MILWAUKEE — With plenty of power to go with their improved pitching, the Phillies are ready for anything in the NL Championship Series.
Bring on the Dodgers.
"I like our chances," manager Charlie Manuel said Sunday after Philadelphia clinched its first trip to the NLCS since 1993 with a 6-2 victory over the Brewers.
"I think we can hold our own with them. Actually, I think we can beat anybody in the National League, really," he said.
Especially if the Phillies keep playing this way.
After scuffling through the first three games of the NL Division Series, Philadelphia's offense broke out in a big way against the Brewers in Game 4 of the best-of-five series. Jimmy Rollins led off the game with a home run, Pat Burrell connected twice to break out of his postseason slump and Jayson Werth added a solo shot.
Not to be overlooked, midseason addition Joe Blanton pitched a gem, holding the Brewers to one run through six-plus innings after an eight-day layoff.
"That took a lot of pressure off of us," Rollins said of his home run. "We were up 1-0, regardless, no matter how the top of the first ended. On the other side, of course, it's going to put a little more pressure on you because their guys are thinking, 'Okay, well, we got to answer back.' "
The Brewers never could, and the Phillies rushed the mound at Miller Park after the final out, setting off a celebration. Some Philly fans held up a banner that read, "World Series Here We Come Fightin' Phillies."
In the clubhouse, the Phillies sprayed each other with champagne and beer, with Rollins wearing swimming goggles and a big grin as he searched for unsuspecting, not to mention dry, teammates.
Burrell was doused so many times it could be days before his sweatshirt dries out, but he never stopped smiling. "I couldn't be more thrilled. You know, I don't think it's actually sunk in all that much yet," he said.
Game 1 of the NLCS is Thursday in Philadelphia. During the regular season, the Phillies and Dodgers each swept a four-game series at home. Philadelphia outscored Los Angeles 43-27 overall.
"It's going to be a good series, but I think we can score runs on them," Manuel said. "The way our guys pitch … I don't see no reason in the world why we can't stay right with them."