Thursday, September 18, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

One More to Go

The Phillies are one victory away from a World Series championship.

One More to Go

Ryan Howard lets everybody know: One more to go.
Ryan Howard lets everybody know: One more to go.

Is this really happening?

This must feel like an out-of-body experience for fans, but the Phillies are one victory away from winning the World Series.

Talk about droughts? Almost gone.

Talk about parades? Could be on.

Bob Ford talks about the Phillies being on the brink of the city's first championship since 1983, and the Phillies' second championship in 126 years. He writes, "they can put an end to the drought nonsense tonight. They can break the curses of Billy Penn, Moses Malone, Von Hayes, Eric Lindros and Terrell Owens all at the same time. These Phillies can finally end the taproom time-waster of a question: Which local team has the best chance of winning the next championship? After last night's romping 10-2 win over the Tampa Bay Rays, the correct answer is definitely Phillies. They've got a real nice shot right now."

Real nice.

Just one more win.

Since 1903, when the World Series debuted, 40 other teams have had three-games-to-one advantages entering Game 5. Thirty-four of them went on to win, 20 in Game 5.

"We have to control our excitement," said Brett Myers, "and do the job we have to do. It's not over yet."

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Cole Hamels is on the mound. He already is one of just 12 pitchers in baseball history to have four wins in a single postseason: Randy Johnson (5-1) with Arizona in 2001, Francisco Rodriguez (5-1) with Anaheim in 2002, Josh Beckett (4-0) with Boston in 2007, Livan Hernandez (4-0) with Florida in 1997, Orel Hershiser (4-1) with Cleveland in 1995, Burt Hooton (4-1) with Los Angeles in 1981, Jack Morris (4-0) with Minnesota in 1991, Curt Schilling (4-0) with Arizona in 2001, John Smoltz (4-1) with Atlanta in 1996, Dave Stewart (4-0) with Oakland in 1989 and David Wells (4-0) with the New York Yankees in 1998 are the others.

But Hamels could become the first pitcher in history to have five wins in a single postseason with all five of them coming as a starter. Johnson went 5-1 with a 1.52 ERA in six appearances (five starts) for the Diamondbacks in 2001. Rodriguez went 5-1 with a 1.93 ERA in 11 appearances for the Angels in 2002.

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Phil Sheridan writes about Joe Freakin' Blanton. Who knew?

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Bill Lyon writes about Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins turning things on just in time.

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Jim Salisbury goes Inside the Game.

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John Gonzalez talks the Phillies and Cervantes, who I think played shortstop for the Phillies in the '60s. Gonzalez, Sheridan and Ford wonder if Hamels is the next Steve Carlton or next Schilling?

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A "Let's Go Phillies!" chant inside the Linc? I find this all kinds of funny because I've heard Eagles chants in every ballpark in America since I started covering the Phillies in 2003.

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Frank Fitzpatrick offers his take on yesterday's festivities.

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Ruben Amaro Jr. could be named the next Phillies GM any day now. ... Rays manager Joe Maddon wondered if Blanton had a foreign substances on his hat. No, it's just dirty. ... How good is the Phillies bullpen right now? It is 2-0 with a 1.69 ERA (seven earned runs in 37 1/3 innings) and six saves this postseason. Only the '83 Phillies bullpen had a better ERA in the postseason. It went 0-0 with a 1.21 ERA (three earned runs in 22 1/3 innings) with two saves. ... Carlos Ruiz has come up big in the World Series. In fact, before last night, I was asking somebody if he could be series MVP if he kept it up.

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Matt Gelb Inquirer Staff Writer
Bob Brookover Inquirer Columnist
Marc Narducci Inquirer Staff Writer
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