Wily veteran Rollins puts Phillies on brink of return to World Series
PHILADELPHIA -- The moment the clubhouse doors swung open to the media, a little past midnight Tuesday morning, the Phillies turned all at once and dashed from their lockers into the privacy of their back lounge. They surrounded their longest-tenured player, raised shots of Tequila Don Julio, and chanted: "One more! One more! One more!" Then they strutted back into the clubhouse, all of them following shortstop
Rollins arrived in Philadelphia in 2000, before any other player on the current roster, and he quickly became the king of the city's baseball scene. But this season his crown appeared to be losing a little of its luster. His batting average, .250, was the lowest it had been in seven years. His on-base percentage, .296, was the lowest it had been in his entire career. He did not fare any better in the playoffs, and when he came to the plate down by a run with two on and two out in the ninth inning Monday night, his post-season batting average was down to .216.
He was facing
The Phillies met Rollins a quarter of the way down the third-base line,
The rally started with a one-out walk to Stairs, the pinch hitter who beat Broxton with a home run in Game 4 of last year's NLCS. "He was throwing gas," Stairs said. "He just wasn't throwing strikes." Superstitious players on the Phillies bench started shouting, "Same seat!" so as not to jinx a potential comeback. Then Broxton hit Ruiz, the ultimate example of a hitter taking one for the team. Players on the bench shouted to Ruiz, "We've got ice." After a soft lineout by pinch-hitter
The Phillies, in no mood for another cross-country trip to Los Angeles, are now in position to close out this series at Citizens Bank on Wednesday night. They have
"You never know with these guys," said Lidge. "They're capable of incredible things."