What Game 4 Means for the Phillies

If you've been reading along here either at FanHouse or any other baseball pundits during this post-season, you've probably read the same thing over and over again about the Phillies: if Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins don't start hitting, they're going to be in trouble. I think it's time to trash that line of thinking. I'm officially amending it to, "When Shane Victorino and Matt Stairs are hitting huge home runs, the Phillies aren't going to lose."

Perhaps that's the most impressive thing about the Phillies in this series. The heart of the Phillies' order hasn't hit terribly well, but Victorino and Stairs got the huge hits tonight. The middle part of the bullpen (that's you, Chad Durbin) broke down tonight, but Brad Lidge pulled together after some recent shaky outings and picked up his first four-out save of the year. It's hard to beat a team that's getting help from so many places. The two unlikely homers tonight helped them to a 3-1 series lead and while that doesn't mean the series is over, it's getting close.

That 3-1 lead for the Phillies means that in order to win the series, they need one win in the next three games. Cole Hamels is starting Game 5 and Games 6 and 7 are in Philadelphia, where the Phillies haven't lost this post-season and haven't lost to the Dodgers all year. Sure, the Phillies could blow this lead. If they do, though, it's going to be a pretty epic collapse. Game 4 wasn't an easy win for the Phillies, but it does put them firmly in the driver's seat for this series.

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