Getting It Over With

Phillies pitchers Brett Myers (left) and Cole Hamels take part in practice at Dodger Stadium. Hamels is scheduled to start tonight in Game 5 against Los Angeles.

No offense, but the Phillies don't want to clinch the NLCS on Friday or Saturday at Citizens Bank Park.

They want to clinch it tonight at Dodger Stadium.

"You can't try to manipulate the situation," Chase Utley said. "Our goal is to come out (tonight) prepared to win."

It's Cole Hamels vs. Chad Billingsley. Hamels is 2-0 with a 1.20 ERA (two earned runs in 15 innings) in the postseason. Billingsley is 1-1 with an 8.00 ERA (eight earned runs in nine innings). A big night tonight from Hamels and he continues to develop a reputation as a big-game pitcher. A big night tonight from the Phillies and they have a few days to relax before the World Series.

The World Series.

This has been moving pretty fast, hasn't it?

Enjoy it.


Brad Lidge has been a godsend for the Phillies, Phil Sheridan writes. ... Bob Ford gives Pat Gillick credit for putting together this roster. ... Ryan Howard is still waiting for his big moment. ... John Gonzalez still can't believe Matt Stairs went yard in Game 4. ... Gonzo, Ford and Sheridan talk about enjoying this moment. ... Stairs finds himself in the spotlight.


In the Phillies Notebook: Charlie Manuel lets us know that Brett Myers was ready to close, if needed, in Game 4.


Dodgers fans show up late and leave early. Oh, and some are meatheads, too.