Mixed Emotions

Every single emotion possible was expressed today at Citizen's Bank Park. Whether it was excitement before the game, the laughter during the game, the nerves in the 9th inning, the happiness of a win, or the tears of sadness in the Phillies clubhouse, every emotion was felt at The Bank.

Charlie Manuel managed the game heavy hearted after he found out about the loss of his 85 year old mother. Manuel was the oldest of 11 children. His father committed suicide when Charlie was just 19 years old. Manuel, who is known to get emotional after the Phillies clinched, was tough today as he managed the game. He did not address the media, and its unsure whether Manuel will join the team in Los Angeles.

The players wanted to win this one for their manager. Charlie has been there for them all year, and this would be a way the players could give back to him. The Phillies would need some help from Brett Myers, Friday's starter for the Phillies. Myers would have to limit Manny Ramirez and the Dodgers in order to have a good game, as the Phillies faced Dodgers ace, Chad Billingsley.

Myers' curveball to start the game was excellent. As the game went on, he lost some of his command.

The Dodgers were the first to score as Blake Dewitt grounded out after Andre Eithier singled, and James Loney doubled off the right field wall. The Dodgers took a 1-0 lead, but it did not last very long.

In the bottom of the second, Greg Dobbs reached with a 2 out singled under the glove of shortstop Rafeal Furcal. Carlos Ruiz followed with a double in the gap that scored Dobbs to tie the game.

Brett Myers, who had an amazing at bat that against CC Sabathia in game 2 of the NLDS which led to Shane Victorion's homerun, was at it again. This time on the first pitch, Brett slapped a single into right center field which scored Carlos Ruiz.

The hit parade started, and the Phillies batted around on a 2 out rally. Rollins and Victorino each singled, and the Phillies took a 4-1 lead. In the process, Myers even went first to third, despite almost tripping over his own feet.

The Dodgers would get a run back on a James Loney RBI single.

The Phillies answered back in the bottom half of the third. Myers wasn't done. With one out, Myers hit a single past the drawn in, diving James Loney which scored 2 runs. Shane Victorino followed with a triple, and the Phillies had a comfortable 8-2 lead.

Once again, the Dodgers responded in some way. Myers looked as if he got through an easy 4th inning, until Furcal reached first on a drop third strike. 2 batters later, Manny Ramirez hit a 3 run homerun just over the fence, and just like that, it was a ball game again.

In the first inning, Myers threw behind Manny. Manny wasn't a happy camper, but Brett insisted he was trying to throw hard and pitch inside, and the ball simply slipped. Either way, Manny got a little revenge.

Myers lasted just 5 innings, as he gave up 5 earned runs. He may have been gassed after running the bases. After the game, he also said he sprained his ankle a bit after he went from first to third. Myers gave up 5 hits and 4 walks. He struck out 6.

The highlight of Brett's night was not on the mound. It came at the plate. Myers had only 4 hits in the entire season this year. He matched that total in 5 postseason at bats. Myers is 4/5 with 4 RBI this postseason. He has more hits in the NLCS than Ryan Howard does.

Watching Myers hit was hilarious, and he knew it. His reactions were priceless. He shrugged his shoulders after he reached first base implying that he had no idea how he hit the ball. In the dugout, he put his hands over his eyes as he made a swinging motion showing how he hit.

The Phillies bullpen did their job holding the Dodgers to just 1 hit. The Dodgers had a chance to do some damage with 2 on and 2 out for Casey Blake. Blake hit a deep fly ball to center field, however Victorino made an outstanding catch as he leaped up against the wall.

Like the Phillies bullpen, the Dodgers bullpen was lights out as well. The Phillies did not manage any runs off their bullpen.

Brad Lidge made it interesting in the 9th inning. He walked 2 batters, and with one out, the tying run was at the plate. Luckily, he escaped the jam as he struck out the side to earn the save to give the Phillies the victory, and a 2-0 National League Championship Series victory.

The game lasted 3 hours and 33 minutes, although the 2nd and 3rd inning took up a good portion of that time.

The Phillies were excited that he got the win for their heavy hearted manager, but moments after the game, the Phillies learned that one of their players would be down. Shane Victorino learned that his grandmother had passed away during the day.

The Phillies teammates are there for Manuel, Victorino, and their families. The Phillies are a close knit group, and they feel as if they lost someone to their own family. Our condolences to Manuel and Victorino.

Obviously upset after the game from the passing, Victorino said maybe his grandmother or Charlie's mom helped him make his catch.

Emotions flew high all around Philadelphia. Excitement, happiness, laughter, nerves, sadness. Every emotion, you name name it, occurred in South Philly. A roller coaster of emotions indeed.


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