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 2008 PLAYOFF - WS NEWS

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PostSubject: Re: 2008 PLAYOFF - WS NEWS   Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:55 pm

catbox_9 wrote:
mrsrabelo wrote:
Go Phillies PARTY!

Head Slap

GOO PHILLIES! Big Smile
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PostSubject: Re: 2008 PLAYOFF - WS NEWS   Fri Oct 03, 2008 6:05 pm

cdurbfan22 wrote:
catbox_9 wrote:
mrsrabelo wrote:
Go Phillies PARTY!

Head Slap

GOO PHILLIES! Big Smile

high 5
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PostSubject: Re: 2008 PLAYOFF - WS NEWS   Fri Oct 03, 2008 10:35 pm

post 2 updated


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PostSubject: Re: 2008 PLAYOFF - WS NEWS   Sat Oct 04, 2008 8:45 pm

Hey, how come I can watch the Brewers/Phillies game on MLB.TV when I didn't pay for it? Are the playoffs free on MLB.TV? :shrug:

Anyways, I like the 4 camera view.


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PostSubject: Re: 2008 PLAYOFF - WS NEWS   Sun Oct 05, 2008 1:52 am

bobrob2004 wrote:
Hey, how come I can watch the Brewers/Phillies game on MLB.TV when I didn't pay for it? Are the playoffs free on MLB.TV? :shrug:

Anyways, I like the 4 camera view.



Maybe because the game was on TBS for free?

Or minus basic cable fees
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PostSubject: Re: 2008 PLAYOFF - WS NEWS   Sun Oct 05, 2008 2:54 am

Dodgers are going to the NLCS PARTY! PARTY! PARTY! PARTY! PARTY! PARTY! PARTY! Champagne Champagne Champagne Champagne Champagne Champagne
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PostSubject: Re: 2008 PLAYOFF - WS NEWS   Sun Oct 05, 2008 11:46 am

10/05/2008 3:31 AM ET
Box >

Dodgers finish NLDS sweep of Cubs
Los Angeles advances to NLCS for first time in 20 years
By Ken Gurnick / MLB.com

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers hadn't won a postseason series in 20 years and hadn't swept one in 45 years. The Cubs, well, they measure futility by the century.

"It was a series of jinxes," said Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier, "and something had to give."

The Dodgers gave it to the Cubs, all right. Hiroki Kuroda threw 6 1/3 scoreless innings while James Loney and Russell Martin drove in the runs Saturday night in a 3-1 Dodgers win that swept the Cubs and their Billy Goat Curse right out of the best-of-five National League Division Series.

"I'm going to party like a rock star," said Manny Ramirez, firmly gripping a magnum of Moet & Chandon, the Dodgers' champagne shampoo of choice, after going 5-for-10 in the series.

And after the partying, the Dodgers will open the best-of-seven NL Championship Series on Thursday against the winner of the Philadelphia-Milwaukee Division Series -- in Philadelphia if the Phillies are the opponent, at home if it's the Brewers.

"This feels great," chairman Frank McCourt said. "The fans are the ones who deserve this, for rooting for this team, for turning out in record numbers, for paying their hard-earned dollars. This is for them. You saw and heard the support they gave this team tonight. It was unbelievable."

The Dodgers previously won a postseason series for the 1988 World Series championship and last swept one in 1963, when a staff led by future Hall of Famers Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale took the World Series by overwhelming the vaunted New York Yankees.

And the Yankees figured prominently in this season and this series, as their former manager, Joe Torre, further enhanced his reputation, if that's possible. He explained the satisfaction of reaching the second round in his first Dodgers season, at age 68.

"This is about as satisfying as it can get," said Torre, who completed a ridiculously unprecedented parlay with the Dodgers clinching after cheering home a thoroughbred he co-owns, Vineyard Haven, to victory in the $400,000 Champagne Stakes at Belmont Park earlier in the day.

"We had a lot of people doubting us all year. And we didn't have -- we weren't resentful about it. It was just the fact we haven't really played well enough to get anybody's attention. Starting in Chicago may have been a benefit for us. Because I just thought that with everything going on with them having the record they've had -- I've experienced it before. It's a lot of pressure when you're playing at home."

Torre the horse owner and his partners are thinking Kentucky Derby for Vineyard Haven, while the Dodgers are playing like the World Series is a legitimate destination. They came into this series an underdog with the worst record among division champs against the team with the best record in the league, having lost five of seven to the Cubs during the regular season.

But like those Dodgers of the '60s, the current version proved Torre's theory that pitching wins playoffs. Starters Derek Lowe, Chad Billingsley and then Kuroda combined to limit the Cubs to three runs in 19 innings, a 1.42 ERA.

"To come into a series like this and have Derek Lowe show the way, and Billingsley who was about as calm as I've seen him in that second game in Chicago and then Kuroda," Torre said. "What an adjustment he's made and to go out there and dominate like he did tonight."

