In short time tonight, we're going to have posts telling you what the Phillies' huge 7-5 win over the Dodgers tonight means for both teams and all kinds of analysis and opinions on how the series is going to play out. That's all well and good, but before we get to it, I think everyone needs to take a second and acknowledge Matt Stairs, a man who launched himself into Phillie lore forever tonight in an incredibly unlikely and dramatic fashion.
Tie game, eighth inning, two outs, runner on first base. With the pitcher due up, the Phillies called on Stairs, who's on the eleventh stop of his career in Philadelphia at the age of 40, to pinch hit. And Stairs launched a Jonathan Broxton pitch deep into right field in Dodger Stadium, giving the Phillies their 7-5 margin of victory and quite possibly breaking the Dodgers' backs in the process.
Stairs is the ultimate journeyman. He shows up at the park every day for whatever team he's playing for, and he swings the bat HARD. I swear that one time in Pittsburgh I saw him swing so hard a button popped off his shirt. It's what he's done in Montreal, Boston, Oakland, Chicago, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, Kansas City, Texas, Detroit, Toronto, and finally Philadelphia. He's good at it (career 118 OPS+), but being a platoon-DH/pinch-hitter isn't exactly a job that brings a ton of recognition. After sixteen years, Stairs' massive, button-popping swing has run into a huge post-season home run, and it's hard not to be happy for the guy.