10/14/09 10:53 PM ET
Stairs' shot continues to reverberate
Phils slugger won Game 4 of last year's NLCS with clout
By Todd Zolecki / MLB.com
Matt Stairs vs. Jonathan Broxton.
Stairs crushed a game-winning two-run home run to right field in a 7-5 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 4 of the 2008 NLCS, which the Phillies ultimately won in five games. Phillies fans remind Stairs of the home run almost every day, even while he struggled this summer through an 0-for-30 slump.
"Don't worry, you'll be there for the playoffs," fans would yell at Stairs as he entered the Phillies' dugout.
Well, the postseason is here, and Stairs is back at Dodger Stadium.
"Do I think about it? Yeah," Stairs said before a team workout Wednesday. "It's hard not to come back and know something special happened here last year. Maybe I can do it again. Actually, I hope I don't need to. Hopefully we have a big lead. I'm pretty sure I'll be sitting down and studying his pitches again, but that was last year."
But the homer not only is stuck in the minds of Phillies fans and Stairs, it remains stuck in the minds of those who were on the Dodgers last season.
Dodgers manager Jim Torre was asked Wednesday if Stairs' home run might have made the organization feel it needed to get Jim Thome.
"I think he's the same type of threat," Torre said. "He's a guy that you hope that you have somebody in the bullpen to come get. When Jim Thome's name was brought up to me, that's the first thing I thought of -- not Matt Stairs, but the fact that he really keeps the other manager knowing that this guy is liable to come off at any time, and he could tie a game, he could win a game, things like that. It's similar to Matt, for sure."
Phillies right-hander Chan Ho Park pitched last season for the Dodgers. Asked what he remembered most of the NLCS against the Phillies, he didn't miss a beat.
"Stairs," he said. "It was a nightmare."
The Phillies obviously feel much differently about it.
"It was deep. It was real deep," Jimmy Rollins said. "As it was going out of the ballpark, I'm coming up to give him five. I'm thinking to myself that after everything that went wrong in this game, we still have a chance."
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.