Phillies Still In Command After 8th Inning Debacle

Steve DolanContributor IOctober 18, 2009

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 15:  Ben Francisco #10, Shane Victorino #8 and Jayson Werth #28 of the Philadelphia Phillies celebrates after defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers 8-6 in Game One of the NLCS during the 2009 MLB Playoffs at Dodger Stadium on October 15, 2009 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

The overwhelming sense around Philadelphia seems to be one of defeat. After holding the Dodgers scoreless for 7 1/3 innings, the Phillies squandered a one run lead in the bottom of the eighth to lose the game. Perhaps more disturbing than the loss of the lead is the amount of pitchers used- 5.

We could go all day breaking down the Phillies blunders. Park missing the sacrifice bunt, Utley's throwing error, erratic pitching of the Phillies reliever, wildly inconsistent strike zone of the umpires in the first two games. We could go on for days. But it sums it up quickly like this- the Phillies lost the game, the Dodgers didn't win. The Phillies let the Dodgers hang around and that is not something you can do with a team that had 95 regular season wins.

Now that being said, lets go back and really take a hard look at the series.

The Phillies are in control of the series right now. They left Los Angeles with a split. The series is tied at one game a piece with the Phillies returning home with three game in Philadelphia. The most the Phillies can play in LA is two. Thus, the Phils have homefield advantage.

This is like a brand new NLDS series with the Phillies maintaining homefield advantage for another reason. Clifton Phifer Lee. The works of Cliff Lee this postseason have been nothing short of phenomenal. In two games, Lee has pitched 16 1/3 innings going 1-0 with a 1.10 ERA. Talk about an ace.

The Phighins need to get the top of the order on base. Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino need to start having better at bats and putting better swings on the ball. These two guys are the catalysts for this offense. Without them, this team doesn't go.

The Phillies are still in control of the series. They have homefield, they have their ace, they have the experience, they have the advantage.

The Phillies should get back on track Sunday at Citizens Bank Park at 8:07pm. Phillies in 6.