10/20/09 1:13 AM EST
Phillies Short Hops: Game 4
Rollins' ninth-inning heroics ignite walk-off celebration
By David Gurian-Peck / MLB.com
Jimmy Rollins' double to right-center with two outs in the bottom of the ninth plated two to give the Phillies a walk-off win. Frozen moment
It's a good sign when a team's biggest quandary is when to leave the dugout to celebrate and where to stage the celebration. The Phillies opted for third base, piling on top of Rollins after his game-winning hit. Big number
4 -- Number of walk-off hits in Phillies postseason history. The last was in Game 3 of the 2008 World Series, when Carlos Ruiz singled in Eric Bruntlett. Game balls
Rollins was unquestionably the hero Monday for how he handled a 99-mph fastball from Dodgers closer Jonathan Broxton. "Jimmy Rollins is a short, quick, compact swing," Phils manager Charlie Manuel said. "He can get to fastballs. He can hit your best heater."
Howard earned a curtain call for his two-run home run in the first inning. With the hit, he joined Lou Gehrig as the only players to record an RBI in eight consecutive postseason games.
During last year's National League Championship Series, Stairs hit a mammoth home run off Broxton. And he loves to take big hacks. But on Monday, he remained patient, working a walk that set up Rollins' heroics.
Sense of October
Brad Lidge was credited with the win, his first of 2009. Although Lidge struggled throughout the regular season, he has not allowed a run in four postseason outings, picking up three saves and Monday's victory.
4 AB, H, HR, 2 RBI, R, BB
Comment: In addition to his record-tying home run, Howard drew a walk to extend the Phillies' sixth-inning rally. He is hitting .385 with four extra-base hits and eight RBIs this series.
6 IP, 4 R, 3 ER, 6 H, 2 BB, 2K
Comment: Blanton had not started in over two weeks, spending the Division Series in the bullpen. He was perfect through three innings before bumbling through the fourth, and he never regained his early dominance. Still, his final line was solid enough to earn a quality start.
"It's one of those situations where I wasn't afraid." -- Rollins on his ninth-inning at-bat.
Cole Hamels -- brilliant in 2008, inconsistent in '09 -- can avoid another cross-country flight and give Philadelphia its second straight pennant with a strong outing in Game 5 on Wednesday.
David Gurian-Peck is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.