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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

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170 games. Probably what amounts to days and weeks on end spent watching this team. 20 years of consciously rooting for the Phils, and that 10-15 minutes from Vic's HR to Stairs HR was TOTALLY F*CKING WORTH IT.

best graphic yet

Vic is being interviewed now and these idiots are acting like he came out of nowhere - he's been a key provider for two years+ now!

i think matt stairs has achieved aaron 'bleeping' boone status after that.

Will they have a graphic tomorrow comparing Stairs HR to any ball any Dodger has hit in this series?

Jason- Actually, they're off tomorrow. Cole goes on Wed.

Anywayyyyy... yeah. Awesome graphic!

We are the Phils. The greatest team of all. We play the game the way it should be played, at home or far away.

redbeard: you're talking about the ad for cellulite cream, right?

It's tomorrow Weitzel, but just barely - we've got 44 hours to savor this one!

matt belongs in this town

"ill be honest, i try to hit homeruns every at bat"

Love the animation. Vic isn't the only one who has stepped up his game.

Because of Matt Stairs, I'm moving to Canada.

I had just begun to contemplate what a tied series would mean going forward, and then... The two homers. Unreal.

I was at a bar tonight in SF packed with Dodgers' fans. After Stairs hit that HR, the bar almost completely emptied out even though the Dodgers were only down by 2 runs, had the top of the lineup coming up including Manny, and still had another 2 innings.

Such front-running fans don't deserve to experience to see their team win.

Theory: Fraid not. 12:36 a.m. brother.

I can not believe that I am witnessing this team do these things. Every long playoff run has something crazy like this happen.

I also feel the need to personally atone for bashing Howard after the 6th. Yes, he has been absent most of the series, and that error in the 6th was atrocious. But he did what nobody else on our team seems to be able to do: get on against Kuo- a lefty no less. That AB will be largely overlooked, but he got it done and was on-base for Vic's tying bomb.

Don't question the Gut:

I was wondering why the hell Cholly brought up Jenkins to PH in the 6th instead of Stairs.

Did Cholly realize that Torre was likely going to counter with Beimel and Cholly wanted to save Stairs in case he needed one good left-handed bat off the bench late?

Is 1502+ comments a record?

EPIC game. I can't go to bed now.

If Blanton didn't have facial hair, he'd look about 12 years old...

jw, the vic an stairs .gif

Unanswered questions after game 4:

Has Stairs' ball landed yet? (What was the distance on it anyway?)

Where outside of CBP should will they put up the Victorino statue?

How great is it to have a superb defensive 2B/SS combination?

How tight will the Dodgers be facing Cole in Game 5?

Are they really throwing Billingsley in Game 5?

Are there worse fans than Dodgers fans? (No wonder they can't get an NFL team!)

Ugh. McCarthy is talking to Sarge right now in the post-game. Making my ears bleed. Where is the hell if Jim Jackson when you need him?

Cholly's Folly? I think not!

Another key:

- Cholly bringing in his hottest setup man (Mad Dog) in the absolute right spot. Yeah, Utley made a hell of a play but I was glad to see Madson in that spot.

Hearing Joe Buck almost break down in tears after Stairs' HR was also incredibly fulfilling after his LA teabagging all series long.

I just don't see what his incentive is to root for LA, though. In the Brewers series, Smoltz was the color guy and he was right down the middle...I enjoyed listening to him, even. Those guys were professional. Joe Buck is just outright horrible at covering up any biases. I'm trying to figure out where his bias is rooted, but I guess only he knows. He was an Eagles-hater when TO was on the team, but maybe that branches out to all of Philly. Do our fans give him a hard time when he gets into town? We may never know.

"Theory: Fraid not. 12:36 a.m. brother."

only on the East Coast. ;-)

Potential goat of the night was easily Durbin. His first two offspeed pitches to Blake were filthy and he just hung a breaking ball which Blake barely pushed out. After that Durbin just became mentally unglued and Cholly made the right move to pull him after only 3 hitters tonight.

Do I need to add the name Joe Buck to the spam filter? Seriously, 3-1 NLCS lead, peeps.

Anybody else hear the radio call on CSN just now? I feel like LA decided to pass out high fives instead of announcing.

Joe Schmuck wants to have the manny vs red sox world series to splooge on

thats where his bias is.

I performed a brilliant "HULK SMASH" on my coffee table as Stairs crushed that ball. Need to buy a new coffee table now. Utterly amazing.

