May 26, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; The Phillie Phanatic stands on the dugout and entertains the fans during the seventh inning stretch of a game between the Philadelphia Phillies and Colorado Rockies at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies won 9-0. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Faithful Philadelphia Phillies fans, or any of them watching the 2008 National League Championship Series on October 13th for that matter, may remember what happened in the eighth inning of said series.
When the Phillies were down 5-3 and in danger of the Los Angeles Dodgers evening the series at two games apiece, Shane Victorino was the first to come through. The former Phillies outfielder delivered a game-tying two run blast, but it wasn’t the only two-run home run of the inning. The Dodgers then turned to their closer Jonathan Broxton after Carlos Ruiz singled and pinch-hitter Matt Stairs turned in a go-ahead bomb that put the Phillies up 7-5. The Dodgers were unable to retaliate in game four and in the series as the Phillies took game five by a score of 4-1 just two days later, securing a World Series berth.
After the game Stairs commented on his big hit, “In batting practice, I try to hit every ball out of the ballpark. I’m not going to lie, it’s fun. I try to hit home runs and that’s it. I’m not going to hit a single and steal second base. So I think the biggest thing is to get up there, swing hard and elevate.”
That same game, Victorino set a Phillies record with 11 postseason RBIs which surpassed Len Dykstra who had 10 in 1993.
In 1993 on the same date, Dykstra and the Phillies beat the Atlanta Braves 6-3 in game six of the NLCS to advance to the World Series. Unlike 2008, however, the 1993 NLCS win would not come with a favorable World Series outcome.
The Philadelphia organization’s first ever World Series, which came in 1915, also ended on October 13th with a 5-4 loss to Boston. The Phillies were handled 4-1 in the series and would not make it back until 1950.