Kuroda -- an 11-year veteran in Japan but technically the first rookie to clinch a postseason series for the Dodgers since Fernando Valenzuela in 1981 -- struck out four and pitched out of three jams. In three games this year against the Cubs, he's allowed one run in 21 2/3 innings.

"The last time I pitched against them here at Dodger Stadium, I had good command of my slider," said Kuroda, referring to a four-hit shutout of the Cubs on June 6. "And I think I put input there in their mind that that was my pitch. But I really didn't have my slider today. But I was able to dominate them with my [fastball]."

The Dodgers outhit the Cubs by only 10 points (.250-.240) but outscored them, 20-6, and the team ERA was more than three runs lower. Cubs slugger Derrek Lee was 6-for-11 but without an RBI, as the 1-2 hitters for the Cubs went a combined 2-for-24.

General manager Ned Colletti, who swung the in-season deals for Ramirez, Casey Blake and Greg Maddux that reshaped the team, handed off the credit to his advance scouts.

"We had two guys, Vance Loveland and Toney Howell, who did the advance scouting, and without them, we may not be standing here now," Colletti said. "They laid it out to the team and reinforced it and the players and coaches executed it."

With the win, the Dodgers are 24-9 at home since the All-Star break and 22-8 since the eight-game losing streak was halted and the season turned around.

"This club had to face the fact of either melting away or doing something about it," Torre said. "I kept reminding the guys about beating [Dan] Haren and [Brandon] Webb [of the D-backs]. That was a huge get for us."

The Dodgers scored in the first inning off Rich Harden with a double by Martin, a single by Ramirez and a two-run double by Loney, who keyed the Game 1 win with a grand slam and drove in six runs in the series despite hitting .214.

On the Ramirez single, Martin got away with indecision on the bases as Ramirez's single got through the infield. Martin barely eluded third baseman Aramis Ramirez's casual tag after the throw in from Alfonso Soriano.

In the fifth inning, Martin followed Rafael Furcal's one-out walk with an RBI double. Martin had four hits in the series, all for extra bases -- three doubles and a homer -- and five RBIs.

The only Cubs run Saturday scored off Cory Wade in the eighth, but Jonathan Broxton closed it out by getting the last four outs, three on strikeouts, hitting triple figures on the radar gun when he wasn't throwing the nastiest slider he's ever had.

"That was the best I've ever seen him," Martin said. "A hundred miles an hour and spotting it. The breaking ball was as good as it can be. It's good to see him embrace the role of closer. He's a beast out there."

Although Torre had said since Takashi Saito's shaky Game 2 outing that he'd stick with Saito to close, he couldn't take out Broxton the way he ended the eighth inning, overmatching Mark DeRosa, who represented the tying run.



Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


“It takes pitching, hitting and defense. Any two can win. All three make you unbeatable.”    
–Joe Garagiola


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PostSubject: Re: 2008 PLAYOFF - WS NEWS   Sun Oct 05, 2008 11:49 am

Mighty underdogs
You would
think it would be uncommon for a lower-seeded team to sweep its
opponent, but since division play began in 1969, there have been 12
such instances. But the 13-win difference between the Dodgers and Cubs
is the largest by any underdog that swept its opponent.
Year Underdog Favorite Win Diff. Round
1975 Red Sox Athletics 3 ALCS, 3-0
1980 Royals Yankees 6 ALCS, 3-0
1981 Yankees Athletics 5 ALCS, 3-0
1990 Reds Athletics 12 WS, 4-0
1996 Cardinals Padres 3 NLDS, 3-0
1999 Yankees Braves 5 WS, 4-0
2000 Mariners White Sox 4 ALDS, 3-0
2001 Braves Astros 5 NLDS, 3-0
2002 Cardinals D-Backs 1 NLDS, 3-0
2004 Red Sox Cardinals 7 WS, 4-0
2006 Athletics Twins 3 ALDS, 3-0
2008 Dodgers Cubs 13 NLDS, 3-0


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PostSubject: Re: 2008 PLAYOFF - WS NEWS   Sun Oct 05, 2008 5:55 pm

bobrob2004 wrote:
Hey, how come I can watch the Brewers/Phillies game on MLB.TV when I didn't pay for it? Are the playoffs free on MLB.TV? :shrug:

Anyways, I like the 4 camera view.

Today they want me to pay for it. Frown


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PostSubject: Re: 2008 PLAYOFF - WS NEWS   Sun Oct 05, 2008 8:04 pm

All the teams I chose to win are losing. Frown


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PostSubject: Re: 2008 PLAYOFF - WS NEWS   Sun Oct 05, 2008 9:47 pm

10/05/2008 7:02 PM ET

Box >

Phils advance to first NLCS since '93
Burrell's two blasts back Blanton's impressive performance
By Ken Mandel / MLB.com

MILWAUKEE -- Perhaps the only noticeable phenomenon amid the earsplitting roar of nearly 44,000 ThunderStix was the moment they stopped thundering.

The instant Pat Burrell smacked a belt-high fastball through the controlled temperature of Miller Park, the atmosphere become controlled, too.

