The 2009 NLCS was played between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Los Angeles Dodgers in a best of seven game series. The Phillies won the series four games to one and will be advancing to the World Series, with the first … see full wiki
As the Phillies Are Back For Seconds, They Have Their Eyes Set On a Repeat!
Oct 23, 2009
It's not to often you get to see your team go to the World Series back to back, but the Phillies have come back and done it again. While most of the team may look the same, this ball club is a much different team then they were last year. This is a squad who has fought back from every obstacle they faced this year. From the death of beloved announcer Harry Kalas, to the ongoing pitching issues the team faced with guy like Brett Myers being sidelined for the regular season or Cole Hamels not being the Cole Hamels we know and love. Worst of all, having Brad Lidge throw a perfect season in the save column as our closer, to having the worst closing record in the Majors in 2009. Normally this would leave a team in shambles, but the Phils fought back, taking first place and not letting go of it for most of the season, showing both the Rockies and Dodgers what a team really looks like.
While most fans thought the series against the Rockies in the NLDS was going to be easy, which it did turn out being, the Phillies had more worries with the Dodgers, who had the best Record and ERA in the Majors. Along with what was supposed to be a solid bullpen, LA seemed to be the one giant hurdle standing in the way of the Phillies going back to the Fall Classic. However, with strong hitting coming from guys like Ryan Howard, Shane Victorino and Jayson Werth along with even stronger pitching from Ace Cliff Lee and veteran Pedro Martinez, the series ended up being pretty one sided, if not extremely entertaining. While three of the games got pretty close to the wire, games three and five were absolute blowouts, proving to the world that the Phillies should be taken seriously.
Game one was everything you could have asked for from a baseball game, if not a bit surprising. The game turned out to be 8-6 in favor of the Phillies at Dodgers Stadium which is known to be a pitchers park, making it very interesting with the way the ball was flying. While game two lacked offense, it was a great pitchers duel to watch as Pedro Martinez battled former Phillie Vincente Padilla. Due to some poor managing on Charlie Manuel's part, the Dodgers squeezed in their only win of the series, 2-1. It was extremely hard to grasp why Manuel used five relievers in one inning; it's like he couldn't make up his mind. It didn't end up mattering though as a couple of days later with the series home in Philly, the fightins' blew LA away 11-0 as Cliff we went eight and had ten strikeouts. It is still extremely laughable at how much of a steal the Phillies got Cliff Lee for. Game four was a little closer as the Phillies walked away with a 5-4 win, with Ryan Howard hitting opposing pitcher and former Phillie Randy Wolf early with a two run blast. Jimmy Rollins delivered the now historical bottom of the ninth game winning double. Finally sealing the deal last night, the Phillies destroyed any last playoff dreams the Dodgers may have had with a League clinching 10-4 win over Joe Torre's squad. Ryan Howard was named MVP of the NLCS, with an average of .333, two homeruns and fourteen RBI's.
Even as a Phillies fan, it's ok to admit that both teams did have some issues in the series, most of which were the Dodgers. Simply put, Cole Hamels is not the pitcher he was last year, as he brought his regular season issues into the postseason, where he currently has a 6.75 ERA. Whether it's his pitching mechanics or dealing with the birth of his child, it has to be in the back of Charlie Manual's mind whether not he will even give Hamels a start in the World Series, especially against the Yankees if they win the ALDS. The Dodgers downfall and Achilles Heel was Manny Ramirez and the complete lack of a team atmosphere. Apparently while the Phillies were busy making their comeback in game 4, Manny had already hit the showers. If the Dodgers ever expect to get to the World Series, they need to start acting like a squad that wants to win.
Whether it's the Yankees or Angels, the Fightin Phils are confident in repeat World Series win. With starting pitchers like Lee and Pedro and hitters like Howard and Werth and...well, the whole lineup, the Phillies Destiny to win their third Fall Classic may become a reality. If the NLCS is any indication of the way the Phillies are going to play in the World Series, then their opponents are in for some trouble. As for right now, the Philadelphia and LA made for an awesome rematch from last years NLCS, making for some long nights and thrilling wins. It was everything a baseball fan could have asked for. GO PHILLIES! 5/5!
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