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Congratulations, Phillies: ALCS Game 5 Preview, Thursday 10/22, 6:57 CT

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In the last 30 years, the National League pennant had been won in consecutive years twice -- both times by the Braves, who won in 1991 and 1992, and then again in 1995 and 1996.

That is, until last night, when the Phillies won their second consecutive pennant. Congratulations to them, and unless the Angels can pull a comeback from their 3-1 deficit, I'll be rooting for them to beat the Yankees in the World Series.

Until recent years, comebacks from deficits like that in the postseason were rare. It happened only three times in the pre-divisional play era in the World Series (1925, 1958 and 1968) and twice in the WS since then (1979 and 1985).

Since the league championship series expanded to seven games in 1985, it's happened a bit more often, but still only six times: the 1985 ALCS, the 1986 ALCS, the 1996 NLCS, the 2004 ALCS where the Red Sox came back from 3-0 down, the only time that's ever been done, the 2007 ALCS, and some series in 2003 that we'd prefer to forget.

This year's Yankees, despite losing only 59 games, lost at least three in a row six different times. The Angels have their work cut out for them, but I hope they do it. It would make for some exciting baseball, not to mention avoiding a six-day gap before the World Series begins next Wednesday.

Some of you wondered whether signing Rudy Jaramillo as Cubs hitting coach meant anything regarding Milton Bradley, who had Jaramillo as his hitting coach in his single season in Texas. Bruce Miles says not necessarily:
When word got out that the Cubs wanted to hire Rudy Jaramillo as their hitting coach, people started putting 2 and 2 together.

The Cubs say it doesn't necessarily add up to what they think it does.

Cubs general manager Jim Hendry said Wednesday that Jaramillo's hiring is in no way connected to trying to mend fences with Bradley, whom Hendry is trying to trade.

"Obviously, hiring Rudy had nothing to do with that," Hendry said of possibly reconciling with Bradley. "Just like I told you at the end of the year, we play the cards that we have. Milton's on the Cubs roster. That's how we go about it until somebody's not on the roster. It certainly didn't have any connection. We could have had 20 different guys on our roster, and Rudy would still be sitting here to day as our No. 1 guy.

"We didn't talk about it at all in the interviewing process or over the phone over the weekend."

Yankees at Angels, 6:57 pm CDT. Yankees lead series 3-1. TV: Fox. Announcers: Joe Buck and Tim McCarver.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

SB Nation game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Angels site Halos Heaven and Yankees site Pinstripe Alley.

Discuss amongst yourselves.