This was such a Philly win: Palpitations, hair-loss, angst, recrimination, tooth-gnashing, tightrope-walking, jubilation.
These guys are gonna kill me, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

"The late-inning heroics erased a multitude of earlier sins, including a series of managerial misfires and some all-around shoddy play."

JW - You were right on the money. I couldn't get over the somewhat sloppy play and several suspect decisions by both managers but you know what I didn't think that Torre would provide a tactical advantage to the Dodgers over Cholly and it definitely has played out that way.

Torre burning 4 relievers in the 6th is one of several decisions you can second-guess him on tonight.

Doesn't the guy who owns the Dodgers sign Joe Buck's paychecks?

Did anyone see the three people get up and leave the front row behind home before the Dodgers came up for their last AB? Love that stuff.

Yes, he has flaws, but Charlie Manuel blatantly out-managed Joe Torre tonight.

And I know it's been said about 5 times already, but Matt Stairs stating matter-of-factly in the post-game interview that his approach at the plate has always been to "swing for the fences" is one of the best sports interview moments I've ever seen.

What is the utter fascination with Buck's susposed vendetta against the Phils? I just don't really see it and kind of perplexed that is the one thing everybody keeps mentioning verbatim. Let it go.

Iceman: Fox has a definite vested interest in seeing the Dodgers advance. LA is the second biggest media market and there is a built-in story line with the ex-Sox.

There's no question they have been building up the LA story, the LA players, etc.

Might be time for them to consider tearing up that script.

I am incredibly glad the Phils don't play tomorrow. Let the emotion from this game drain off and hopefully they are well-positioned to close out the series with Hamels on the mound.

Ben Rivera: Yeah, as much as I love LA, he can be a little too much with the cheerleading. I don't mind if he's going to criticize the umps for us, but the whole "YEAH!" every time the Phillies do something good grates on my nerves a little. "The Double Play" call on the radio will forever be spoiled by his screaming in the background.

I like him a lot, though, like I said. He calls it like he sees it, but he also needs to remember that he's a professional broadcaster and no one really needs to hear all the "YEAHS" and "GET OUT BALL!" crap.

Iceman, I think that's a great point about Howard's at bat against Kuo. Gotta have that guy get on so Vic can tie it up with that homerun. Same with Ruiz to get the hit before Stairs. Obviously those hits will be overlooked, but they were huge to set it up for Vic and Stairs to deliver. Everyone contributing.

Good luck, Jason, getting a good night's sleep.

bay_area_phan made a funny comment before the start of the NLCS along the lines of how Feliz would change the whole dynamic of the series.

Seriously though, you have to love it. You have to figure that for the rest of the games this season, as the game wears on, and the managers start to plan how to deploy their relievers and pinch hitters, the opposing manager will be thinking in some part of his brain about that Stairs home run. And they will not be pleasant thoughts.

EastFallowField: You posted a great pic in the other thread. It would be a shame if people missed it. Can you post it again?

Weitzel: Great job on that graphic for this thread.

Iceman: Good observation on the Howard AB.

I'm not too worried about the announcing, honestly didn't pay much attention to it. I'm sure the TV execs are ready to shoot themselves in the head now that their dream Manny vs. Red Sox World Series is in serious jeopardy.

I don't see how anyone is going to get any sleep tonight after this win. I just can't get over it. Chase Utley's DP was definitely the play of the game, just as important as the home runs. If that gets by him we are talking about going down by 4 runs with runners on 1st and 3rd and only one out. What a game saving play.

Matt Stairs delivers that clutch HR from an unlikely player that every championship team seems to get in a successful postseason.

Victorino's star climbs on the national stage.

This team is playing its best ball of the year at the perfect time. Time to send Hamels to the hill to wrap it up.

That Stairs' HR was about 23 rows deep at Chavez Ravine! Thar WAS a Hulk smash.

Just back from Tavern Misconduct in Center City. Amazing game. Amazing win. Go Phillies!

Two key moments overlooked

1) Torre burning Beimel to chase Jenkins in the top of the 6th. That ment no lefties for Vic and more importantly Stairs in the 8th

2) Ethier swinging first pitch after the Furcal walk in the top of the eighth. The ensueing double play assures Manny won't be the tying run

Stairs and Victorino for President!!!

Sarges post game chats on the radio are awesome.

"I don't believe what I just saw"

Matt Stairs of New Brunswick (Canada) hits a HR on Canadian Thanksgiving.

Broxton is a big Turkey, eh?

Went through last thread, and here's the prophetic comment of the night, from one Steve-o at 11:13:

"It's not over people. Stop giving up. We just need to connect on a Broxton fastball...not that difficult to do."

