Bud Selig and the television executives will not have their dream series of New York versus Los Angeles as the Phillies took care of the Dodgers on Wednesday night sending the Phillies to their second straight World Series. We've long expected Vincente Padilla to crash and burn and it didn't take long into the final game to see it happen. Jason Werth hit a three-run homer in the first and Feliz homered in the second and it was pretty much over.
The Phillies are either a team of destiny, or they just know how to win. Brad Lidge, who had been spectacularly awful all season did not give up a run in the NLCS and finished with a WHIP of 0.75. Rollins, who did not even have an On Base Percentage over .300 this season, won the game for the Phillies in Game 4. The team never looks great on paper except for Utley and Howard, but they find a way to beat you, especially if you keep them in the game.
In the end, a lot of people will put this series (and last year's) on Joe Torre, which is a bit unfair. They will say that he hasn't won the big one since 2000 and can't get his teams over the hump. But a manager's only job is to put the players on the field that he thinks will give him the best chance to win and it's their job to get it done. They didn't. Loney and Belliard were the only Dodgers' starters that batted over .263 for the series. The bullpen failed on a number of occasions and they simply got beat.
Torre uses pretty much the same tactics that won his four world titles. Get the game to the closer. But the Dodgers don't have Mariano Rivera. That was surely evident when Broxton tippytoed around Matt Stairs in Game 4 with two out. Do you think Rivera would have been afraid of a guy because he got beat one time by him? Heck no.
So the point is, Torre didn't have the horses he had in New York during those winning years. He didn't have a team of winners. He had a bunch of players who found a way to get beat. The Phillies, on the other hand, are winners. Darned if this writer knows how they do it, but you can't argue with the results.