About 25 miles north of Dodger Stadium a wild fire is burning out of control.
Early on at Chavez Ravine, it seemed the wild fire might have been Derek Lowe, who was fortunate to make it out of the first, having given up only two runs and eventually lasting five innings. The Dodgers eventually carved out a nice 5-3 lead going into the late innings.
Like harnessing the Santa Ana winds filled with smoke and ash, the Phoenix rose and took shape in the form of the Philadelphia Phillies' bats. Before the sky had settled, it was an acrid display that left the Los Angeles Dodgers miffed and in disbelief.
The only thing that was missing from the night broadcast was a simple signature call of emotion from Dick Enberg—“Ohhhhhh Myyyyiiiii!!!”
With one swing of the bat, Shane Victorino trumped all of Joe Torre’s seemingly correct moves to try and keep the game on ice—the game that would have tied the series at 2-2. The shot to right field left the Dodger faithful stunned, and things started to feel like an early hangover when Victorino’s shot tied the NLCS game at five.
Talk about Philadelphia freedom. That home run put hope and phaith back in Philly.
Shane has been involved heavily in this series and was a sitting duck with a pitch near his head in Sunday night's Game Three loss to the Dodgers. Both benches and bullpens cleared and fines were promptly handed out to seven individuals to keep the peace in the series by the MLB offices. Somehow, the Phillies' center fielder got his revenge and lit a spark that was bigger than the fire up north.
In a similar moment of what appeared to be déjà vu all over again, Pedro Ruiz singled to left to set the table.
Phillies' manager Charlie Manuel pinch hit for relief pitcher Ryan Madson and replaced him with Matt Stairs. Stairs abruptly took a 3-1 pitch count into the Southern California sky like a rocket leaving the hopes and dreams of Dodger fans behind on its way to the World Series. This consequently put the Dodgers on the same thin ice they were using to put the Phillies away in Game Four.
Somehow, the Phillies found a way and Charlie Manuel pulled the right strings and trumped Joe Torre one more time for good measure.
Matt Stairs and the Phillies rode that momentum through the short-lived rally sparked by Manny’s double and Russell Martin reaching base after striking out on a wild pitch that reached the back stop. The Dodger rally was extinguished when Phillies' star reliever Brad Lidge got James Loney to fly out to left field in the bottom of the eighth inning.
For the Dodgers, there are no more tomorrows; they are out of outs, and the Phillies are one game away from returning to the World Series for the first time in nearly 20 years.