On a less cheerful note, though, Charlie's managing tonight is another reason I'm not too optimistic about our chances in the WS.

I can't imagine I can say anything new that wasn't in those 1,500-plus comments. All I know is that I could watch that Stairs homerun for hours and days on end and never get tired of it. 1 win from the Series...oh my.

Stairs looked a little off-balance after he connected with that pitch. I think it's because he threw all forty of his years into the swing.

And yeah, his post-game interview was fantastic.

Matt Stairs of New Brunswick (Canada) hits a HR on Canadian Thanksgiving.

Broxton is a big Turkey, eh?

Couple of minor points, because I have a feeling this thread stays up through the morning as it's getting on 1 a.m. ET.

Similar lines, but Lowe was clearly better than Blanton tonight. Blanton wasn't terrible. Just Ok.

Shane Victorino is quickly forging his place alongside guys like Pete Rose and Lenny Dykstra in Philadelphia lore. He is seriously involved in everything. Think about everything he's done. He's taken down C.C., who was supposed to be unbeatable, he had that big catch and RBIs in Game 2, he was at the center of yesterday's fracas, then tonight. He was even called for interference in Game 3 of the division series.

He isn't just a major aspect. He's the entire post-season.

@MG -- I would normally say, that perception of bias is affected by your own personal bias. People often watch their local broadcasters for baseball and in the playoffs its a little jarring when you hear a national broadcaster call a game. Compare Victorino's grandslam versus the radio version. Drastic differences, so for the average fan it can be difficult to follow. For "expert" fans like most beerleaguers, we are used to national broadcasts. That's why we were able to appreciate the job TBS did in the booth.

HOWEVER, I've talked to a few "casual" fans this week, people who rarely watch more than 10 to 15 games a year and are swept up in the playoff atmosphere have mentioned the Fox Dodger bias. These folks wouldn't know the difference between a phillies broadcast versus a dodgers broadcast versus a national broadcast. And that's the REAL difference here.

However, criticism of the game broadcasts and media coverage is part of the game. Just like the balls and strikes and the Dobbs versus Feliz argument. It's just part of the game.


A Flyin' Hawaiian graphic in the works JW?


Couple guys are starting to hit a little. Ruiz was on base three times tonight and is having a good series. Good throw to nail Pierre. Utley's hitting and fielding. Madson's working his way into "most important player" status I talked about before the Milwaukee series.

And hey - Lidge was huge, too.

Too much to write. I could write all night about this game.

Mike - I do think Buck is a bit biased toward the Dodgers myself but I wouldn't call him a Dodger "homer" by any stretch. One of the most annoying trends among sports fans the past 10-15 years is the tendency to find fault with any/everything a national broadcaster says.

Clowns like Joe Morgan who don't any kind of prep work deserved to be ripped but the criticism of Buck and McCarver is way over the top.

Minor nitpick: why are the Rays still on the front page of ESPN? The Phillies win was more recent and MUCH more dramatic.

JW - Tell you what not only is Chooch having a nice playoff run but he easily blocks that PB in the 6th that Martin just used the wrong technique and allowed Howard to easily score.

Does anyone know when the WS starts? Not to get too far ahead of myself, but if Hamels wins on Wednesday, can he still start game 1 on normal rest?

"Nickname: Cooch"
!!!!!!

Phillies had 2 big DPs that limited damage, and then that huge 3rd DP that cleared the bases right before Manny came up. That was huge, because Manny was no longer the tying run.

Also, Manny is so locked in right now it boggles my mind. It's near impossible to get the guy out.

New record for comments in a single thread set tonight. No small feat considering how Typepad made functionality more difficult. If it was the old format, it would have easily topped 2,000.

JW- Madsen is HUGE for this team. The 8th was shaping up to be a nightly disaster point late in the season and Ryan has made the 8th the most comfortable inning in the game.

Madson, sorry. It's late.

MG: I don't know what to tell you. I personally find Joe Morgan less offensive because he's simply ignorant, not really too biased from my observation.

I don't know it's so much that Joe Buck is biased against the Phillies as much as he's in love with the Dodgers (and Manny!) vs. the Sox storyline that he can't get past it and just talk about the game in front of him.

I also find him to be smug, arrogant, and condescending. This extends from his NFL work as well (the "disgusting" Randy Moss incident that seriously wasn't that big of a deal in today's day and age). I know some people here get tired about hearing about it, but it has such a detrimental effect on my enjoyment of the game that I occasionally feel the need to vent about it.

