The Philadelphia Phillies' Road To The World Series Title

C KSenior Analyst IOctober 31, 2008

The World Series is over. The Philadelphia Phillies have won and will parade down Broad Street later today.

But how did we get to this point? Where did this journey begin?

It all began in a small town called Philadelphia, where sports is somewhat of a big deal.

So let's take a look back at how the Phillies got to this point and how they became World Champions.

October 1—NLDS Game One

Cole Hamels stepped on the mound in this game and began his journey in history. He went eight shutout innings, allowing just two hits and striking out nine.

But long before Hamels had left the game, the Phillies had managed to scrap out a few runs.

In the third, Chase Utley hit a two run double to open up the scoring, and was followed by a Shane Victorino RBI to make the score 3-0.

That score held up until the ninth when Brad Lidge came in to close it out. Lidge got into some deep waters, but escaped with a save.

Game 1—Phillies win 3-1, take 1-0 series lead

October 2—NLDS Game Two

Once again, all of the scoring for the Phillies came in one inning.

In the second inning, the Phillies were down 1-0 until they exploded for five runs. After the Phils had tied it up at 1-1, Shane Victorino stepped to the plate with the bases juiced. Good bye baby! Victorino smashed the ball out to left for a grand slam. All of this came off of CC Sabathia, who had been lights out since his mid-season arrival in Milwaukee.

That's all the Phillies needed. Brett Myers pitched well enough to get the Phillies the win and this time, Brad Lidge did not give up a run in his ninth inning save.

Game 2—Phillies win 5-2, take 2-0 series lead

October 4—NLDS Game Three

After the Phillies put the Brewers in a must win situation, the Brewers responded.

Jamie Moyer was on the mound for the Phillies as they played game three in Milwaukee. Moyer was their second best pitcher all year, and everyone expected the Phils to close it out here.

But two walks and a wild pitch to lead off the game didn't help. Both runners scored in the first, putting the Phils in an early 2-0 hole.

In the fifth, the Brewers added on more as they widened their lead to 3-0.

The Phils came back in the sixth with a run, but a Brewers run in the seventh made the score 4-1 and killed the spirit of the Phillies.

A short rally in the ninth was all for not, as Phillies did not manage to salvage any runs.

Game 3—Brewers win 4-1, Phillies lead series 2-1

October 5—NLDS Game Four

Pat Burrell finally woke up in Game Four with two monster homers.

But before any of that took place, Jimmy Rollins lead off the game with a home run to right field on the first pitch.

In the third, the Phillies came up with four runs, three of which came off of a Burrell home run, making the score 4-0.

The Brewers did not score until the eight and ninth when they scored one run respectively, but a Burrell solo shot in the ninth made the comeback even more out of reach.

Game 5—Phillies win 6-2, win series 3-1

October 9—NLCS Game One

Cole Hamels faced off against Derek Lowe in this matchup.

It looked like Lowe had the advantage, as Hamels let up a run in the first and fourth and Lowe had not allowed a run through five. That soon changed.

Lowe began to get his changeup up in the sixth, and Phillies hitters pounced on it. With one on, Chase Utley smashed a home run to right field.

Two hitters later, Pat Burrell came up big again with a home run to left field, putting the Phillies ahead 3-2. That was all for Lowe as Cole Hamels had won the battle.

The scoring was non-existent for the remaining three innings as Brad Lidge came in for his third save of the postseason.

Game 1—Phillies win 3-2, take 1-0 series lead

October 10—NLCS Game Two

Game Two was a much more explosive game than Game One.

The Dodgers began the scoring with a run in the top of the second, but the Phillies answered quickly.

In the bottom of the second, the Phillies put up four runs, two of which came on a Shane Victorino triple. Victorino ended up batting in four runs, helping the Phils score eight runs. All eight runs came in just two innings though, which opened up the door for a Dodgers comeback.

With the score 8-2, Manny Ramirez came up and blasted a three run shot to make the score 8-5.

