Is this Phillies team one of destiny?

Not since the 1993 World Series team has the Philadelphia Phillies gone this far. With their 6-2 win over the Milwaukee Brewers in Game 4 of the NLDS, the Phillies are heading to the NLCS to face the Los Angeles Dodgers. And as Phil Sheridan of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes, this Phillies team might be one of destiny.

Philadelphia PhilliesFor the homegrown nucleus of this team – Utley and Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard and Pat Burrell, Cole Hamels and Brett Myers – reaching the NLCS marks a major milestone. Having grown up in this organization together through mostly futile years, they have lived in the shadow of the 1980 world champions and the beloved 1993 World Series club.

Now it is their time. Now they can write their own chapters in the book of Schmidt and Carlton, of Dykstra and Schilling.

“This team has a lot of heart,” Myers said. “To be the first team to go this far since ’93, it’s huge. We’re going to try to put ’93 in the past where it should be. We’re going to try to take it a little further and actually win this whole thing.”

Rollins, who led off the game with a towering home run to right field, has been this team’s oracle. He predicted 100 wins for these Phillies, a number he realized was still attainable. After all, he never said “in the regular season.”

“We can get to 103,” Rollins said. “That’s the number.”

It would take eight more wins, of course, to get to 103: four against the Dodgers and four more in the World Series.

The Phillies’ 95th victory was a perfect example of what they will have to do to beat a Dodgers team that exploded offensively to sweep the Chicago Cubs in the division series. They will have to continue pitching well, but they will also have to hit the ball. They did just that today, blasting four home runs – two by Burrell, one by Rollins, and one by Jayson Werth. It was the kind of game this lineup hadn’t produced in its six previous playoff games, going back to last year.

I think Philly was fortunate to get a weary Milwaukee team, but that’s not to take anything away from them. They’ll get a great test in the Dodgers and I think it’s a great matchup all the way around.

Cole Hamels vs. Manny Ramirez? Sign me up.

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