Diehard fan for all my 45+ years on Earth. Live now in SoCal. Attended the game with my wife, 4 yr old son and 1 yr old son. It was easily one of my best bonding moments as a Dad telling my sons - as a Philly fan you know life is never easy, then watching Shane and Matt go deep, and then telling them that this IS a special time. Our seats were next to the Phils Bullpen, and we were being dumped on by Dodgers fans all night. But when the homers were hit, the place became a morgue. What a weekend, we drove to SF for the Eagles game on Sunday, and back for this. Cole secures the NLCS on Wednesday, and then the Series begins! Lastly, real nice moves by both Scott Eyre and Chad Durbin before the game. They saw my family sitting there - the only 'red' in the 'sea of blue', and gave each a baseball...my 4 yrd old is sleeping with his - the ball Blanton used for his bullpen warm-up.

This game was very similar to the Mets game in the middle of August when we were down 7-1 early and made that unbelievable comeback to win in the 13th inning.

The two games both contained improbable heroes (Bruntlett and Coste vs. Stairs tonight), a no-quit attitude even when all seems lost, and an in-your-face type confidence that has propelled this team thus far and will keep moving them on and on.

The game tonight seemed utterly and completely lost on several different occasions (Howard throwing the ball away, Kuo slamming the door in the 7th inning, Lidge putting two men on with a home run threat Loney at the plate in the 8th) yet tonight's game reminded all Philadelphians why we love this team:
Even when you think they are down and out, this team will never quit. They are in EVERY SINGLE GAME until the final out is made, you can never, ever, count them out. Go phils!!

I'm glad you had such a great time, Alan, but could you please take it easy on saying anything that would put Durbin in a positive light? I'm still pretty sick by his performance tonight. ;)

@Tray - Thanks for the credit on the prophecy. This team has just shown the ability to comeback way too many times this year to give up hope with nine outs left. Been a long, long time lurker and first-time poster during this series, this team just continues to come through.

I also said earlier, after I criticized Charlie for taking out Dobbs and using half our bench in that inning, that they'll only be left with one lefty for later in the game after Torre used Kershaw and then Beimel against Jenkins/Taguchi. It turned out to be the difference when Torre didn't have anyone to go after Stairs. I've finally learned tonight to never, ever go against the Gut again.

Victorino. Can you believe that he was almost dealt away for pitching in the begining of the year.

i have a feeling the matt stairs "i try and hit home runs" quote is going to be remembered for a long time

I'm sitting here in Jerusalem, just woke up, I go to see the score and can't believe we won. Then start reading the box score and REALLY can't believe how we did it. Going back over the BL comments has been amazing, I really almost feel like I watched it. Amazing! Whoever coined the term Victober, thank you. He reminds me of Lenny in '93 without the 'roids.

One win to go! And best of all (for me) is that I'll be back in time for the next (fingers crossed) series. Go Phils!

If you guys think the media bias is bad now, just wait, should we get to the WS, for either the "team of destiny" or "Red Sox Nation" BS. Though I find it difficult to believe that anything could be more repulsive than the constant Manny lovefest, I'm sure I'll be proven wrong.

I love drinking from the Victory Chuggler, as opposed to the Misery Chuggler.

The most amazing thing about the Stairs home run (going off Fox facts) - it was the first home run off Broxton since July 2006.

Sorry, can't do the link.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PvlOPQs5nwk

Rivera- 1st homer Broxton gave up at Dodger Stadium since July 2006.

Ah, thanks for the clarification. Still tremendous however.

I caught on ESPN before the LCS started that they put up a poll for which of the 4 teams left would win the series. The Phillies came in dead last at 10%.

We're not gonna get any respect until we win the whole damn thing. Let's put this series to bed Wednesday night.

Just got home from the game, and "I can't believe what I've just seen!"
Truly amazing game, and excitement from start to finish. I've been to many Dodger games, but I can say that this was the nastiest and most hostile crowd I've ever witnessed at Chavez Ravine. Playoff baseball will do that, I guess. Nothing made me happier than Vic's homer, considering he is now Public Enemy #1 in LA. The crowd was dumbfounded. I was sitting on the 1st base side past the dirt. It was hard to tell from that angle whether that ball was far enough and would it stay fair. Just beautiful. On the other hand, Stairs' hit exploded off his bat and landed downtown somewhere. Naturally, the local shows are blaming Torre. Yes, he made some strange moves, but you would never expect a homer of that magnitude off of Broxton.

And yes, to not have to hear Joe Buck slobber over the Dodgers was another benefit of being at the game.

That was amazing

I'm still quasi-shocked.

