Victorino homers in Phils’ clincher

October 22, 2009, 9:09 AM HST · Updated October 22, 9:09 AM
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By Fred Guzman
MauiNow.com

The Phillies are returning to the World Series after again flexing their muscles in a 10-4 win over the Dodgers to win the National League Championship Series in five games.

The Phillies collected four homers in last night’s game, including a pair by Jayson Werth, and their star slugger, Ryan Howard, was named the MVP of the series.

But you could have made a strong case for Shane Victorino being equally deserving of the individual honor.

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The 6-foot-4, 255-pound Howard batted .333 by going 5 for 15 with two homers and eight RBI against the Dodgers. But Victorino’s numbers were just as impressive.

On Wednesday, he went two for four, scored once and drove in three runs. During the series, he batted 7 for 19, a 368 average, to go with two homers and six RBI.

For the current post-season, he’s batting .361, going 13 of 36, to go with three homers, eight runs and seven RBI. And in 26 career post-season games, Victorino has six homers and 21 RBI.

Those are not the type of power numbers normally associated with a guy listed at 5-foot-9 and 190 pounds.

But that’s the kind of production Shane has provided for the Phils, who await the result of the American League series between the Yankees and Angels, with New York holding a 3-1 lead going into today’s Game 5.

MAIAVA’S BIG CHANCE: In the NFL, it’s called “next up.” Briefly, in a sport where injuries are a way of life, every and any player on a roster never knows when it will be his turn to fill in at a moment’s notice.

It now appears as if former Baldwin star Kaluka Maiava is next up for the struggling Cleveland Browns.

Maiava is the top candidate to replace star linebacker D’Qwell Jackson in the starting lineup when the Browns host Green Bay this week.

Jackson, who led the NFL in tackles last season with 188, has been declared out for the season after suffering a shoulder injury in the first half of last week’s 27-14 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

As a result of Jackson’s injury, Maiava – a rookie fourth-round draft pick out of USC – saw his first extended action at linebacker in the second half of the game.

Maiava made the most of his chance by registering six tackles and forcing a fumble. Up to then, Maiava had seen virtually all of his action on kick coverage units, posting four tackles and forcing a fumble.

Another rookie linebacker with Hawaii ties, former UH standout David Veikune, is also a candidate to see additional playing time.

Meantime, former UH linebacker Jeff Ulbrich, a 10-year veteran, who has spent his entire career with the 49ers, is out for the season after sustaining yet another concussion. The 32-year-old said he is considering retirement after suffering more concussions than he can count.

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