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Yes we did!

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I still don’t feel anything. It feels like just another win.
It feels like we have another game to play tomorrow.

It will sink in eventually, probably on Friday when we drive
down Broad Street. We’re the champs and have nothing left to play for.
We got our ultimate goal. Hopefully, they’ll be many more to come. I
remember walking into Spring Training and talking about our goals.
It’s been a great ride and an enjoyable moment.

 

I almost lost it when the door opened in the ninth and Brad
Lidge ran out. It was so loud. You could tell the fans were hungry and
ready. I can imagine what it’s going to be like on Broad Street. We’ll celebrate with them on Friday. I have 50 text messages already, and
that was 20 minutes ago.

 

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I remember watching Sid Fernandez in 1986 when he won with
the Mets, and how cool that was. I was six, but Sid was one of my idols, being
from Hawaii.
You always dream of being a part of a team that wins a championship. Lo and
behold, 2008 here we are.

 

I guess the curse is gone. William Penn is happy, now.

Really close

victorino-howard275.jpgWe are so close, I can taste it, but at the same time, I know it’s way too early to celebrate. Sorry for the cliche, but I don’t want to jinx. If we come out tomorrow and play our game, we can win.

Then we will be WORLD CHAMPIONS. That will be unbelievable. This is definitely an exciting time, but it still seems like we’re a long way from getting there. I know we’re in the driver’s seat, and we put ourselves in a good position with our ace on the mound Monday. We have to keep our foot on the pedal. We have to try and finish the team off.

This has been such a great ride, but we need to finish this and bring a championship home.

I can’t imagine what it’s going to be like in this city, if we can do it. Driving home on Broad Street after Saturday’s win, I could see the excitement already, and we had just won one game. The closer we get, the more exciting it gets. We hope to share this with you guys tomorrow.

You deserve it to. Being from Hawaii, I never really understood what the passion of this city was like, in terms of its sports teams. I get it now. I know I’m not going to get much sleep tonight.

Wow

victorino-wild-pitch275.jpgSeriously, wow. Did that really happen? People were going nuts in the stands, so I guess we really did win that game.

If we end up winning the World Series, this is going to be the game that stands out. We got the lead, lost it and ended up winning. Wild.

I’m really tired, as you can imagine, so I don’t have much to say. None of us realized how late it was until we got in the clubhouse and looked at the clock. It’s funny how you feel fine during the game — adrenaline I guess — and then all of a sudden, you feel it.

It doesn’t matter though. WE WON and we’re going to enjoy it. We have to play again tomorrow, or later today.

Home-field advantage

victorino550x250.jpgIt is great to be back in Philadelphia. I hope everyone has their white towels unpacked and ready to go. We’re ready to go. It seems like it’s been a while since we played a game at Citizens Bank Park.

You guys are going to get loud and we’ll appreciate every cheer you make. It was pretty loud in St. Pete, but you guys can do a lot better than that. I’m sure you realize how big a part you can play in this.

At one game apiece, we feel that we have home-field advantage. We have to win three more games, and we’d love to sweep here and celebrate with you.

We’re really looking forward to it.

Getting ready

So much has happened since we clinched. On the plane, everyone was still ecstatic and having a good time, but eventually we needed to sleep. I managed to get some rest. I dreamed we had made it to the World Series, and when I woke up, I realized we really had.

Getting off the plane and seeing the fans, with cameras everywhere and police on the runway, was awesome. It was neat hearing about the night we clinched and the partying down Broad Street. It says how hungry this city is. I can only imagine what it will be like if we do win the World Series. We’re one step away.

There’s been a lot going on off the field. I’m trying to get my family here, and get everyone tickets. It’s an exciting time not just for me, but for my family. It’s all positive. It all comes with what’s going
on now. My parents want to come, aunts, uncles, my fiancee’s side of the family. All my friends from home want to come. A lot of them said, ‘If you get to the World Series, we’re coming no matter what.’ I look at guys like Derek Jeter, who have played in the postseason every year. I can imagine what it’s like for them. This is our first time, and we may never get back, so you want as many people to share the experience with you.

I’m
amazed at what’s gone on here, especially in a time with economic
struggles. There’s so much going on in the world, but the city has
really embraced us. Everybody is going to stores and buying Phillies stuff. It says what this team is doing for our city. It’s exciting, and we’ll just ride it.

Almost there

Last night was one of the most exciting games I’ve ever been involved in, and Matt Stairs put an exclamation point on it. My home run just tied the game. His put us over the top.

It just goes to show how we’re never out of a game. That said, this series is far from over. It’s seven games for a reason. They’re going to come out strong and try and take it. We can’t let them.

As you guys know, this has been a crazy month for me. I’ve had a lot of emotions, but playing games has been great therapy. It’s about winning. All the off-the-field stuff is forgotten on the field. I’m glad I’m able to play in the postseason and turn my focus on baseball. I know my grandmother is helping me.

We’re enjoying this. We’ll be ready to go Wednesday.

We got Game 1

Man, things can happen quickly in this game. Derek Lowe dominated all night and forced us to hit balls on the ground. He wasn’t up all night, besides those two pitches to Chase and Pat. He left balls up when he figured guys were taking first pitches to get his pitch count up. But when guys were in swing mode, he kept the ball down.