One reason, I'm MORE than hopeful for greater success this post season was the type of victory. For the first time all playoffs, the Phillies got to a bullpen. That's how they did most of their damage this year, offense would struggle with a starter and then wait to feast on the bullpen.

Last year, we'd score early and deal with a shoddy bullpen and have to eek out a run or two to seal the deal. This year, if we got an early lead, the bats often would fall silent and a tremendous job by the bullpen would carry us through.

That's why this playoff season has been so stressful. Get an early lead (and even an 8-2 lead wasn't safe) and you'd have to ride "lidge bridge". Never easy.

Tonight (er last night) was different. There was no early blow to take the lead. And in fact the lead was lost. The Phillies had to score 5 runs against the Dodgers bullpen which until then had given up zero runs in the previous 3 games. Add that to the lack of success against the Brewers bullpen and it makes for a nasty stew of nervous stomachs and bitten fingernails.

Coming into tonight, of the 23 earned runs charged to opposing pitching staffs, just one was charged to the bullpen.

The Phillies still had to have a "big inning" to win the game. But fortunately, they already had 3 runs in the book waiting for the "crooked number" as Wheels likes to say in the 8th.

Is this a turning point for the entire post season? Not sure, but it feels like it could be. If this series turns out the way we hope and we face the Rays or Red Sox. One big inning is not going to get it done. You are going to need to spread those runs over the innings. And that's goiing to require consistency from the top of the order and balance at the bottom. And it won't hurt to have a clutch hit or two from the bench.

Whew. Time to sleep and dream of 800 foot homers. See you in the off day, where we can argue about Kendrick versus Happ and not having Seanez activated to choke Russell Martin out.

1. Where would Stairs HR have landed at CBP? Over the upper deck? My GOD was that a moon shot.

2. Victorino just earned himself a 7-year deal this winter. No way they are going to let him out of Philly now for a long, long time. What a postseason thus far.

3. Almost EVERY time Howard makes an error (quite often) he comes back and makes it up with his bat. It's remarkable how many times he has done it over the course of the season.

4. I told Joe Buck to "go F himself" for absolutely no reason outside the Linc followed by some sort of homosexual reference implied towards him and Troy Aikman. Absolutely no idea why he hates on Philly so much...

I woke up this morning and couldn't believe my etes, Phillies one gane away from the WS. I really didn't expect tehm to win last night and the way they did made it all that much better.

Just been through the game thread, just as expected after reading the match report, everyone (bar about two or three) giving up and going to bed with 2 innings to go. It never stops surprising me how many of you guys give up before the the game is over. I haven't followed baseball for half as long as most of you guys but one thing I have learned (especially with this team and last years team) is it ain't over until it's over!

People may say they give up, but I highly doubt that many of them actually went to bed. I said the game was over after Howard air mailed that ball to first, but that doesn't mean I turned the game off. Watched the whole thing to the end.

You underestimate your fellow Philadelphia sports fans to think we'd honestly stop and go to bed. This is October baseball, theres no way you can turn it off.

Also, don't want this picture lost in the thread shuffle. EastFallowfield posted it right near the end of the last thread (his photobucket and all), but I love it so much that I think it needs to be carried over.

http://i88.photobucket.com/albums/k161/EastFallowfield/f8a03304-2e50-4d3d-bf80-341b3b309fa.jpg

Don't worry, I got the "Howard" covered next season. I'll be keeping tally of the new stat the measures the amount of times in a season a player goes deep, k's, and makes and error all in the same game.

Yesterday was my birthday, back in '93 I turned 13 and that's the day they clinched the NL pennant. Last night was even a better game as I turned 29.

I said I went to bed because I did, but I have a television at bed's end.

It's time (and maybe past time) to give the Manuel some credit. Just about every line-up modification he has made, has turned out for the better. He has done a great job this post-season. Here's hoping King Cole can wrap things up on Thursday!! Go Phils!!

Phils only 3-1 lead in a postseason best of 7 in their history...

Vic's postseason- 8 g, 30 ab, 4 r, 8 h, 3 dbl, 1 trpl, 2 hr, 11 rbi, 3 bb, 0 k, 3 sb, .267 avg, .967 OPS.

From "Dodgers Thoughts" blog:

AND STOPPING PLAYING THAT #$#%% ROCKY MUSIC EVERY TIME PHILLY SCORES!!!!

Just rewatched the DVR. Stairs and Victorino had a moment in the dugout right after Vic's line-drive, elbow-up, sweet-swing home run. It's foreshadowing at its best. Matt effing Stairs.

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