No ordinary come-from-behind win for the Phillies
LOS ANGELES -- The magic of October is that you can't script it, you can't predict it, you can't even explain it.So who wrote this script? Who predicted this finish? Who can explain the unbelievable chain of events that have led the Phillies to the brink of their first World Series journey in 15 years? A game-winning, pinch-hit home run by a 40-year-old guy who hadn't gotten a hit all month? A game-losing, series-altering gopher ball by a pitcher who hadn't served up a home run in his home ballpark in so long, the Dow has dropped about 5,000 points since then? A game-tying homer by the biggest villain in town, a fellow who is about as popular in Los Angeles these days as gas prices? A heart-pumping, four-out save by a closer who hadn't gotten a four-out save since July 26, 2006? And that, friends, is just the CliffsNotes version of an October baseball game that will rattle around the memory banks for decades. It was Game 4 of the National League Championship Series -- a rampaging roller-coaster ride of a ballgame that spun your insides around for 3 hours and 44 spine-tingling minutes, until somehow, it wound up Phillies 7, Dodgers 5 late on a pulsating Monday night in southern California. So let's sum up quickly what all this means: The Phillies now lead this series 3-1 with their best pitcher (Cole Hamels) lined up to pitch Game 5 on Wednesday with two games at home this weekend as their safety valve. They are one win away from a shot at winning the second World Series in the 126 seasons in franchise history. But on a crazy Monday night in Chavez Ravine, they were five outs away from a very different place. They were five outs away from a crushing loss, a loss that would have evened this series at two wins apiece, a loss that would have brought all the tragic moments from their star-crossed history showering down on all their heads. But this is a team that doesn't think that way. This is a team that thinks two-run, eighth-inning deficits are just the perfect launching pad to kick off their latest miracle comeback.
Jayson Stark is a senior writer for ESPN.com. His book, "The Stark Truth: The Most Overrated and Underrated Players in Baseball History," was published by Triumph Books and is available in bookstores. Click here to order a copy.
NLCS GAME 4: PHILLIES 7, DODGERS 5
The Phillies scored four times in the eighth inning, erasing a two-run deficit to pull out a 7-5 win over the Dodgers to take a 3-1 NLCS lead. Story | NLCS page
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