Ten years ago this month, the Phillies won their second World Series title in franchise history. Over the next few weeks, Jim Salisbury will look back at the team's run through the NLCS and World Series.
So many moments from Game 2 of the 2008 NLCS still stand out.
The Phillies made it two straight wins over the Dodgers with an 8-5 victory in front of another huge, rocking crowd in South Philadelphia.
Starter Brett Myers did not pitch well, but atoned with his bat, stroking three hits and driving in three runs.
The Phils did all their scoring in the second and third innings. Greg Dobbs, a valuable role bat who hit .301 and drove in 40 runs during the regular season, started a four-run rally in the second inning with a two-out base hit and Shane Victorino capped it with a two-run single. An inning later, Victorino had a two-run triple against Chan Ho Park on his way to a four-RBI night.
The bullpen was a huge difference-maker for the Phillies in the second half of the season and it was again on this night as the firm of Chad Durbin, J.C. Romero, Ryan Madson and Brad Lidge combined on four scoreless innings to hold off a Dodgers lineup that featured some thunder.
It is well known that Lidge had a magical season, going a perfect 48 for 48 in save chances in 2008. One of his most magical came on this night as he encountered some turbulence locking down a three-run lead.
Lidge walked two batters in the ninth inning and the crowd at Citizens Bank Park tensed up as the Dodgers brought the tying run to the plate with one out. These were the same Dodgers who had gone 17-8 in September and swept the favored Cubs in the NLDS so they knew a thing or two about rallies.
But Lidge, as he always did in that storybook season, found a way to get it done. And he did it with his signature pitch — that hard, tight, downward-breaking slider that he was not afraid to throw with men on base because he knew it would never get by Carlos Ruiz, the Phillies' slab-of-granite catcher.
Matt Kemp had the first chance at Lidge with two men on base. Lidge struck him out on a 1-2 slider for the second out.
That brought up former two-time American League batting champ Nomar Garciaparra. Lidge struck out Garciaparra on three straight sliders, each a little harder and nastier than the previous one. The final two sliders corkscrewed into the dirt and Ruiz, of course, blocked both to lock down Lidge's 45th straight save.
"No way (Garciaparra) was getting a fastball," Ruiz told me after the game. "You have to go with your best pitch."
On to Los Angeles, up two games to none.