Subdued, even.

"That's when I knew something good had happened," Burrell said. "I didn't see where the ball landed. I hit it and ran, and it got quiet."

Real quiet.

The roar from those wanting an inning-ending out fell eerily silent. When Jayson Werth followed with another homer, the thunder transformed to boos, then resignation. By the third inning, those in the building just knew.

And so the Phillies' dormant offense awoke with the loudest of claps, pounding playoff-tested Jeff Suppan and the Brewers, 6-2, in Game 4 of the National League Division Series on Sunday. They earned the right to advance the NL Championship Series against the Dodgers, who swept the Cubs in the other NLDS.

The Phillies are heading to their first NLCS since 1993.

The Phils and Dodgers, who swept four-game series at their respective parks during the regular season, are rested and ready for each other, having quickly disposed of their opponents.

"I'm not worried about them right now," Rollins said.

Wearing goggles held over from the NL East-clinching party, Rollins seemed more concerned with avoiding the cold sting of champagne that sprayed at him from all directions. Pedro Feliz shot from the front, while Ryan Howard fired from the right flank. Trapped among a throng of media, Rollins was a sitting duck.

He didn't mind.

"I'll take it," he said.

Rollins took it to the Brewers by firing the opening salvo off Suppan, the first quelling shot. Like Friday's loss, Miller Park was an extremely loud place to be, and the reigning NL MVP turned his first swing of the afternoon into a 1-0 lead.

"There's nothing like silence on the road," Rollins said.

The Phillies took control by the third, providing a cushion for Joe Blanton, who was making his first playoff start. Blanton impressively kept the lead, received completely via the long ball.

The superlatives were flowing.

"That's the best I've seen him pitch," manager Charlie Manuel said. "He challenged hitters. He wasn't scared of anything."

"Unbelievable," pitching coach Rich Dubee said. "Even when they got a couple leadoff singles, he controlled the game."

"He gives us incredible starts," Brad Lidge said. "Today was the biggest one he's given us. It was a monster effort."

Pitching for the first time since Sept. 26, Blanton dismantled the Brewers easily and efficiently. He retired 11 of the first 12 batters and didn't allow a runner beyond first base until Prince Fielder erased his shutout with a leadoff homer in the seventh. Blanton left after throwing 107 pitches.

The added bonus of Blanton's outing and the clicking offense was the fact ace Cole Hamels won't be needed until Game 1 of the NLCS on Thursday at Citizens Bank Park, and the Phillies wouldn't have to beat CC Sabathia again in a decisive Game 5.

"We didn't want to go home and face the beast," Rollins said. "It still would've been a tall mountain to climb."

The Phils still have two more mountains to scale, and they know it. While they celebrated, hugging and pouring, pouring and hugging, they know there are two more series looming, starting with the Dodgers.

In a somewhat subdued visitors' clubhouse, the Phils reflected briefly and looked ahead.

"Just another step," Lidge said. "We'll celebrate this, but we're not done."

They seem far from done. The Phils' starting pitcher delivered a huge performance, the bats found their home run groove, and they promptly took the Brewers and their out of the equation.

When Burrell added a second homer to nearly the same left-field spot in the eighth, a smile crept across his face, though he quickly suppressed it. Beginning the series with a lower back issue, he instead put the Phillies on his back for the decisive game.

"Pat told me when he came in today that he felt good, that it was on him," Rollins said. "And he stepped up. They had been pitching around Chase [Utley] and Ryan and they had been pitching him tough. Pat said, 'It's going to be on me.' And it was."

How fitting it was to see Burrell and Rollins celebrating, especially with the knowledge that Burrell's homer came after a two-out intentional walk to Howard. They played together in the Minor Leagues and debuted in the 2000 season. Burrell arrived in May and is a free agent this offseason.

Burrell and Jimmy Rollins have spent nine seasons together, the second-longest tenure for teammates in the NL behind Atlanta's Chipper Jones and John Smoltz's 16 seasons, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

None of those future thoughts crept into Burrell's mind in the calm that was Miller Park after his first home run. The feeling of running around the bases is tough to describe.

"Probably not in one word," Burrell said. "I take a lot of pride in preparing. When all the work pays off for something like that, that ultimately puts your team up ... We have 25 guys, and if you can help bring everybody up, that's pretty good."

After the party, the Phillies will welcome the Dodgers to Citizens Bank and try to exorcise demons from 1977-78, when the Dodgers beat the Phillies two straight years to go to the World Series. There will be an interesting reverse rivalry from the coaching ranks, with Phillies first-base coach Davey Lopes and Dodgers third-base coach Larry Bowa switching sides from their playing days.

"We haven't broken through anything yet, we just stepped over one hurdle," Rollins said. "We have a lot of work to do. We didn't get out of the first round last year. We're looking forward to the next round. We're celebrating now, enjoying the moment, but as soon as we get on the plane, I guarantee we'll be ready to play ball against L.A."

