Score and situation: Phillies 5, Dodgers 4, Philadelphia leads 3-1
Leading lads: It was hard to believe that anyone back East could upstage Jeff Mathis' walkoff RBI double in The Land of The Rally Monkey, but Jimmy Rollins(notes) somehow found a way to make it twice as nice. With his team down to its last out and facing a knotted NLCS with Los Angeles, the Fightins' shortstop drilled a two-run double to the right-field gap off closer Jonathan Broxton(notes) and put the defending champions on the doorstep of their second straight World Series appearance. Rollins' walkoff marked only the fifth time in MLB postseason history that the winning RBIs were recorded by a player who represented the game's final out.
But that wasn't the only history making being done at Citizens Bank Park on Monday night. Ryan Howard(notes) also hit a two-run homer in the first inning, extending his RBI streak in the postseason to a record eight games. Both events capped a magical night in the City of Brotherly Love, which again seems like home to a team of destiny.Head hangers: In the year of the blown postseason save, Broxton became the sixth closer to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. The Los Angeles fireballer fueled Philly's rally by walking Matt Stairs(notes) and hitting Carlos Ruiz(notes) with a pitch. Broxton had six blown saves during the regular season, but none of them will ever come close to hurting as much as this one.
Key play: It's obviously Rollins' double, but let's also shine a light on the performance of Brad Lidge(notes). The reliever came into the game with one out in the ninth inning and struck out Matt Kemp(notes) and Andre Ethier(notes) to keep the game close and earn the eventual win.
What they're talking about: For the second season in a row, the Phillies have a chance to put away the Dodgers in five games. That's definitely going to sell well in Philadelphia — which may well be debating the virtues of facing either the Yankees or Angels — but it won't among the diehard Dodgers fans. Joe Torre didn't make any serious managing mistakes in this game, but expect that some fans and pundits will start to loudly wonder why Los Angeles hasn't experienced more success in the NLCS.
What they're saying:
"I didn't need a home run, all I needed was a line drive in the gap." — Rollins
What's next: A Tuesday off-day, then Wednesday's Game 5, which is scheduled for 8:07 ET. Game 1 starter Cole Hamels(notes) will go for the Phillies and he's expected to face either Clayton Kershaw(notes) or Vicente Padilla(notes).
- Los Angeles