Unbelievable 9th Inning Comeback

Down 4-5 in Game 4 of the NLCS against the Dodgers, the Phillies were down to their last out and their last 2 strikes when Jimmy Rollins stepped to the plate with 2 runners on.  Win, and the Phillies would have a huge 3-1 games advantage.  Lose, and the series would be tied 2-2.  What took place next was not only improbable, but it absolutely stunned the Dodgers.

Things looked good when the game started and Ryan Howard nailed a 2-run shot in the 1st inning.  But the bats went quiet as ex-Phillies Randy Wolf bore down and kept the Dodgers in the game.  Joe Blanton started for the Phillies and got roughed up a bit in the middle innings.  By the end of the 6th, Blanton had allowed the 2-run lead slip away into a 2-4 deficit.

The bullpen took over in the 7th and held the Dodgers to those four runs.  Chan Ho Park, Ryan Madson, Scott Eyre and Brad Lidge got the job done.  However, the offense still seemed sleepy after that 11-0 rout the previous day, so a comeback was looking unlikely.

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But then Matt Stairs stepped the plate with one out in the 9th and everyone began hoping for the same miracle that occurred in Game 4 of the 2008 NLCS: Stairs nailed a 2-run homer in the 8th inning of that 2008 game to give the Phillies the lead.  Could this be a repeat performance?

Well, not quite.  Facing the very same pitcher he got that hit off in 2008, Jonathan Broxton, Stairs felt confident.  Broxton may not have felt quite as confident as he threw Stairs four straight balls.  Eric Bruntlett was put in as a pinch runner.  Broxton then proceeded to hit Carlos Ruiz with a pitch.101909b.jpg 

But Greg Dobbs lined out for the 2nd out and things were looking good for the Dodgers J-Roll stepped to the plate with one final out remaining and 2 runners on base.  With a 1-1 count, Rollins whacked a line drive into the hole in right-center field.  Bruntlett and Ruiz tore up the base path, scoring 2 runs to win the game for the Phillies.  Phillies fans screamed in celebration while Dodgers fans squirmed in agony.

As amazing and uplifting as this win was for the Phillies, on the other side of the spectrum it was equally as painful and gut-wrenching for the Dodgers.  This was a killer blow, putting the Phillies at a 3-1 advantage; they now need only one more win in 3 possible tries to lock up a second consecutive trip to the World Series with a chance to repeat.

This win also shows why the Phillies are the defending World Champions.  They believe they will win, they support one another and they never give up until the final out is recorded.  To be able to witness this is the greatest joy of any fans life.  Repeat or no repeat, Phillies fans should be proud of their team!  What a year this has been…and it is not over yet.

Here is the Photo Album from the game…Go Phillies!!!

PS:  Thank you to all my readers for making Phillies Phollowers the#1 Phillies fan blog on the MLB site for the entire 2009 season!  And I am #8 overall for ALL fan blogs!  Your support is greatly appreciated; it is an honor to bring you the Phillies through my eyes…Thank you!

Photos by Jenn

 

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the My Team Rivals network*

 

 

8 Comments

As a Dodger fan I have to agree this ending was gut wrenching. However I do not agree it was “improbable.” Broxton has not been good against the Phillies and I know the memory of Stairs last year must have been getting into his head. Most of us Dodger fans were dreading what happened next but we were almost expecting it. As for Randy Wolf, I wish he would have gotten a better result. I am one of the few who can say I was at his no hitter in Dodger Stadium long before he pitched for the Phillies and this guy was tough as nails. All these years later, it is hard to believe but it’s his first playoffs and his second playoff pitching start. He is a class act. Don’t know if we can pull one out from you tonight or not but I would hope it is not over for us. But it might be.

Jenn, not to be picky, but Ruiz got hit by the pitch before Dobbs, who was hitting in the pitcher’s spot, made the second out (just a minor detail). Anyway, talk about a nail-biter! If I indulged in that particular nervous habit, I’d have chewed down to the knuckles watching that game! Let’s see if they can wrap it up tonight!!
Sue
Rants, Raves, and Random Thoughts

kingmansperformance – I loved Wolf when he was with us…felt a little bad for him after that. Guess we’ll see what happens tonight!

Sue – yeah, was still half asleep when I wrote that. Still not caught up on sleep either. Hope it is done tonight!!

You could say I was surprised… I mean, I’m still picking my jaw up off the floor. It’s never over until it’s over and the Phils are looking like THE team to beat right now. They sorta remind me of the ’93 team w/ all those power bats. Wow.
–Jeff
http://redstatebluestate.mlblogs.com/
http://mtrredstatebluestate.com

Jenn, congrats on your placing! I can’t talk about that game … waaaaaah! ; )
Buz – http://buzblog.mlblogs.com/

Jenn, that was some game – and your pics are great. Congrats on being one game from the big series. I watched the end and thought the Dodgers had it won. But no! Your guys came back and stunned everybody. Amazing.

http://janeheller.mlblogs.com

The game just reminded us all – it ain’t over til it’s over. Congrats.

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com

I’ll have to hope my hometown boy is NOT on his game tonight. :) The Phillies have had a great run at us so far and it was that close to being tied. I hope it isn’t over…yet!
p.s. Kingman, you were at his no hitter? Wow, pretty good. Wish he’d pitch one for the Dodgers! :)
Will look forward to tonight’s game.

http://behindblueyes.mlblogs.com

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