Momentum can shift off a simple mistake, or a big home run, or big pitch. The Furcal error swayed it a bit our way, then Chase came up with the home run. That put us right back in the game. That was big and it shows you can beat anyone on any given day. It was great to get game one, but we have to come back and try to win tomorrow.

On Rafael Furcal’s error, when I saw James Loney reach up, I said to myself, ‘What’s happening here?’ I slowed down to make sure I touched first, and not run by it. I wanted to make sure I could get to second.

On that ball Manny hit in the first, I’ve never seen a ball hit that fence above the padding, ever. Either it goes into the cameras or kicks off the wall and toward the fielder, where the center fielder is doing a dance trying to knock it down.

I also didn’t mean to collide with Lowe there to end the third inning. I wasn’t trying to wrestle him. It was funny because when we were getting up, he looked at me and said, ‘Sorry, I’m just slow.’ I wasn’t trying to bring him down, but if I’m falling, let me brace my fall by grabbing him. It ended up being a little more weight than I expected. As skinny as he is, he’s a pretty big boy.

Back and ready to roll

Hey everyone. I’m rested and ready to go. Winning against Milwaukee was awesome.
When we got back from Milwaukee,
fans were waiting, and showed how excited they are for a championship. We’re
trying. I figure there will a lot of energy, but what happens Thursday is the
bottom line.

It’s all about winning a championship. Cole Hamels said
something the other day about turning this town from green to red, but I don’t
see it that way. My thought is, it doesn’t matter who wins a championship.
We’re playing for Philadelphia,
the city. We’re not trying to beat the Eagles. We’re not trying to outdo the
76ers or the Flyers. We’re just trying to focus on winning a World Series.

It’s kind of fun that we’re playing the Dodgers, since they
were the team that originally drafted me, then let me go twice in the Rule 5
draft. I know a lot of those guys. Russell Martin was drafted a year after I
was. James Loney, Matt Kemp, Chad Billingsley, I was there when all those guys
were in the minor. It’s nice to see them at the big-league level, having success
and doing well.

Of course, I want to beat them.

I thought about how I could be there with them right now, if
things had been different, but I always say that one team’s trash is another
team’s treasure. When one team doesn’t give you the opportunity, you hope to
get one somewhere else. I don’t hold any grudges. I just want to play the game
and have fun. I have to turn the page.

It’s just amazing to me that, regardless of how far we’ve
come, we still have to go further. I’m trying not to look too far ahead. We
don’t have a ring. We still have to earn it. Until then, I can’t talk about it.

Getting closer

So here we are! Words can’t describe what I’m feeling right now. This is exciting. Watching Jason Kendall ground to Jimmy was amazing. I’m glad I was on the field. I’ll never forget it.

After losing on Friday, and seeing how their crowd was really into it, it was huge for Jimmy to put the momentum back with a leadoff homer today. It set the tone and kick-started us. Going up 1-0 is what it’s about. Pat’s two homers today were also pretty big, and Joe Blanton was awesome. He gave us a big lift.

We took another giant step forward, but have two more steps to go. I can’t wait until Thursday. The fans will be ready to go. We will be too. We’ll take today’s win and get ready to go in the next couple of days. To win a division, to win a pennant, you have to have everybody
contributing. Every guy has to step up to win a pennant. We have to keep going. We can’t lose sight of what’s at the end of the road.

That’s where we’re at right now. We still haven’t reached our ultimate goal, so we’re not going to get overly excited.

This is a dream. When it’s all said and done, you’ll gather your emotions and savor this moment. This is what you dream about as a child. You set goals every day. But one goal at a time. We have two more steps to go.

We have a tremendous team. Our overall chemistry, our overall team, the diversity of our attitude, our personalities, that’s what makes it so fun. People always talk about how it’s so fun to watch this team. I think that’s what you see. Even when we’re down, we’re still having fun, but in a professional way. We know we always have an opportunity. That’s what’s been good about us all year long. We’ve been down many times and we keep plugging.

I plan to relax on Monday, so I’ll talk to you guys in a few days.

Still one more…

What can I say?

We lost. Dave Bush pitched well. We hit the ball well, just at guys for a good part of the game. You tip your hat to him. He kept the runs to a minimum. We made a push in the ninth, but they did their job and held on. Bush went out there and did what he needed to do tonight.

We thought we had something going in the ninth. Pedro Feliz hit that ball well, too. He hits that a foot either way, it’s a hit. We’re still leading in the series and they have to win two more games. We have to play them tomorrow, so we’ll go out there and try to end this. We want to finish it here.

As for my ninth-inning play on Craig Counsell, it wasn’t dirty. If that was the case, I would’ve just bowled him over. That wasn’t my intention. I was trying to get him to throw the ball off my chest, or my helmet, something. When the ball was hit, I said to myself, “That’s almost an automatic double play.” He hit the ball so well and Billy made a good play. I was just trying to get something to happen. I was trying to stay out of a double play. It didn’t work.

I have confidence in this team and in Joe Blanton. We’ll come out and play hard, and hopefully we’ll be able to rest until Thursday, when the NLCS starts.