NLCS: Phillies Beat Padres to Move One Win From World Series
PHILADELPHIA — In an hour or two, a long-awaited, game-winning home run would be going down to the wire at Citizens Bank Park. That wouldn’t change how the National League Championship Series is going down, though.
The Phillies and the St. Louis Cardinals will be playing for the championship, so there will be plenty of time for fans to get excited for each team’s big win.
But for those of us glued to our televisions and computer screens, we’re rooting for the Phillies to win, just like we’re rooting for us to win the World Series when we watch on Sunday, only this time there’s time to really sit back and enjoy the moment.
What happened in Game 7 on Wednesday night wasn’t so much in the way of a thrilling play or a big baseball moment, but in the way of something that came with almost no fanfare and had little impact on the rest of the season. It was, in fact, the simplest of moments.
The Phillies’ ace, Cole Hamels, was facing a right-hander with a fastball that usually sits in the low to mid-90s, and with a slider that has a reputation for taking a lot of balls. This game was Hamels’s 28th start against the Cardinals this season, so it was important to him.
It wasn’t hard to figure out who that pitcher was. In the first inning, he held the Cardinals to one run on two hits and walked three. When the Phillies came up to bat in the third inning, Hamels knew he was going to face a pitcher who had been making it hard on hitters.
He was up by a run. The Phillies’ ace was able to get through the sixth inning without walking anyone, but he was still facing a pitcher with a pitch that consistently gets a lot of swings and misses.
What was also obvious to everyone else on hand, including manager Ruben Amaro Jr. and his staff, was the pitcher hadn’t lost a game since he was recalled from Triple-A