Howard symbolically echoed that sentiment standing at his locker holding two bottles of unopened champagne, one for each of what he hopes will be a celebration. He'll use those at the appropriate time.

"This is the next step," he said. "We're not satisfied by any means. We know it's going to be a tough matchup with L.A. It's nice celebrating, because we made it to the next round, but I'm not satisfied where we are. We're trying to win a World Series. I'll drink these then."

Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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PostSubject: Re: 2008 PLAYOFF - WS NEWS   Mon Oct 06, 2008 1:09 am

This Angels/Red Sox game is going on too long! I should be sleeping right now! Sleep


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PostSubject: Re: 2008 PLAYOFF - WS NEWS   Mon Oct 06, 2008 1:36 am

bobrob2004 wrote:
This Angels/Red Sox game is going on too long! I should be sleeping right now! Sleep


Angels up 5-4 in the 12th
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PostSubject: Re: 2008 PLAYOFF - WS NEWS   Mon Oct 06, 2008 10:54 pm

10/06/2008 8:20 PM ET
Box >
Rays clinch, punch ticket to ALCS
Upton powers early lead with pair of solo shots vs. White Sox
By Bill Chastain / MLB.com

CHICAGO -- The Rays are headed to the American League Championship Series.

B.J. Upton hit two solo home runs to lead a 6-2 win over the White Sox in Game 4 of the AL Division Series to clinch the best-of-five series by a 3-1 margin.



A crowd of 40,454 watched at U.S. Cellular Field as the Rays collected their 100th win of the season to advance to the next round of the playoffs, where they will meet the winner of the Red Sox-Angels ALDS in Game 1 Friday night.

In the first inning, Upton hit a 2-1 pitch from Gavin Floyd 384 feet into the left-field bleachers before repeating the feat in the third inning with a solo home run to center field on a 3-2 pitch from Floyd that gave the Rays a 2-0 lead.

Cliff Floyd's RBI double with no outs in the fourth followed by Dioner Navarro's RBI single chased the White Sox starter and gave the Rays a 4-0 lead.

Paul Konerko put the White Sox on the scoreboard in the fourth with a solo home run on a 2-2 pitch from Rays starter Andy Sonnanstine. Carlos Pena answered for the Rays with an RBI single in the top of the fifth to push the Rays' lead back to four at 5-1.

Jermaine Dye hit a solo homer off Sonnanstine with two outs in the sixth to cut the Rays' lead to 5-2. Once again, the Rays responded in their next at-bat when Pena drilled an RBI single into left-field that scored Jason Bartlett to give the Rays a 6-2 edge.

Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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PostSubject: Re: 2008 PLAYOFF - WS NEWS   Tue Oct 07, 2008 11:10 am

10/07/2008 3:08 AM ET

Box >

Lowrie sends Red Sox back to ALCS
Rookie ropes walk-off single, setting up showdown with Rays
By Ian Browne / MLB.com

BOSTON -- The walk-off glory that gripped Fenway Park on Monday night was set up by the usual dose of adversity. You see, degree of difficulty has been in play all year for the Red Sox, who look at hurdles, scoff at them and then leap over them.

Such was clearly the case for the defending World Series champions in clinching this memorable 3-2 triumph in Game 4 of the American League Division Series against the Angels. In this one, the Red Sox recovered from a blown lead, snuffed out what would have been a devastating suicide squeeze and then rode rookie Jed Lowrie's game-ending two-out single in the bottom of the ninth right into the AL Championship Series.

"I keep saying this, but it's somebody different with our ballclub every night," said closer Jonathan Papelbon. "That's just the way we are. When you're playing us, you have to get all 27 outs. I think everybody in this clubhouse feels the same way. This never gets old. It's a beautiful feeling knowing that no matter what the situation is, we have a chance to win a ballgame."

For the defending World Series champion Red Sox, who have become the symbol of October excellence in recent years, it marked their fourth ALCS berth in the past six years. They will play the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 1 in St. Petersburg on Friday night. It was the third time since 2004 the Sox have knocked out the Angels in the ALDS.

"We'll have time to put that one in perspective later on," said Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein in the champagne-soaked clubhouse. "Hopefully we'll have other things to talk about, too. Right now, it feels pretty good. It's a hard place to get. Four times in six years is pretty sweet."

To get there, the Red Sox, the AL Wild Card entry, first had to get by the 100-win Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

The Sox did it without Mike Lowell, the gritty third baseman who went 0-for-8 in the ALDS before being taken off the roster before Game 4 due to the partial tear in the labrum in his right hip.

They did it with a less than 100 percent Josh Beckett, who struggled through five innings in Game 3, a Boston loss.

They did it with AL Most Valuable Player Award candidate Dustin Pedroia producing just one hit in 17 at-bats in the series, though that long-awaited knock was a pivotal RBI double in this tense win.

"This team has had a tremendous amount of adversity, day in and day out," said Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek. "You develop character that way."

