Coming Home Champions!
(Photo: Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
(Photo: Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Posted Oct 16, 2008

Cole Hamels was steady and the Phillies bullpen shut down the Dodgers through the final two innings to win the NLCS four-games-to-one. With his second strong outing in the series, Hamels took home the NLCS MVP Award.

The Phillies jumped out early with a solo home run from Jimmy Rollins to start the game and never looked back. For the second time in the series, the Phillies offense knocked Dodgers starter Chad Billingsley out of the game before he could even make it through three innings.

Billingsley exited with two outs in the third and the Phillies holding a 3-0 lead after RBI singles from Ryan Howard and Pat Burrell. Chan Ho Park worked out of a bases-loaded, two-out jam by getting Pedro Feliz to ground out as the Dodgers tried to stay in the game.

Rafael Furcal made three errors in the fifth inning as the Phillies put up two unearned runs against Greg Maddux, who was working in a relief role for the Dodgers.

Manny Ramirez made his presence known in the sixth inning with a solo home run, but the Dodgers couldn't put up any other runs against Hamels or relievers Ryan Madson or Brad Lidge. Hamels threw seven innings giving up one earned run, topping his Game One outing when he threw seven innings and allowed two earned runs. His series ERA of 1.93 made him a relatively easy choice to be the series MVP.

The Phillies will now await the winner of the ALCS between the Tampa Bay Rays and Boston Red Sox. The Rays lead that series three-games-to-one and look to lock up their spot in the World Series with a win in Boston. Game One of the World Series is slated for Wednesday October 22nd, giving the Phillies a week off to enjoy their win and prepare for their first World Series game in 15 years.

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