Fri, Oct 17, 2008 - Page 20 News List

Phillies make World Series after easy win

CHAMPIONSHIP-STARVED Phillies fans, who always expect failure, can relax for a week after Philadelphia clinched their first World Series berth in 15 years as Joe Torre came up short again


Phillies players celebrate after winning the National League Championship Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.


Jimmy Rollins homered in the first inning and Cole Hamels pitched his third winner of the playoffs as Philadelphia beat the bumbling Los Angeles Dodgers 5-1 on Wednesday night to book its place in the World Series.

The Phillies — who won the National League championship series 4-1 for their first pennant since 1993 — took advantage of three errors by shortstop Rafael Furcal in the fifth inning and shrugged off another home run by Manny Ramirez.

The Phillies now go for their second World Series title beginning next Wednesday at Tampa Bay or Boston. The Rays lead the Red Sox 3-1 in the ALCS, which resumed last night at Fenway Park.

Brad Lidge closed it out for the Phillies, who won their lone championship in 1980 by beating Kansas City in six games. They also reached the World Series in 1915, 1950, 1983 and 1993, when they lost to Toronto in six games on Joe Carter’s ninth-inning homer off Mitch Williams.

Now they’re headed back, carrying the hopes of a championship-starved city that hasn’t had a title to celebrate since the NBA’s 76ers won it all in 1983.

You can bet your last cheesesteak that Broad Street is primed for a party. And those Phillies fans, who always expect failure, can relax — at least for a week.

Ramirez homered in the sixth to end Hamels’ shutout bid in what might have been his final game with the Dodgers. The slugging left fielder, who hit .520 with four homers, 10 RBIs and 11 walks in eight playoff games, can become a free agent after the World Series.

He batted .396 with 17 homers and 53 RBIs in 53 regular-season games for the Dodgers after being acquired on July 31 from Boston.

On the bench, Joe Torre came up short in the postseason again. He won four World Series in his first five years as manager of the New York Yankees, from 1996 to 2000, but hasn’t won one since.

This was his first year as the Dodgers’ skipper after 12 with the Yankees.

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