Ten years ago today, Jimmy Rollins’ Game 4 NLCS walkoff advanced the Phillies one win away from back-to-back World Series appearances.
Who knows what would have happened had it not been for eventual Phillies franchise hits leader Jimmy Rollins‘ walk-off, two-run double against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 4 of the 2009 National League Championship Series.
The Phillies and Dodgers split the first two games of the series, both of which took place at Dodger Stadium. Game 3’s 11-0 rout, led by Cliff Lee‘s eight shutout innings, set the Phillies up from needing just two more wins to clinch back-to-back National League pennants.
Game 4, one day later, was far from a lock win. While the Phillies grabbed an early, 2-0 lead in the first, the Dodgers responded with as many runs in the fourth, followed by additional runs, one each, in the fifth and sixth innings.
Trailing 4-2 in the bottom of the sixth, Chase Utley ironically faced former Phillies southpaw Randy Wolf. With a single to right, Utley scored Shane Victorino from third to cut the deficit in half.
The 4-3 score in favor of the Dodgers would remain heading into the bottom of the ninth. Jonathan Broxton took the mound for the Dodgers, and got Raul Ibanez to ground out to second. Then, things began to unravel, as Broxton walked Matt Stars and hit catcher Carlos Ruiz to put two runners on.
Pinch-hitter Greg Dobbs‘ line out to second, the inning’s second out, decreased the Phillies’ chances of a comeback.
Yet, Rollins made sure the rally would not go for naught.
Rollins, 40, played 17 seasons in the majors from 2000 to 2016, tallying 2,455 hits, 511 doubles, 115 triples, 231 home runs, 936 RBI, and 470 stolen bases spanning 2,275 games and 10,240 plate appearances.
In15 seasons in red pinstripes, 2000 to 2014, the Oakland, California, native produced a .267/.327/.424 slash, three All-Star appearances, four Gold Glove awards, and a 2007 National League MVP award in which he led the league in runs (139), triples (20), plate appearances (778) and at-bats (716), along with his 30 home runs and 94 RBI.
While the Phillies would go on to advance to the World Series for the second straight year, they fell short of their third-ever championship. Yet, we can still always thank Rollins for furthering the team deeper into the postseason, thus creating even more unforgettable memories.