Then in the seventh, with two men on, Casey Blake crushed a pitch out to deep center field. The ball looked like it was going to sail out of the park, or at least bounce off the wall and give the Dodgers two runs. But Victorino had his own say, as he leaped at the wall and came down with an amazing catch. The lead was preserved at 8-5 and it stayed that way. Brad Lidge came on in the ninth and got his fourth save of the postseason.

Game 2—Phillies win 8-5, take 2-0 series lead

October 12—NLCS Game Three

Once again, Jamie Moyer was on the hill for the Phillies in game three. Once again, Moyer was not on his game.

This time, Moyer went just 1 1/3 innings, allowing six hits and six runs.

The Phillies were in a hole for the rest of the game after that and were unable to mount a comeback.

Game 3—Dodgers win 7-2, Phillies lead series 2-1

October 13—NLCS Game Four

Game Four was a different story for the Phils than Game Three.

The Phils scored first with two runs in the first, and the Dodgers answered with a run of their own.

The scoring was held in check until the Dodgers scored two runs in the fifth to take a 3-2 lead. But the Phils came right back with a run of their own to tie the game.

After two more Dodger runs in the sixth, the Phillies needed a comeback. Shane Victorino was the man to start that comeback.

In the top of the eighth, Victorino stepped to the plate with one on. He smashed a line drive to right that just managed to tie the game. But that wasn't all. Matt Stairs came up later in the inning with a run one as well, and this time he blasted a pitch to deep right. It was a no-doubter from the start, as Matt Stairs had given the Phillies the lead at 7-5.

For the rest of the game, the Phillies bullpen carried out the lead, as Brad Lidge got his fifth save of the postseason.

Game 4—Phillies win 7-5, take 3-1 series lead

October 15—NLCS Game Five

This was the Phillies' game from the start. They tacked on a run in the first inning to open the scoring, and later scored two in the third and fifth respectively.

The Dodgers didn't manage a run until the sixth inning, but even that wasn't enough to spark a comeback off of Cole Hamels, who earned his third win of the postseason.

The Phillies ended the Dodgers season with ease in game five as Brad Lidge came on to close out the game even though it was not a save situation.

Game 5—Phillies win 5-1, win series 4-1

October 22—World Series Game One

Game one in Tampa Bay was everything the Phillies wanted: A win.

Cole Hamels took the ball for the Phillies, but before he could get a pitch in, Chase Utley hit a two run home run in the top of the first to open up the Phillies' World Series.

The Phillies then added on another run in the top of the fourth, which was followed by a Rays run.

The Rays scored again in the fifth to make the game 3-2.

When Hamels left the game after seven strong innings with the score at 3-2, the bullpen took over. The one-two punch of Madson and Lidge closed out the game as Lidge got his sixth save of the playoffs, giving Hamels his fourth win in the playoffs.

Game 1—Phillies win 3-2, take 1-0 series lead

October 23—World Series Game Two

Game Two went to the Rays as the Phillies offense was not able to hit in crucial spots.

Brett Myers didn't pitch terribly, but four runs in the first four innings for the Rays was not what the Phillies had wanted.

The Phils had their share of chances, but could not get an RBI with runners in scoring position. They didn't even score until the eight and ninth where they scratched for one run in each inning, but a ninth inning rally was quickly washed away as the Rays came away with the victory.

Game 2—Rays win 4-2, tie series at 1-1

October 25—World Series Game Three

Rain delayed this game, but didn't put out the Phillies' fire.

With Jamie Moyer on the mound, many wondered if he would continue his poor pitching. But this time, Moyer did not allow many early runs and put the Phillies in good position to score some runs.

The Phils still couldn't hit with runners in scoring position, but Carlos Ruiz, Chase Utley, and Ryan Howard made up for it with a home run for each in the game.

Moyer left in the seventh with one out, but he was responsible for two runners on. Both runners ended up scoring, and the Rays were starting a comeback, making the score 4-3.

In the top of the eighth, the Rays struck again and tied the game a 4-4.

But the Phillies were not going to lie down and lose this game.

With the bases loaded and no outs in the bottom of the ninth, Carlos Ruiz hit a chopper that went down the third base line but didn't go past the pitchers mound. But that hit was enough, as Eric Bruntlett scored on the play and the Phillies had won.

