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Archive for Thursday, October 16, 2008

Phillies going to World Series

Philadelphia's Jayson Werth, center, celebrates with teammates after Game 5 of the National League championship series. The Phillies defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers, 5-1, Wednesday in Los Angeles to win the series.

Philadelphia's Jayson Werth, center, celebrates with teammates after Game 5 of the National League championship series. The Phillies defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers, 5-1, Wednesday in Los Angeles to win the series.

October 16, 2008

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— Los Angeles (ap) - Jimmy Rollins got the Phillies rollin' with a leadoff homer and they kept right on going. Next stop, the World Series.

Rollins homered in the first inning, Cole Hamels pitched his third gem of the playoffs and Philadelphia beat the bumbling Los Angeles Dodgers, 5-1, Wednesday night to win the NL championship series 4-1 for its first pennant since 1993.

"This is for the city for Philadelphia," manager Charlie Manuel said. "We have one more step, one big step - then we're going to make a grand parade."

The NL East champions - the losingest team in pro sports history - took advantage of three errors by shortstop Rafael Furcal in the fifth inning and shrugged off another home run by Manny Ramirez.

Now, the Phillies go for their second World Series title beginning next Wednesday night at Tampa Bay or Boston. The Rays lead the Red Sox 3-1 in the ALCS, which resumes tonight at Fenway Park.

"After hearing about the '93 team over and over and over again, we finally have a chance to make our mark," Rollins said. "This was an organization that I felt when I got here I wanted to try to change. And I had my opportunity to. You know, we had been used to losing."

Brad Lidge closed it out for the Phillies, who won their lone championship in 1980 by beating Kansas City in six games. They also reached the World Series in 1915, 1950, 1983 and 1993, when they lost to Toronto in six games on Joe Carter's ninth-inning homer off Mitch Williams.

Now they're headed back, carrying the hopes of a championship-starved city that hasn't had a title to celebrate since the NBA's 76ers won it all in 1983.

You can bet your last cheesesteak, Broad Street is primed for a party. And those Philly fans, who always expect failure, can relax - at least for a week.

"These guys are going crazy right now," slugger Ryan Howard said. "I can only imagine how it is in Philadelphia."

Back home, jubilant Phillies fans poured into the city streets, jumping on cars and celebrating.

"It's a great feeling right now," Howard added. "I don't know what to say."

Ramirez homered in the sixth to end Hamels' shutout bid in what might have been his final game with the Dodgers. The slugging left fielder, who hit .520 with four homers, 10 RBIs and 11 walks in eight playoff games, can become a free agent after the World Series. He batted .396 with 17 homers and 53 RBIs in 53 regular-season games for the Dodgers after being acquired July 31 from Boston.

On the bench, Joe Torre came up short in the postseason again. He won four World Series in his first five years as manager of the New York Yankees from 1996-2000, but hasn't won one since. This was his first year as the Dodgers' skipper after 12 with the Yankees.

"I was proud to be their manager," Torre said. "This was an up-and-down year. I think they learned a lot. They learned to come together."

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