It was Varitek, the captain of the Red Sox, who made perhaps the play of the game. With the game locked in a 2-2 tie in the top of the ninth, the Angels had pinch-runner Reggie Willits on third base and just one out. Any number of things could have gotten him home with the go-ahead run, be it a sacrifice fly, a base hit or a well-placed ground ball.

But Angels manager Mike Scioscia called for a squeeze bunt, and it backfired. Erick Aybar couldn't make contact with winning pitcher Manny Delcarmen's pitch and Varitek aggressively pinned Willits into no-man's land, chasing him down the line and ultimately tagging Willits just before he could retreat to third base.

After the pursuit, Varitek fell down and the ball kicked away, but third-base umpire Tim Welke ruled that it was only after the tag had been applied.

"[Varitek] looked like a linebacker trying to tackle him," said Pedroia. "He had some closing speed. I've never seen that out of him. I'm just excited that he didn't get the bunt down. That would have been huge momentum for them. It actually shifted our way."

And quickly.

With the Fenway faithful suddenly out of fret mode, Jason Bay got the crowd into a full-fledged roar by fighting off a pitch from Angels reliever Scot Shields into the corner in right for a ground-rule double with one out in the ninth.

"He's got a good curveball," said Bay. "He threw me a good fastball up and in. I got jammed. Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good. It snuck out for a double."

Mark Kotsay then hit a bullet that was snared at first base by Mark Teixeira, his former teammate in Atlanta. When Lowrie stepped up, the Red Sox were one out away from extra innings for the second consecutive night.

But the switch-hitter drilled a first-pitch curveball from Shields through the hole and into right. Bay roared in for a headfirst slide, setting off euphoria at home plate.

"In the back of my mind, I was thinking curveball," said Lowrie, who is just the fourth rookie in Major League history to end a postseason series with a walk-off hit. "He threw me one that was up just enough, and I found a hole."

For Bay, who was acquired for the great Manny Ramirez on July 31, home plate never tasted so sweet.

"It's been a blast every step of the way," said Bay. "I'm looking forward to moving on. I knew that I just had to bust my butt and if I didn't' fall down, I'd make it."

And by making it, the Red Sox avoided the prospect of having to fly all the way back to Anaheim for a winner-take-all Game 5. Now they can rest up for a couple of days and fly to Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday afternoon.

Early on, it appeared Red Sox starter Jon Lester was going to be the story. The lefty fired seven shutout innings and left with a 2-0 lead after seven. Lester, who won Game 1, fired 14 innings in the ALDS without allowing an earned run.

But the resilient Angels pecked away in the eighth, staging a rally with nobody on and two outs. Teixeira worked a walk against Hideki Okajima. On came Justin Masterson, who walked Vladimir Guerrero. A passed ball by Varitek put runners on second and third.

Torii Hunter then smashed a two-run single to right, suddenly halting the Red Sox's momentum.

However, as they so often do, the Red Sox found a way to get it back.

"It was kind of fitting that Jed drove in Jason Bay with that hit," Epstein said. "All year long, we've had great contributions from the young guys. This was a team victory tonight, as always for us. That's one of the things the Red Sox stand for now. It's typical for this club right now to get contributions from young guys, veterans, core players -- it doesn't matter. Everything we do is as a team."

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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PostSubject: Re: 2008 PLAYOFF - WS NEWS   Tue Oct 07, 2008 11:13 am

Walk-offs to end Division Series
YearTeamPlayerHitGame
2008Red SoxJed Lowrie1BALDS, G4
2005AstrosChris BurkeHRNLDS, G4
2004Red SoxDavid OrtizHRALDS, G4
2001D-backsTony Womack1BNLDS, G4
2000MarinersCarlos Guillen1BALDS, G4
1999MetsTodd PrattHRNLDS, G4
1995MarinersEdgar Martinez2BALDS, G4
Walk-offs to end League Championships
YearTeamPlayerHitGame
2006TigersMagglio OrdonezHRALCS, G4
2003YankeesAaron BooneHRALCS, G7
2002GiantsKenny Lofton1BNLCS, G5
1992BravesFrancisco Cabrera1BNLCS, G7
1985CardinalsOzzie SmithHRNLCS, G5
1978DodgersBill Russell1BNLCS, G4
1976YankeesChris ChamblissHRALCS, G5
1976RedsKen Griffey1BNLCS, G3
Walk-offs to end World Series
YearTeamPlayerHitGame
2001D-backsLuis Gonzalez1B Game 7
1997MarlinsEdgar Renteria1B Game 7
1993Blue JaysJoe CarterHR Game 6
1991TwinsGene Larkin1B Game 7
1960PiratesBill MazeroskiHR Game 7
1953YankeesBilly Martin1B Game 6
1935TigersGoose Goslin1B Game 6
1929AthleticsBing Miller2B Game 5
1924SenatorsEarl McNeely2BGame 7


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PostSubject: Re: 2008 PLAYOFF - WS NEWS   Wed Oct 08, 2008 10:45 pm

