10/05/08 4:52 PM ET
Phillies Short Hops: Game 4
Blanton, bats send Philadelphia to first NLCS in 15 years
By Anthony DiComo / MLB.com
Solid starting pitching, along with plenty of offensive firepower, was enough to send the Phillies to their first National League Championship Series since 1993.
Thousands of white ThunderStix went silent when Pat Burrell crushed Jeff Suppan's 2-2 fastball over the left-field wall in the third inning for a three-run homer. Burrell, head down, rounded the bases, all but ensuring the Phillies an NLCS berth. Big number
4 -- After hitting just one home run over the first three games of the series, the Phillies launched four in Game 4. Game balls
Something of a question mark coming into Game 4, Blanton shut down the Brewers for six-plus innings and kept the bullpen use to a minimum. No Brewer reached second base until the seventh inning off Blanton, who recorded a win in his first postseason start.
Coming off a dreadful first three games of the series, Burrell rocked a three-run homer off Suppan to give the Phillies a four-run advantage. He later added a solo shot, giving him three home runs in six career postseason games.
Rollins ensured that the Phils' offense would not continue to struggle, homering off Suppan to lead off the game.
Sense of October
Phillies manager Charlie Manuel yanked his starter at the first sign of trouble, removing Blanton from the game after he allowed a home run and a single to begin the seventh. Blanton, one of the Phillies' more durable starters, had thrown 107 pitches.
4 AB, 3 H, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 2 R
Comment: Burrell, silent all series, was quite simply the difference in Game 4.
6 IP, 1 R, 5 H, 0 BB, 7 Ks
Comment: Blanton outdueled Suppan on the mound by no small margin, giving the Phils an early lead and a significant early edge.
"For Jimmy to come out and lead off the game with a homer, calmed us down a little bit, and then we were able to tack a few more on." -- Burrell
It's back home for the Phillies, who take on the Dodgers in the National League Championship Series. Games 1 and 2 are Thursday and Friday in Philadelphia, before both teams jet west for the middle games of the series.
Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.