It’s a funny thing about the Phillies: they have lived in the October cauldron for 4 seasons now but they have usually managed to avoid the worst of the heat.
The Phillies have front-run in almost every series in which they have played. The two series they lost — that first one against Colorado in 2007 and last year’s World Series to the Yankees — were disappointments tempered by the reality that a lot had been accomplished along the way.
This series is different, though; different year, different expectations. Lose Game 1 — behind Roy Halladay, at home, when favored to win not only this series against the San Francisco Giants but to win the whole thing — and the temperature begins to rise. It is the simple reality.
The Phillies’ response? Cool, surgical, persistent, adaptive.
With Roy Oswalt looking like Roy Oswalt again on the mound, and with a sudden willingness to play small-ball and manufacture runs, and with slumping Jimmy Rollins providing the emphatic punctuation with a bases-loaded double off of the leftfield wall in the seventh inning, the Phillies evened the National League Championship Series at a game apiece with a 6-1 victory.