Quote :
Tony's predictions

Angels vs. Red Sox: Los Angeles in four. (nope - RSox in 4)

Rays vs. White Sox: Chicago in five. (nope - Rays in 4)

Cubs vs. Dodgers: Chicago in four. (nope - Dodgers in 3)

Phillies vs. Brewers: Milwaukee in five. (nope - Phillies in 4)

Boy, Tony, who wrote the first article in this thread, sure is batting 1000%


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PostSubject: Re: 2008 PLAYOFF - WS NEWS   Wed Oct 08, 2008 11:22 pm



“It takes pitching, hitting and defense. Any two can win. All three make you unbeatable.”    
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PostSubject: Re: 2008 PLAYOFF - WS NEWS   Fri Oct 10, 2008 11:31 pm

10/10/2008 1:56 AM ET

Box >

Homers send Phils to Game 1 victory
Utley, Burrell go deep in sixth to back Hamels' strong outing
By Ken Mandel / MLB.com

PHILADELPHIA -- Pat Burrell raised his right arm in curtain-call acceptance. Standing on the mound 100 feet away, with hands on disgusted hips, Derek Lowe glared angrily toward left field.

Seconds later, the Dodgers righty muttered to himself about his evening's abrupt unraveling. After five innings of beating sinkers into the dirt, the Phillies, a team that lived by the home run all season, forced Lowe to elevate.

The result was a two-homer spurt, and a 3-2 Phillies win over the Dodgers on Thursday night in Game 1 of the best-of-seven National League Championship Series.

Or two big pitches, thoroughly enjoyed by 45,839 towel-wavers at Citizens Bank Park.

"You can hear crickets out there, then all of a sudden you hear a roar," said Brad Lidge, who closed out the win. "When we put pressure on, and you make a mistake, the ball's out of here quick. It changes the game. Our lineup has done that all year."

Philadelphia, which led the National League with 214 home runs in 2008, banged its way to victory against one of baseball's stingiest pitchers. Lowe had surrendered just 14 home runs in 211 regular-season innings, but three in the postseason.

Before the first of the two home runs Lowe surrendered, there was Shane Victorino grounding weakly to Rafael Furcal and speeding down the line. The shortstop fielded the chopper, but threw high to first baseman James Loney for an error.

That ball hit by Victorino, like many others thrown by Lowe through the first five innings, had induced ground ball after ground ball. Fourteen of the 15 outs Lowe recorded came on the ground, giving the night the feel of something that might not work out for Philadelphia.

Furcal's error sparked the Phillies.

"I saw Loney reaching up, and said to myself, 'What's happening here?'" Victorino said. "I wanted to make sure I could get to second."

One pitch later, Victorino was waiting for Chase Utley at home plate. One of Utley's patented drives floated out to right, tying the score at 2.

"I was trying to get him over, no matter what, I was getting him over to third base," Utley said. " squared a sinker up and it went over the fence. For Derek Lowe it was up, but it wasn't that bad of a pitch."

With barely enough time to settle, Pat Burrell sent the crowd into a frenzy with a rainbow into the left-field seats. Manny Ramirez peeked over his shoulder to watch, but there was no doubt it was gone.

Cue the disgusted look, the one a pitcher makes when fly ball finds the seats.

"He basically made two mistakes," Victorino said. "Things happen quick in this game. Momentum can shift on a simple mistake, a big home run, or big pitch."

Emboldened with a lead, Cole Hamels dazzled in his seventh and final inning, striking out Blake DeWitt and Jeff Kent and getting Furcal to ground out. Ryan Madson worked a scoreless eighth -- including retiring Ramirez with one pitch, a changeup -- and Lidge worked a perfect ninth.

Hamels allowed two runs in seven innings, one in the first on a Ramirez double and the other on a fourth-inning DeWitt sacrifice fly. The two-base hit clanged off the fence above the center-field sign, above the padding.

A home run in almost any other park, Ramirez's shot stayed in play and became a double. Ironically, the balls hit by Utley and Burrell likely would've been fly balls in Dodger Stadium.

"I missed some spots in the first, but I was able to come in the second, third, fourth inning and really hit," Hamels said. "That's when you let another team know you can't take too many pitches, because he's going to throw strikes no matter what. That's what I was able to establish."

The Phillies established the tone, changing it from bleak to bright and taking a one-game advantage the best way they can. They scored nine runs in their previous two postseason games, all on home runs.

"We hit home runs. That's what we do," hitting coach Milt Thompson said. "We did a good job of trying to be patient."

"Maybe the wind helped us," slugger Ryan Howard said. "However it happened, we'll take it. When we got the two home runs and took the lead, everybody was going crazy. With each out, you could just feel the energy getting higher and higher and higher down to the last strike. When we finally got the last out, it was just mayhem."

Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


“It takes pitching, hitting and defense. Any two can win. All three make you unbeatable.”    
–Joe Garagiola


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PostSubject: Re: 2008 PLAYOFF - WS NEWS   Fri Oct 10, 2008 11:33 pm

10/10/2008 8:08 PM ET

Box >

Phillies plant Dodgers in 2-0 hole
Myers drives in three runs; Victorino collects four RBIs
By Ken Mandel / MLB.com

PHILADELPHIA -- When a Manny Ramirez three-run homer complete with a chest-pounding, finger-wagging show for the home crowd becomes an insignificant detail, the Phillies have done plenty right.

The Phillies did just that in downing the Dodgers, 8-5 in Game 2 of the best-of-seven National League Championship Series on Friday at Citizens Bank Park. From Shane Victorino's four RBIs and strong defensive play to pitcher Brett Myers' three hits and three RBIs and another outstanding effort from the bullpen.

Philadelphia, which scored nine runs in its previous two postseason games on home runs, plated eight on Friday without a ball leaving the yard.

Four runs came in the second inning, and Myers was again in the center, like when he unraveled Milwaukee's CC Sabathia in Game 2 of the NL Division Series. After Carlos Ruiz laced a two-out double to score Greg Dobbs and tie the game at 1, Myers singled home Ruiz with the first of his three hits.

Rollins singled, then he and Myers moved to second and third, respectively, on Matt Kemp's bobble in center. Victorino delivered them both with a two-run single for a 4-1 lead.

Los Angeles got a run back in the third, but Philadelphia extended its lead to 8-2 with four more runs, capped by a two-run triple.

According to baseball-reference.com, Myers collected the eighth three-hit game by a pitcher in postseason history, the first since Dontrelle Willis in the 2003 NL Division Series against the Giants.

Running the bases took its toll on Myers, who needed 102 pitches to escape five innings. Ramirez's homer in the fourth pulled Los Angeles within three runs, where it remained.

The Phillies became the 19th team in history to win the first two games of the NLCS. Of the clubs that have jumped out to a 2-0 lead, 16 of the 18 teams have ended up winning the series.

Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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PostSubject: Re: 2008 PLAYOFF - WS NEWS   Sat Oct 11, 2008 4:18 pm

10/11/2008 2:49 AM ET

Box >

Dice-K, bullpen answer opening bell
Right-hander flirts with no-no, trio of relievers close door
By Ian Browne / MLB.com

ST. PETERSBURG -- It turns out that those same escape hatches that Daisuke Matsuzaka found so routinely from April through September still work during the ultra-pressurized month of October.

Put Matsuzaka in the midst of what should be a daunting jam and the man buckles down and goes to work. In Game 1 of the American League Championship Series, Matsuzaka's gift for navigating through trouble helped lift the Red Sox to a tense 2-0 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on Friday night.

Then again, it isn't just Matsuzaka who is resourceful when things get sticky. For the Red Sox, who are trying to become the first team to repeat as World Series champions since the 2000 Yankees, pressure is what they thrive on.

Just like in the AL Division Series against the Angels, the Red Sox opened by silencing their opponent, and as a result in this case, the clanging cowbells and the Tropicana Field crowd.

Aside from the brilliant work of their starter, the Red Sox got six big outs from their bullpen and a clutch RBI double in the eighth by Kevin Youkilis that provided some breathing room. Jonathan Papelbon finished off the Rays with a scoreless ninth, allowing him to break Joe Niekro's record (20) for most career postseason innings (20 2/3) without a run.

"We're kind of used to playing in these games," said Red Sox slugger David Ortiz. "When we played in the regular season against the Yankees or these guys, it's this type of feeling. We're kind of used to it. Nobody panics."

Certainly not Matsuzaka.

In what was easily the best postseason performance of Matsuzaka's two-year run with the Red Sox (seven-plus innings, four hits, four walks, nine strikeouts), he had a no-hitter through six, only for Carl Crawford to open the seventh with a clean single to right.

"He just continues to make pitches when he has to," said Red Sox shortstop Jed Lowrie, who broke the scoreless tie with a sacrifice fly in the fifth. "He gets himself into some tough spots and gets himself out of it. It's pretty fun to play behind him. A little nerve-wracking, but it's pretty fun to watch."

It was a sweet win for the Red Sox, opening the best-of-seven series by stealing one on the road at a venue they went 1-8 at during the regular season.

"This is my first postseason, but it just seems like you can throw all the regular-season stats out the window," said Lowrie. "It's just a different atmosphere and a whole different game during the playoffs. Like I said earlier, to get a win on the road in the opening game is huge."

Ortiz, who knows a thing or two about the pressure of October, sensed a different look from the Rays than what he saw in the regular season. Tampa Bay beat Boston by two games in the AL East, and won the head-to-head series, 10-8.

"I saw faces tonight different than what I [saw] in the regular season," Ortiz said in reference to the Rays. "I don't blame nobody. There's a lot of pressure right now in this game, because you know, you have to win, otherwise you go home. That relaxed kind of type of thing that you have during the regular season, it wasn't out there tonight."

In other words, were the Rays tight?

