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Rollins gets Phillies rollin'

Rollins gets Phillies rollin'

Jimmy Rollins was 0-for-10 in the first two games of the World Series. Once the Philadelphia Phillies got home, he started rolling.
Rollins had three hits and scored three times Sunday night, sparking Philadelphia to a 10-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays and a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven Series.
The speedy leadoff hitter and 2007 National League most valuable player is 5-for-9 with four runs scored in the past two games, a big reason his team is on the cusp of a championship.
"People don't see the work that Jimmy puts in. And going into the cage and watching video, doing whatever it takes to get his swing right. He has the utmost confidence in his abilities and in his swing," teammate Ryan Howard said. "Tonight he went out there and he led the way for us."
How important is Rollins to the Phillies? They went 42-15 this season when Rollins scored at least one run. During his Philadelphia career, the club is 421-202 (.676) when he scores.
"That's incredible. So that tells you right there what he means to the team," hitting coach Milt Thompson said. "That's what he does. He sets the table."
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REMATCH: _ Cole Hamels and Scott Kazmir are ready for a rematch.
After pitching against each other in the World Series opener, the 24-year-old left handers are set to square off again Monday night in Game 5. And just as he hoped, Hamels has a chance to wrap up the second championship in Phillies history.
Hamels is 4-0 with a 1.55 ERA in four starts this postseason for Philadelphia, with 27 strikeouts and eight walks in 29 innings. He beat Kazmir and the Tampa Bay Rays 3-2 last week in Game 1.
"He really has everything going right now. So it feels like you have to be on your `A' game to beat that guy," Kazmir said before Game 4. "So it feels like every pitch you throw is going to be a crucial pitch. You feel like you want to throw up zeros. And if you don't, it's going to be tough to get a win."
Only two pitchers have earned five wins in one postseason, according to the Elias Sports Bureau: Francisco Rodriguez of the 2002 Anaheim Angels and Randy Johnson of the 2001 Arizona Diamondbacks.
Rodriguez worked out of the bullpen, of course, and Johnson won Game 7 of the World Series in relief against the New York Yankees.
Hamels allowed five hits in seven innings last Wednesday night at Tampa Bay. Kazmir lasted six innings, giving up three runs and six hits.
Kazmir was drafted two spots ahead of Hamels in 2002, both out of high school.
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NEW HAMMERS: _ Kevin Youkilis of the Boston Red Sox and Aramis Ramirez of the Chicago Cubs won the Hank Aaron Award in fan voting for the best offensive players in their leagues.
Ramirez hit .289 with 44 doubles, 27 home runs and 111 RBIs for the NL Central champions. Youkilis hit .312 with 43 doubles, 29 home runs and 115 RBIs for the AL wild-card winners.
Youkilis admitted it was tough being at the World Series but not playing in it. Champs last year, the Red Sox lost to Tampa Bay in Game 7 of the AL championship series.
"I heard I'd won the award and I was, 'Oh, that's great.' Then they said you have to go the World Series and I was, 'Oh, that's not great.'"
Like Youkilis, Ramirez hoped to go farther in the postseason. The Cubs were chased in the division series by the Los Angeles Dodgers.
"We won 97 games. Best record in the National League and we couldn't pass the first round for the second year in a row," he said.
The award is named in honor of Aaron, who was on the dais with Youkilis and Ramirez before Game 4 between the Rays and Philadelphia.
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INKY'S WATCHING: _ Count former Philadelphia outfielder Pete Incaviglia as a fan of this year's NL champions.
Incaviglia hit 206 home runs during his 12-year major league career, but the free-swinging slugger might be best remembered for his role on the 1993 Phillies. He had 24 home runs and 89 RBIs in only 116 games, and was a perfect match in one of baseball's most colorful clubhouses.
Now a manger in the independent Can-Am League, the player they called "Inky" hopes this year's Phillies can win the World Series championship the '93 team fell short of against Toronto.
"I'm rooting for the Fightin's, absolutely," Incaviglia said. "I spent the best year of my career here probably in '93. The chemistry with the players, the city, the association with the city, the fans were great. When you win, you remember just about everything about that entire year. You remember all the goofy, crazy things you did."
Incaviglia, who lives in Argyle, Texas, said he was confident the 1993 Phillies could win the World Series. Instead, they lost in six games to the Blue Jays on Joe Carter's ninth-inning homer off closer Mitch Williams.
"I thought we were going to beat Toronto, I really did," Incaviglia said. "I thought we were going to win the whole thing. We didn't lose, they beat us."
Incaviglia was in Philadelphia to promote his involvement with a business group that allows a small stake of ownership in low-level pro sports teams.


Updated : 2021-07-24 06:23 GMT+08:00