MILWAUKEE -- Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins lounged on couches in the visitors' clubhouse at Miller Park on Friday, alternately conversing, watching television and relaxing. On a nearby table, Greg Dobbs playfully raised his voice at Geoff Jenkins during a game of cards. Chad Durbin discussed politics and other topics with anyone wishing to participate.More
Chase Utley watched video, proving that nothing had changed. It doesn't matter that the Phillies are a victory away from advancing to the NL Championship Series. The Phils know it's not over, so their mind-set can't change. Sure, they won at Citizens Bank Park, but now they must win one of the next three games, with the next two being played in loud, unfriendly territory. "It's not going to get any easier on the road," Rollins said after Game 2. "It's going to be loud. We're planning on winning. It doesn't matter how many games it takes." The Phillies have been careful not to fly too close to the sun during this NLDS. They know of being down 0-2 in a series -- as they were last year to the Rockies -- and don't want to offer the Brewers any of momentum. Sixteen times in the history of the NLDS, a team has jumped out to a 2-0 lead. That team has won the series all 16 times, 13 by sweep. In the three non-sweeps -- the Rockies in '95, the Dodgers in '04 and the Padres in '06 -- the team lost in Game 4. One of the 13 examples of an 0-2 team being swept, the Phillies don't want to become the first team up 2-0 to lose a series. "What happened last season [3-0 sweep by the Rockies], you use it as a learning experience," J.C. Romero said. "That left a sour taste in our mouth, and nobody wants to go through what we went through last season. We were happy with the fact that we made it to the playoffs, and I don't think we were prepared enough for being in the playoffs." Deflecting a question about whether the '08 Brewers resembled the '07 Phillies -- a team happy to be there, but had nothing left once it arrived -- Romero offered caution.
"If you get hot at the right time, you have a chance of making it to the postseason," Romero said. "They did that, then got that big push at the end. They're a very good team, and this series isn't over. They believe in themselves. We're going to have a very tough game. We still have a lot of work to do."
To complete the task, the Phillies will need another big outing from 45-year-old Jamie Moyer, who will become the second-oldest pitcher to start a postseason game.
They'll also need more offense from a squad that batted .220 in the first two games. Howard has yet to put the ball in play, going 0-for-4 with four strikeouts and four walks. Utley is 1-for-8. Pat Burrell is 0-for-5.
Dallas Green, special advisor to Phillies general manager Pat Gillick, was the GM of the Cubs in 1984, and saw his team that included Davey Lopes and Gary Matthews go up 2-0 to the Padres in the NLCS.
They couldn't close it out.
"We kicked ... San Diego [around], then couldn't go 1-3 on the road," Green said. "We were probably overconfident going into those final three games. We worked so hard and it happened quick. We thought we were golden."
The Phillies might be golden, but the key is not believing that. They have lost at least three games in a row six times this season, while the Brewers have won at least that many 13 times, so it could happen.
"We need to take care of business, that's it," said Shane Victorino. "It's pretty simple."
|"We need to take care of business, that's it. It's pretty simple."|
|-- Shane Victorino|
Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less