"I don't know if they were tight," Ortiz said. "You know, that one situation when you come with men on base and you get that hit or you get that run in that you saw all year round from those guys where they'd say, 'OK, we're down one run or two runs, we're going to get it done.' It wasn't out there tonight. I don't think we saw that. This is their first time in the playoffs. Those guys, they've been doing a [heck] of a job this season. But this is a totally different feeling."

For Matsuzaka, on the other hand, it seemed so similar to many of his 29 starts during the regular season, amid which he dodged trouble to the tune of an 18-3 record with a 2.90 ERA.

After Crawford snapped Matsuzaka's no-hit bid to lead off the seventh, Cliff Floyd followed with a single into left-center, setting up first and third with nobody out.

But Matsuzaka got Dioner Navarro on a shallow fly to left, struck out Gabe Gross on a nasty sinking fastball and induced Jason Bartlett into a grounder to short to end the threat.

"The way our infield was set up, we were prepared to give up the run for a couple of outs," Matsuzaka said through interpreter Masa Hoshino. "But I certainly didn't want to let any runs score."

In the first inning, Matsuzaka had loaded the bases on three walks, but he also wiggled out of that one.

"He gives himself a lot of opportunities, but he doesn't give in," said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. "He throws all his pitches, so hitters have to respect them. Even in tight situations, he doesn't become a one-pitch pitcher."

After a quiet and frustrating night offensively against Rays righty James Shields, the Red Sox at last produced some insurance against the Tampa Bay bullpen in the eighth. After Dustin Pedroia struck a one-out single against Shields, Rays manager Joe Maddon went to lefty J.P. Howell to face Ortiz.

That resulted in a walk. Youkilis came up with the big hit, an RBI double to left that Crawford made a diving attempt at, only to see it glance off his glove and roll past him. Finally, the Red Sox could breathe, if only slightly, at 2-0.

"I saw the ball pretty good today," said Youkilis, who also doubled in the first. "I got a curveball and stayed in the zone and capitalized. He's a tough pitcher to face. He's one of those guys that's going to get you out a lot. You've just got to go up there and battle and grind it out."

Once the insurance run came across, it was decision time for Francona. Though Matsuzaka had thrown 107 pitches through seven, Francona went back to him in the eighth.

That backfired, as Akinori Iwamura led off with a single to left and B.J. Upton hit a rocket to third that Youkilis couldn't make a play on for an infield single.

Francona then went to lefty Hideki Okajima. Carlos Pena, the power-hitting first baseman, swung at a 3-0 pitch and flew out to right, with J.D. Drew hustling in to make the catch. Again, the Red Sox went to the bullpen, this time calling on rookie Justin Masterson. The sinkerballer did what he does best, getting Evan Longoria on an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play that had to deflate the Rays.

"We know how to deal with situations in the playoffs," Ortiz said. "Pretty much young players, veteran players, everyone around here knows how to deal with it."

Silenced by Shields early, the Red Sox finally got something together in the fifth. Jason Bay led off with a walk and Mark Kotsay followed with the most fortuitous check swing the Red Sox have had all season. The excuse-me swing resulted in a blooper double to left, giving Boston runners at second and third with nobody out. Lowrie took advantage, lifting a sacrifice fly to right to bring home the first run of the game.

"I got lucky," Kotsay said. "I took a check swing, and the ball found some outfield grass and turned into a double. That's part of the game. You can square a ball up and kind of get caught and run back to the dugout and feel sorry for yourself, and then take a check swing and get a double. It eventually led to a run."

And the Red Sox -- though it was anything but easy -- were on their way.

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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PostSubject: Re: 2008 PLAYOFF - WS NEWS   Sat Oct 11, 2008 10:44 pm

Rays 5

Red Sox 3


4th inning
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PostSubject: Re: 2008 PLAYOFF - WS NEWS   Sat Oct 11, 2008 10:49 pm

5-3 Rays after 4 innings
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PostSubject: Re: 2008 PLAYOFF - WS NEWS   Sat Oct 11, 2008 11:02 pm

6-5 Red Sox

5th inning


Three solo Home runs for the Red Sox
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PostSubject: Re: 2008 PLAYOFF - WS NEWS   Sat Oct 11, 2008 11:35 pm

7-6 Rays

Bottom of 5th
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PostSubject: Re: 2008 PLAYOFF - WS NEWS   Sun Oct 12, 2008 12:12 am

8-7 RAYS IN 6TH INNING


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PostSubject: Re: 2008 PLAYOFF - WS NEWS   Sun Oct 12, 2008 1:30 am

8-8 game


Bottom of the Ninth
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PostSubject: Re: 2008 PLAYOFF - WS NEWS   Sun Oct 12, 2008 2:06 am

11th inning

8-8
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PostSubject: Re: 2008 PLAYOFF - WS NEWS   Sun Oct 12, 2008 2:33 am

Bases Loaded

Bottom of the 11th

still 8-8
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PostSubject: Re: 2008 PLAYOFF - WS NEWS   Sun Oct 12, 2008 2:34 am

Upton at bat
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