Game 3—Phillies win 5-4, take 2-1 series lead

October 26—World Series Game Four

The Phillies put Joe Blanton on the mound for Game Four, and boy, were they happy with that decision.

Blanton went six strong innings, allowing just two runs. But that wasn't his most notable stat of the game.

Blanton nailed his own home run in the fifth to give the Phils a 6-2 lead.

Ryan Howard and Jayson Werth took it from there, as they both hit two run home runs in the bottom of the eighth to secure the win.

Game 4—Phillies win 10-2, take 3-1 series lead

October 27—World Series Game Five (Act I)

Cole Hamels took the ball in game five, and was looking to go down in history as the only pitcher to go 5 for 5 in starts in the playoffs.

Hamels certainly pitched well enough to get the win, but the rain held off the Phillies offense.

The Phils finally got two RBI's with RISP in the first from Shane Victorino, but the bats went to sleep after that. The Rays managed to get a run in the fourth, making the game 2-1 after four.

Then the rain came. And came and came.

The rain poured from the moment it started, and it never stopped. The worst of it came in the sixth inning, but the Rays were still able to pull out a run to tie the game.

This made the game able to be suspended, and Bud Selig did so. The game was suspended, and was supposed to begin on Tuesday.

But Tuesday was more of the same, and the game was pushed back to Wednesday.

October 29—World Series Game Five (Act II)

Cole Hamels was taken out of the game by the rain, but if the Phillies could score when the game resumed in the bottom of the sixth, he could still get the win.

The Phillies did score a run off of a Geoff Jenkins double, a Jimmy Rollins sacrifice bunt to move him over, and bloop single by Jayson Werth to score him. Cole Hamels was in line for his fifth win of the playoffs, but more importantly, the Phillies were three innings away from victory.

But, the Rays came right back in the top of the seventh to tie the game. Hamels could not get the win anymore, but the Phillies could still win the World Series.

They just needed one run.

That run came in the bottom of the seventh. Pat Burrell doubled off the wall in deep left-center, and Eric Bruntlett came on to pinch run. Victorino then came on and grounded out to move him over to third with one out. Pedro Feliz then singled up the middle to score Bruntlett and give the Phillies the lead.

That was all they needed. We all know the rest of the story. J.C. Romero came in for two innings to help the Phillies, and then the ball was turned over to Brad Lidge in the ninth.

Brad Lidge came in, and did allow a single and a stolen base, but it was all for not for the Rays.

With two outs, Eric Hinske stepped to the plate with a runner on second.

First pitch: Strike one.

Second pitch: Strike two.

Third pitch: Struck him out! The Phillies have won the World Series!

Lidge threw his hands into the air, then fell to the ground, keeping his hands in the air. Carlos Ruiz ran up and hugged him before Ryan Howard came over and bowled them over. The dog pile grew larger and larger as the Philadelphia Phillies had gotten the monkey off of Philadelphia's back.

The Phillies went 11-3 in the postseason, winning all seven home games. They went 25-5 in their last thirty games overall. Their late season efforts showed why they were the best team in baseball. They had dominated all postseason long, and it led to the achievement of the ultimate dream.

The Philadelphia Phillies won the World Series.


    Farquhar Had Surgery to Treat Swelling of Brain

    MLB logo

    Farquhar Had Surgery to Treat Swelling of Brain

    Joseph Zucker
    via Bleacher Report

    Phillies Sweep Pirates on Walk-Off in Extras

    Philadelphia Phillies logo
    Philadelphia Phillies

    Phillies Sweep Pirates on Walk-Off in Extras

    Matt Breen

    Belt's 21-Pitch AB Sets MLB Record

    MLB logo

    Belt's 21-Pitch AB Sets MLB Record

    Rob Goldberg
    via Bleacher Report

    Top Prospect Torres' Hitless in MLB Debut

    MLB logo

    Top Prospect Torres' Hitless in MLB Debut

    Joseph Zucker
    via Bleacher Report