Manny a nice little wild pitch to hit early on in
the game. Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, and Pat Burrell did quite well
offensively. (Nice to see Utley back on his game!) Despite the fact
that the Dodgers were the first team to put a run on the board, they
managed to fall to the Phillies 3-2. Hey, I’m not complainin’. If you
want more details on what happened during this game, click here. (Also: my inner word nerd loves the term “Utlage,” coined around the 10:07 mark.)
Game 2: Brett Myers vs. Chad Billingsley. The latter is not cute, not cute at all,
since for the length of this series I’ve issued a moratorium on Dodgers
being cute. He’s a troll. A troll who got removed in the third inning
’cause the Phillies turned it into a slugfest. And at the heart of that
slugfest? Brett freakin’ Meyers. Last week he terrorized CC Sabathia
with his at-plate performance. This
time around, he caused even more damage by batting 1.000, having 3 base
hits in his first 3 at-bats, becoming only the eighth pitcher in
baseball history to have a 3-hit game during the postseason.
Well done, Myers! The coolest Hawaiian in baseball, Shane Victorino,
also had a hell of a night at the plate (singling, tripling, driving in
runs…oh my!), plus he made an amazing play on a Casey Blake-hit ball that would have allowed the Dodgers to rack up some extra runs had Victorino not caught it.
(Also: Condolences to Victorino on the passing of his grandmother, and
to Charlie Manuel on the passing of his mother. And happy, happy
birthday to Pat the Bat!) Props to the Phillies bullpen for working
their magic and to Greg Dobbs for hitting a totally hot .667 average
yesterday. The Phillies won game 2 of the NLCS 8-5 and have now become the 19th team in history to win the first 2 games of the NLCS,
which is fabulous news because, of the teams that have started this
series with a 2-0 lead, 16 of those 18 teams have ended up winning the
series. Let’s hope that the Phillies can become #17… They’ve got an
off day today, but the baseball goodness starts back up again tomorrow
at Dodger Stadium at 8:22 PM.
In other playoff team-related chatter, look at what those American League female fans are doing for their teams!
(That being said, if my favorite AL team, the super-smokin’-hot Twins,
were in the postseason, I just might be doing something crazy like
this, too.) In the ALCS, the BoSox lead the series 1-0, with the next
game in the series happening today.
I am SO excited for the Phillies to start their NLCS series games! The
Phillies’ starting pitcher tonight for game 1 of this series is the
BILFiest BILF of them all–Cole Hamels, pitching superstar! Yummy!
optimistic about this series with the Dodgers. Yes, they have
Manny–and yes, he’s damn good. (And they have Andre Ethier, too, who
is not only talented, but hot…AND a foodie, apparently!
But until this series is over and the Phillies have kicked the Dodgers’
butts, I–as a loyal Phillies fan–am not allowing myself to admit that
there are any BILFalicious guys wearing Dodger blue. So from
now until, like, the end of next weekend, Ethier is a total troll to
me, even though he’s really not. Make sense?) The Phillies have home-field advantage in this series,
and that is most definitely a good thing. The Phillies pitched well
during the last series they played, with the Brewers. Burrell,
Victorino, and Werth have all had hot bats (among, um, hot other things)
during the postseason. If the Phillies can get Utley and Howard’s
hitting up to par–and do something about the bottom of the order,
since Feliz and Ruiz weren’t terribly productive in the NLDS–they will
truly be a force to be reckoned with.
In a very crafty display of Phillies pride, I decorated a pumpkin with red glitter and pinstripes…behold!
Let’s go, BILFtastic Phillies!!!