Holy crap. I cannot remember ever watching such an intense, nail-biting, face-hiding game. There were moments when I could barely breathe. And where my heart was pounding so hard I thought it was gonna come flying out of my chest.
That was truly a hell of a game. There were some crazy plays (Ben Francisco’s amazing catch in left field and Dexter Fowler’s insane jump over Chase Utley on his way to second, just to name a few). There was some great pitching–Lee was excellent again. I wished we could have gotten another complete game outta him, but Manuel did the right thing by relying on Madson, Eyre, and Lidge to help out.
But the most impressive thing, I think, was that the Phillies did something we’ve rarely seen out of them this season–they made a truly amazing comeback. Admittedly, I’d been really worried. They’d had bases loaded twice and had squandered the opportunities. They had a couple fielding errors. They were not entirely playing at their best. But once that awful eighth inning happened, when the score changed from 2-1 Phillies to 4-2 Rockies, these Phillies were not content to let that happen, to go to a game 5, to give up their momentum. So they went and got back that momentum. In the ninth inning, Victorino, Utley, Howard, Werth…they ganged up on Street and they took back their lead. And then Lidge and Eyre helped them keep that lead. This is the kind of teamwork, the kind of rally, that makes them the Fightin’ Phils. And this is exactly the sort of thing we want to see out of them as they prepare to face their 2008 NLCS foe, the Los Angeles Dodgers, once again.
A few BILF-related tidbits: Cliff Lee had gotten his hair cut and had shaved his face since NLDS Game 1 (when I saw him, he was kinda scruffy). GodDAMN, he looked good tonight, and I couldn’t help but think (many times) how it would be a lot of fun to just give him, you know, a friendly couple of nibbles on his pretty neck. Huston Street also looked great (especially, but not limited to, when he was helping to ensure a Phillies win), and I’d be more than happy to go console him after that tough, tough loss tonight.
I’m already looking forward to seing the Phillies in the NLCS. That being said, I’m grateful to have 2 days where I don’t have to watch a baseball game (the NLCS begins Thursday) so that I can actually get something productive done…screaming/swearing at the TV does not count as “productive.” 😉
So. It’s late, and I’m sleepy, but I have a few random thoughts on the 2009 Hot–er, Home–Run Derby…
* Joe Mauer looked absolutely adorable. I was glad to see that his hot buddy Morneau was nearby, too–it was fun watching Erin Andrews interview him. My god, those Twins make me want to pack up my stuff and move to Minnesota. Even though I hate the cold. Seriously, it’d be worth it.
* Speaking of Mauer, I wished he’d have advanced to the second round, but I thought he did really well, especially since he is not usually a home run hitter (except this year, apparently).
* Oh, and also on the Mauer topic? I decided that if he ever, like, sprouted fangs, he’d be the Sexiest Vampire Ever. I know, I know, that sounds ridiculous, but take a good look:
(OK, I admit I’ve been watching a little too much True Blood lately. But seriously, a vampirish Mauer could comparatively make even Bill Compton and Eric Northman look ugly.)
I don’t think he means to–he seems entirely too sweet to really mean to–but Mauer freakin’ smolders. *sigh* Moving on…
* That Pena dude’s pretty cute. The Rays are kind of underrated in terms of BILFiness. They’ve got Pena, Balfour *swoon*, Burrell, Kazmir, and Longoria. Having 5 BILFs on one team is pretty darn good.
* Prince Fielder’s children–or at least, I’m assuming they were his children–have the most freakin’ adorable hair I have ever seen. Awww!
* And on the Fielder topic: WHERE THE HELL WERE YOU AND YOUR HOMERS LAST YEAR WHEN I HAD YOU ON MY FANTASY BASEBALL TEAM? Not that I’m bitter or anything…
* Once I saw that the final round would be Fielder vs. Cruz, I wanted Cruz to win, just because I thought it would be neat if an underdog-type, who most people hadn’t really heard of before, would win. Sadly, it wasn’t in the cards, but he did a great job. Plus, I liked seeing so much of Josh Hamilton in the audience (since Hamilton was cheering on Cruz, a fellow Ranger). His tattoos kinda drive me wild.
* Ryan Howard, the only Phillie in the Derby, did a nice job, making it to the second round. He cranked out a couple killer homers, and he kinda made it look easy. That’s one of the zillion reasons he rocks. Hopefully he didn’t make it into the final round tonight because he’s saving up some homers for the second half of the baseball season… 🙂
I’m already giddy about watching the All-Star Game tomorrow. So many BILFs to watch. I mean, just having Utley, Mauer, and Morneau in the same place at the same time is enough to make me drown in a puddle of my own drool. Then add Hamilton, Longoria, Hill, Halladay, Werth, Billingsley, Nathan, and Haren… Yeah. It should be illegal to have so much hotness in one spot!
* 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!!!