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.” 😉
I’m still on a BILF high from attending the Phillies’ ALS Night a few weeks ago. 🙂 Here are a few of the highlights…
Me meeting our very own Flyin’ Hawaiian…
Me meeting Brad Lidge–who, by the way, is absolutely GORGEOUS in person. And he’s really sweet, too–very nice, very genuine. Classy, classy guy. I heart Lidge!
I didn’t have a chance to meet him this year, but of course I couldn’t help finding King Cole’s table and taking a few pictures of him. Could this man be any more BILFalicious?!?
I still think Jayson Werth is hot even though he has a tendency to wear his sunglasses entirely too much. (He wore them for all of last year’s ALS Night, too.)
These aren’t BILFs, but they’re totally awesome anyway… Our World Series trophies from 1980 and 2008!
As I’m writing this, it’s Sunday afternoon, yet I’m already REALLY looking forward to Monday’s and Tuesday’s All-Star festivities. I’m hoping Mauer wins the Derby, and I’m looking forward to seeing Utley, Mauer, Morneau, and a whole bunch of other awesome talented BILFs in the All-Star Game! *squeal*
* 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.
things first. Cole freakin’ Hamels. The BILFiest BILF pitcher of them
all. He is a pitching GOD. He pitched 8 scoreless innings in the
Phillies’ first playoff game against the Brewers. My parents were at
the game–I’m sooooo jealous.
(Last time I saw Hamels pitch, it was when he imploded against the Mets
during that day/night doubleheader in early September at Shea Stadium.
I don’t think I’ve ever been to a game where Hamels has won. Luckily,
I’ve seen plenty of his wins on TV, though!) Anyway. Hamels pitched awesomely in the first game of the Phils/Brewers series.
Then Brad Lidge scared the crap out of everybody in the ninth inning,
but hey, the Phils won 3-1, so that’s all that really matters, right?
Then today, Brett Myers pitched a fantastic game against the Brewers (and even caused some chaos at bat, making Sabathia throw him lots of pitches!).
Here I’d thought we were doomed, because Myers’ last few starts weren’t
so hot, plus the Phillies were facing the mighty Sabathia. But the
Phillies managed to chase Sabathia out of the game by the fourth
inning, at which point the Phillies were leading 5-1. Shane Victorino
hit a lovely little grand slam in the second inning. Beautiful! I’m
deeming Victorino and Myers honorary BILFs today. They’re not the
cutest Phillies, but they are playoff superstars! The Phillies ended up winning the game, 5-2. Love it! (Want more details on how everything played out? Go here for fun, snarky commentary.)
Phillies have me a little worried, since a) in each playoff game so
far, they’ve scored all their runs in ONE inning, and b) they stranded
at least 10 guys on base tonight. But the next time they play is
Saturday, at Miller Park, and Jamie Moyer’s pitching, so…let’s hope
something good happens for the Phillies there, you know what I’m
sayin’? I won’t say any more about this–I don’t wanna jinx ’em. (We
Philly sports fans are superstitious like that.)
Another note about the Phils/Brewers series: WTF happened to JJ Hardy? The scruff’s gotta go, dude. It’s just gotta go.
On an anti-Mets note: I freakin’ love this.
I laughed my cute little butt off when I read it. Then I read it again
so I could laugh some more. (I’m sad that the Yankees aren’t in the
postseason this year, but I’m ecstatic that the Mets aren’t there.
On a totally superficial note, I’m really pissed that the Twins lost Monday night’s tiebreaker game against the ChiSox. I sooooo wanted
to see Joe Mauer, Joe Nathan, and Justin Morneau play some playoff
games. I wouldn’t have cared that much if they won, though. I just
wanted to look at ’em. (Do they make midwestern boys cuter than east
coast boys? These Twins are hot.
Are they all like that out there? Do I need to move to some state in
the middle of the country? Would the eye candy be worth it?) However: I
did note that the White Sox have a catcher who appears to be somewhat
cute. He has pretty blonde hair–I don’t know if he’s a decent catcher
or not, but I dig his hair. It’s this dude AJ Pierzynski (why is it
that EVERY guy named AJ is smokin’ hot? What IS it about that name?),
whose last name I’ve just learned how to spell, which satisfied my inner spelling bee queen.
In other news: The Dodgers are kicking the crap out of the Cubs. Does anyone in LA actually give a damn? Or even know anyone who gives a damn?
And finally: In my first year of doing fantasy baseball, my BILFs and I came in second place! Woo-hoo! Here’s the proof: