The Phils starts off their four-games set with the Bucos on a bad note as they lose a close one to the Pirates, 3-2.
The Pirates took the lead in the second as, with two men on base, and with one man out, Bobby Crosby hits an RBI single, scoring Lastings Milledge, who had earlier singled, and then moved up to second on Ryan Doumit’s walk, giving the Pirates a 1-0 lead, while sending Doumit, who had just walked, on to third. The Phils tied it up at one-all in the third as Wilson Valdez hits a lead-off home run, his fourth home run of the season. The Pirates regain the lead in their half of the third as, with one man on, and with nobody out, Pedro Alvarez hits an RBI double, scoring Jose Tabata, who had just walked, to give the Pirates a 2-1 lead. The Pirates then added to their lead in the fourth as, with a runner on second, and with two men out, Tabata hits an RBI single, knocking in Andy LaRoche, who had earlier singled, and then went to second base on Daniel McCutchen’s sacrifice bunt, 2-4, making it a 4-1 Pirates’ lead. The Phils cut down the Pirates’ lead in the fifth as, with a runner on base, and with two men out, Shane Victorino, who had earlier singled and then stole second base, scores on a LaRoche’s throwing error of Greg Dobbs’ infield single, beating the throw to the plate, making it a 3-2 Pirates’ lead. But that would end up being the final score as the Phils would be unable to mound up any offense for the rest of the game, before Victorino ended it in the ninth as, with a man on third, Dane Sardinha, who had come into the game earlier to replace Brian Schneider, who was taken out after his thumb got hit by a foul tip, and in the inning had singled, moved up to second on Valdez’s sacrifice bunt, 1-4, then went to third on pinch hitter Ross Gload’s ground out, 4-3, and with two outs, he struck out looking for the final out.
Cole Hamels took the lost, being hurt early by walks, as he pitched seven innings, giving up three runs on five hits and two walks, while striking out eight. His record is now 6-7 with an ERA of 4.07. Jose Contreras pitches a 1-2-3 inning, striking out a batter. Daniel McCutchen gets the win as he pitches five and a third inning, giving up two runs, one of which was earned, on six hits, while he strikes out four. His record is now 1-3 with an 8.87 ERA. Javier Lopez receives his fourth hold as he pitches a third of an inning, getting out the only man he would face. D.J. Carrasco also picks up his fourth hold as he also pitches a third of an inning, getting out the only batter he would face. Evan Meek collects his fifth hold as he pitches two scoreless inning, as he gives up only one hit and one walk, while striking out a batter. Octavio Dotel gets his seventeenth save of the year as he pitches a scoreless inning, giving up a hit, while striking out a batter.
The Phils had eight hits in the game, with Greg Dobbs leading the team with two hits, both singles. Shane Victorino, Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard, Wilson Valdez, Dane Sardinha and Cole Hamels had the other six Phils’ hits, with Victorino, Howard, Sardinha and Hamel’s hits being singles, Rollins’ hit being a double and Valdez’s hit being a solo home run, knocking in the Phils’ only RBI. An error allowed the other Phil run to score. The top part of the Phil’s batting order is once again being its own worst enemy, trying a bit too hard to make things happen, while major parts of the machine are still on the disabled list. Come on guys, just calm down, and try to relax. Else, you’re going to end up looking at the Washington Nationals’ rear end. That’s right, I went there!!!
The Phils (41-36, 3rd NL East) continue their four-game series with the Pirates (28-51, 6th NL Central) with a night game. The game will be played at PNC Park and will begin at 7:10 pm Eastern. The Phils will send to the mound Jamie Moyer (9-6, 4.30), who is coming off a win against the Blue Jays on June 27, as he went seven innings, giving up just two runs on six hits, as he strikes out seven, in the Phils’ 11-2 rout. In his last three starts, he is 3-0, pitching twenty-three innings, giving up just five runs (all on home runs) and two walks, while striking out seventeen. He will go for both his fourth win in a row and his fourth straight quality start since getting shell at Boston for nine runs in one plus innings of work on June 11. Against the Pirates he is 2-1 with an ERA of 4.30. The Pirates will counter with Ross Ohlendorf (0-6, 4.90), who is coming off a no-decision against the A’s on June 27, as he went six innings, giving up two unearned runs on two hits and four walks, while striking out three, in the Pirates’ 3-2 lost. In his last three starts, he is 0-2 with a no-decision, as he pitched seventeen innings, giving up eleven runs, nine of which were earned, on sixteen hits and two walks, while striking out eight. He is 0-0 against the Phils with a 3.75 ERA. He will be looking for his first win of the season. The Phils’ offense will be trying to overcome the loss of both Chase Utley, who will be out for at least eight weeks, as he had his thumb operated on yesterday, and Placido Polanco, who may not be back until after the All-Star break, as they continue to play the lowly Pirates. Come on, guys, concentrate. This is no time for the June Swoon to became a July Funk.
Tonight the Phils (41-35, 3rd NL East) will begin a four-game series with the worst team in the National League, the Pirates (27-51, 6th NL Central). Tonight’s game will be played at PNC Park and will start at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phils, who ended June with a 13-13 record, and are coming off a losing series with the Cincinnati Reds in Cincinnati (1-2), will be trying to feast on the Bucos’ pitching, in spite of having a few of their major players on the disabled list, especially Chase Utley, who will sometime today have his broken right thumb operated on, and will be out for the next four to six weeks, at least according to the rumor mill. (Whether he actually will have an operation we will all know by the end of the day). The Phils’ starter will be Cole Hamels (6-6, 4.08), who is coming off a lost against the Twins on June 26, where he went only four innings, giving up five runs on seven hits and three walks, while striking out three, in the Phils’ 5-1 lost. All of the Blue Jays’ runs came off of three home runs, two two-run shots and a solo home run. In his last three starts, Hamels is 1-1 with a no-decision, having given up ten runs, nine of which were earned, on seventeen hits and seven walks, while striking out eighteen. Against the Pirates, Hamels is 1-0 with a 3.79 ERA. The Pirates, meanwhile, who had ended June with a record of six wins and twenty loses, and are coming off a winning series against the Chicago Cubs in Chicago (2-1), will be trying to see if they can win their second straight series. The Pirates will send to the mound Daniel McCutchen (0-3, 11.00), who is coming off a lost against the A’s on June 26, as he pitched six innings, giving up four runs on seven hits and two walks, while he struck out two, in the Pirates’ 5-0 lost. In his last three games, two starts and a relief appearance, his record is 0-2, as he has given up ten runs on sixteen hits and three walks, while striking out four. This will be the first time that he has faced the Phils, who have a tendency to not hit well against pitchers who they are seeing for the first time.
The Phils will be trying to continue their recent offense revival against the Pirates, hoping to win at least three of the four games, while hoping that the recent loses of such high-caliber starters as Chase Utley and Placido Polanco will not be detrimental to the ball club, as they try to stay close to both the Braves and the Mets before the former come to Philadelphia for three games, starting on the fifth.
The Phils are presently three and a half games behind the first-place Atlanta Braves, who are off today, before they start a three-game weekend series with the fourth place Florida Marlins in Atlanta. There are two games back of the second-place New York Mets, who will be starting a four-game series of their own with the last-place Washington Nationals in the Nation’s Capitol. They are presently five games ahead of the Marlins, who are off today before the face they Braves for three-games in Atlanta. They are eight and a half games ahead of the Nationals, who will start a four-game set against the Mets tonight in Washington, D.C. They hope to win tonight to gain half of game against both the Braves, and the Mets, and adding a half game against the Marlins, while hoping that the Nats will be able to handle the Mets tonight.
After being good for the first three innings, Kyle Kendrick gets hurt for six runs, as the Phils drop the opener of their three games series with the Reds, 7-3.
The Reds took the lead in the fourth as, with one man on, and with two men out, Scott Rolen hits a two-run home run, his seventeenth home run of the season, knocking in Joey Votto, who had earlier doubled, giving the Reds a 2-0 lead. The Red increased their lead in the sixth as, with the bases loaded, via Johnny Cueto reaching first base on a Chase Utley fielding error, a Brandon Phillips’ single, moving Cueto up to second base, and a Orlando Cabrera single, moving both runners up a base, and with nobody out, Votto hits an RBI single, knocking in Cueto, making it a 3-0 Reds’ lead, while moving both Phillips and Cabrera up a base. With the bases still loaded, and with still noone out, Rolen hits a sacrifiice fly, scoring Phillips, giving the Reds a 4-0 lead. The Phils got a run back in the seventh as, with one man on, and with one man out, Raul Ibanez hits an RBI single, knocking in Ryan Howard, who had earlier tripled, to make it a 4-1 Reds’ lead. The Red got the run back in their half of the seventh as, with one man on, and with nobody out, Ramon Hernandez hits an RBI double, knocking in Drew Stubbs, who had earlier reached base on an infield single, giving the Reds a 5-1 lead. Three batters later, with a runner on third, and with two men out, Cabrera hits an RBI single, knocking in Hernandez, who had gone to third on Cueto’s sacrifice bunt, 2-4, making it a 6-1 Reds’ lead. The Reds made it 7-1 in the eighth as, with two men on, and with one out, pinch hitter Chris Heisey hits a sacrifice fly, knocking in Jay Bruce, who had earlier doubled, and went to third on Hernandez’s sacrifice bunt. The Phils then made it 7-3 as Ibanez hits a two-run home run, his sixth home run of the season, knocking in Jayson Werth, who had just singled. But that would be the final score as Bill Bray got pinch hitter Dane Sardinha to strikeout swinging, for the game’s final out.
Kyle Kendrick took the lost as he pitches six and a third innings, giving up six runs, five of which were earned, on eight hits, as he strikes out four. His record is now 4-3 with an ERA of 4.88. David Herndon pitches a third of an inning, giving up a hit. J.C. Romero also pitches a third of an inning, giving up a hit and a walk. Mike Zagurski pitches two innings, giving up a run on one hit and a walk, while striking out a batter. Johnny Cueto gets the win as he pitches eight strong innings, giving up only one run on six hits and two walks. His record is now 8-2 with a 3.74 ERA. Bill Bray pitches an inning, giving up two runs on two hits, while striking out a batter.
The Phils had only eight hits in the game, with Ryan Howard, Jayson Werth and Raul Ibanez leading the team with two hits each. Howard’s hits were a double and a triple, scoring a run, Werth’s hits were two singles, scoring a run, while Ibanez’s hits were a single and a two-run home run, knocking in all three Phils’ runs. Shane Victorino and Chase Utley had the other two Phils’ hits, both singles, as the Phils’ offense was unable to do anything against Cueto, while they might have lost Utley for a while, as he jammed his right thumb while sliding into second base, head first. (The Phils have just announced that they have placed both Utley and Placido Polanco on the 15-day disabled list for their injuries: Utley (sprained right thumb) and Polanco (elbow trouble)). Alright, who’s the wise guy playing with the devil dolls? Whoever you are, cut it out!!
The Phils (40-34, 3rd NL East) continue their three-games series with the Reds (43-34, 1st NL Central) with a game tonight. The game will be played at Great American Ball Park and will start at 7:10 pm Eastern. The Phils will send to the mound Joe Blanton (3-5, 6.53), who is coming off a spectacular win against the Indians on June 24, where he went seven and two-thirds innings, giving up just three runs on six hits, while striking out eight, in the Phils’ 12-3 rout. He will be shooting for his third straight quality start. The Reds will counter with Mike Leake (5-1, 2.92), who is coming off a no-decision against the A’s on June 24, where he went six innings, giving up a run on five hits and four walks, while striking out two, in the Reds’ 6-4 win. He will be trying to take advantage of the once again injury-hurt Phils’ offfense. The Phils will be trying to tie the series while hoping not to be too affected by the lost of their nos. 2- and 3-hole hitters for a while.
You will not believe what I’d find on the internet last night. I’d found three sites that might be of interest to people, especially those who are reading my year-by-year look at the Phillies’ history.
First, I’d discovered that the Phillies had suffered a second no-hitter during their first six seasons in the National League which I did not know about until yesterday afternoon. On October 1, 1884, Charlie Getzien of the Detroit Wolverines pitched a six innings no-hitter against the Phils, defeating them 1-0.
Second, late last night, while I was looking at several baseball related websites, which included a couple of museums, one dedicated to Ty Cobb, and the other to Babe Ruth, I’d accidently stumble upon http://www.retrosheet.org/ which is an on-line website that, among other things, contains the day-by-day standings of every major league baseball season going back to 1871 and the National Association. That was the one thing that has been missing from my year-by-year look at the Phillies, to see how the team was doing in the daily standings during each National League season. Anyway, I am not going to go back to the previous six seasons. Instead, I will instead post a link to the first game that the Phillies’ played during the years 1883-1888 and let those of you who might be interested to follow the development of the pennant races for those six seasons.
I plan to start posting how the Phillies were doing daily in the standings starting with the 1889 season.
Lastly, I was lead, via retrosheet, to another website http://www.baseballgraphs.com/main/index.php/site/, which, as its front page says “…is dedicated to the better use and communication of baseball statistics.” It is the home to Historical Baseball Graphs http://www.baseballgraphs.com/main/index.php/site/histindex/ which gives a year-to-year graph for every National and American League season since 1901. For example, say you want to see the graph for the 1914 season, the year of the Miracle Braves. You would first go to section that reads, League Graphs by Year, which is on your left, then you would go to the National League Graphs, then press on it. It will give you several listings that covers several 10 years period. You would then go to the 1910’s listing and press on it. This will give you the listing for each individual year, starting with 1910. Since the year you want is 1914, you will now press on the listing for that season. This will give up several graphs to your left, as well as several listings to your right. The most interesting of these listings are first a Pennant Race graph which, in graphic form, shows you how each team in both leagues did during the regular season, including showing you how the Braves went from being in last place on the 4th of July to winning the pennant in the NL graph, as well as showing you how the Athletics broke away from the rest of the AL that same season. But the more interesting one is the one just under it which says The Pennant in Action. This one is an animated program which shows you how the pennant race developed that season in both leagues, from opening day, to the end, showing you, among other things, how each team did, their day by day position in the race, and, towards the end, when each team was eliminated from the race until the Braves secured the pennant. For best result, I would suggest pushing speed back to one, and doing the same with smooth.
I am enclosing a link to the animated 1914 pennant race so that you can watch it for yourself: http://www.baseballrace.com/races/MLB-1914-NL-Normal.asp . When I get to the 1901 season, I will be adding a link to both the graph and the animation for that year into my history.
Anyway, I hope you folks will enjoy the graphs and the animation while I prepare to work on the 1889 Phillies season with the addition of the standings from retrosheet.
Sources: Wikipedia, Baseball Almanac.com, Retrosheet.org, Baseballgraphs.com. Baseballrace.com
Yesterday, when I’d made a reply to Julia of Julia’s Rants about the Phils’ signing of Shane Victorino, I’d mentioned that when Phillies.com talked about what Ryan Howard was asking for and what the Phils said they were willing to give him, the article also mentioned the differences in pay amounts between Chad Durbin and Jayson Werth and the Phils, I told her that I’d noticed that there was not one word said about Joe Blanton, and I’d figured that something was going on, and I’d figured that it meant that the two sides were close to a deal. And, boy was I right, as Joe Blanton have signed an one-year, $5.475 million dollars deal with the Phils.
Blanton, whom the Phils got in a mid-season trade with the Oakland Athletics, had a record of 4-0, 4.20 ERA, in 13 starts for the Phillies, with a combined record of 9-12 with a 4.69 ERA for both the Phils and the A’s, while having a record of 2-0, with a 3.18 ERA in the post-season.
That means five down, with three to go, and I get the feeling that Werth and Durbin will be signing contracts in the next few days since there is very little difference in money amounts between the Phils and the two players. As for Howard, I see him going to arbitration. I just hope that I’m wrong.
Well, some news occurred this weekend and today, both Phillies and non-Phillies related.
First, Phillies related news. Phillies.com has reported during the weekend that the Phillies are showing some interested in former Dodgers shortstop Nomar Garciaparra. Garciaparra, who was only able to play in 55 games during the 2008 season, most of which were played in the second half of the season, after returning from an injury, batting .264 while hitting eight home runs and 28 RBIs, is a career .314 hitter after 13 seasons playing for the Red Sox, the Cubs and the Dodgers, where he has a combine total of 1702 hits for 5426 at-bats in 1369 games, knocking in 920 RBIs while scoring 910 runs. Of his 1702 hits, he has 362 2Bs, 52 3Bs and 226 HRs for a total of 2846 total bases. He also has a .525 slugging percentage and a .363 on-base percenatge. Nomar, beside playing shortstop, has also played third base and first base. If the Phillies do sign him to a deal, which will probably be for no more than one year, he would more than likely be the right handed bat that they’ll be wanting to come off the bench against lefthanded pitching to complement left hander Greg Dobbs. We’ll see if they will be able to get him. But, if they do, and he returns to his earlier form, other teams may not like to face a combo of Dobbs and Garciaparra coming off of the Phillies’ bench (depending on which of the lefties they still have (Matt Stairs, Geoff Jenkins) that they don’t trade).
Next, the Philadelphia Eagles yesterday afternoon knocked off the NFL Champions New York Giants, 23-11. I am sure that Giants fans are still not believing this. Hate to break it to you guys, but it actually happened. And you can all thank a certain thigh shooter for this lost. 🙂 Anyway, next stop for the Eagles, Phoenix, and a date with those other Cardinals, the ones of the football variety. Hopefully, these Cardinals won’t realize that they’re in a championship game until its over.
And lastly, the votes are in, and the newest members of the Baseball Hall of Fame, via the Writers’ Ballots are….drum roll please ladies and gentlemen….Rickey Henderson, in his first year on the ballot, and Jim Rice, on his 15th and last year on the ballot.
Rickey Henderson, formerly of the A’s, the Yankees, the Blue Jays, the Padres, the Astros, the Mets, the Mariners, the Red Sox and the Dodgers, was elected, on his first year of eligibility, with 94.8 percent of the votes from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, being placed on 511 of the 539 ballots cast. Henderson, who has played from 1979 to 2003, is considered the greatest leadoff hitter in baseball history, and is the current leader in stolen bases with 1406 and runs scored with 2995. He also has the record for the most steals in a season, stealing 130 bases in 1982, while also having the most lead-off home runs in Major League history with 81. Henderson, in 25 seasons, has a career batting average of .279, with an on-base percentage of .401 and a slugging percentage of .419, has 3,055 hits, 510 of which were 2Bs, 66 3Bs and 297 HRs. He has won the AL MVP in 1990 and has two world series rings, being a member of the 1989 A’s and the 1993 Blue Jays World Championship teams.
Jim Rice, formerly of the Red Sox, was elected to the Hall in his fifteenth, and final, year of eligibility, with 76.4 percent of the vote, being named on 411 of the ballots. A member of the 1975 American League Champions Red Sox, Rice, who spent his entire 16 years career (1974-1989) with Boston, ended his career with a .298 batting average, with a slugging percentage of .502 and an on-base percentage of .352, has 2452 career hits, knocking in 1451 RBIs, while scoring 1249 runs, hitting 373 2Bs, 79 3Bs and 382 RBIs. His career totals in hits and home runs, along with his 4129 total bases, are all Red Sox career marks for a right handed batter. He won the AL MVP in 1978, as well as being a member of eight AL All-Stars teams. Rice’s selection has been an uphill climb, with him gathering more votes each year he was on the ballot.
Congratulations to both Henderson and Rice on their election, and hoping that the third highest vote getter on the ballot, Andre Dawson, with 67 percent (361) of the votes, will get the nod next year.
It is now two days before the start of the 2008 World Series, which will be played at the home ball park of the American League Champion, the Tampa Bay Rays, Tropicana Field, on Wednesday, October 22, at 8:22 pm Eastern. The Tampa Bay Rays will be hosting the National League Champion, the Philadelphia Phillies, a team that has just won only its sixth pennant in its 125-years history. So, how did Charlie Manuel’s boys get here, on the verge of possibily winning the franchise’s second World Series crown? Let look at the numbers, shall we?
First, let’s see how well this team did month by month.
As can be seen, the team has winning records in six of the seven months shown above, with their best month being September, when the team, with Ryan Howard’s resurging bat leading the way, would sprint their way to the National League Eastern Division pennant, and with their worst month being June, which coincided with their bad spell of Interleague play. More on that later.
Another thing that people have said is that you have to win series to win pennants, and the Phillies have also done that. At the end of the regular season, they have ended up with 27 series wins, 19 series loses and 6 series splits. Of their 27 series wins, they have won all of the games (sweep) in nine of them (Colorado (2), Atlanta (3), Washington (2), Los Angeles (NL) (1), Milwaukee (1)) for a total of 28 wins, while in their 19 series defeats they were swept only twice (Los Angeles (AL), Los Angeles (NL)) for a total of 7 loses. Of their 10 series wins during the last two months of the regular season, their most important ones would be the one against the Padres in San Diego as it would help to get the team back on track after having been swept by the Dodgers in Los Angeles; their home sweep of the Dodgers since it would help prove to the team that they can beat anybody at home; their win against the Mets in New York at the beginning of September as it would help the Phillies stay close to the Mets, especially after having lost the previous series in Washington; their four games sweep of the Brewers, as it would give the Phillies the option of winning either the Eastern Division or the Wild Card, putting them in the driver seat of the later as they challenged the fading Mets for the former; their final sweep of the Braves in Atlanta as it would help to build up momentum for; their series win against the Marlins in Miami, in which they would help to kill the Marlins’ own hope for the post-season; and lastly, their second sweep of the Nationals which would see them clinch their second straight divisonal crown on the last Saturday of the regular season, while the Sunday win by the rookies and the bench players would help them to maintain momentum going into the National League Divisional Series against Milwaukee.
Another thing that you need to do is to win games in your own division. And the Phillies have actually accomplished that, believe it or not. In fact, they have done pretty well against both teams in their own division and against the teams of the other two divisions within the National League:
National League East: 41-31
National League Central: 27-16
National League West: 20-12
Unfortunately, they have not done so well this year against teams from the American League, going 4-11 in Interleague play.
But, how well have they performed against the other clubs in the National League? The Phillies would end the regualr season with losing records against only two other NL teams, both of them being teams within their own division:
National League East:
Atlanta Braves: 14-4
Washington Nationals: 12-6
Florida Marlins: 8-10
New York Mets: 7-11
The Phillies’ best record in both the division and against the NL overall was their 14-4 record against the Braves, which included their three straight three games sweeps of the Braves’ in their own ball park, something that have not happened to the Braves since they were swept by the Chicago Cubs in 1909, when they were known as the Boston Doves. Their worst record in the division was their 7-11 record against the New York Mets, who won all but the last two series with the Phils, including their series spilt of late August in Philadelphia and the Phillies’ 2-1 series victory in New York in early September, including the spilt of a day/night Sunday doubleheader which would keep the Phillies close to the Mets before they would make their final move to win the Eastern Division pennant.
National League Central:
Milwaukee Brewers: 5-1
Cincinnati Reds: 5-3
St. Louis Cardinals: 5-4
Chicago Cubs: 4-3
Houston Astros: 4-3
Pittsburgh Pirates: 4-2
Against the teams of the National League Central Division, the Phillies would do rather well, winning most of their series against them. They would do best against the Brew Crew, spliting the series in Milwaukee and then sweeping them in an important August series in Philadelphia that would help propel the Phillies into the lead of the National League Wild Card race, on their way to their eventual winning of the National League Eastern Division.
National League West:
Colorado Rockies: 5-0
Los Angeles Dodgers: 4-4
Arizona Diamonbacks: 4-3
San Diego Padres: 4-2
San Francisco Giants: 3-3
Against the West, the Phillies would end the season with a 20-12 record, doing their best against the Rockies, as they would get even with the former National League Champions for losing the 2007 National League Divisional Series by sweeping them in five games, although they would do the home portion of the sweep against a wounded team, while doing their worst against both the Giants and the Dodgers, as they would spilt home series with both teams, winning the series at Citizens Bank Park (2-1 (Giants), 4-0 (Dodgers)), while losing the series on the road (1-2 (Giants), 0-4 (Dodgers)).
Last, and certainly not least, the Phillies did not do very well this year in Interleague play. Lets face facts, people, they stank, as they went 2-4 against two teams in the American League East, and 2-7 against three teams from the American League West, while going 1-5 against two of the elite teams in the American League (Boston and Los Angeles Angels):
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: 0-3
Boston Red Sox: 1-2
Oakland Athletics: 1-2
Texas Rangers: 1-2
Toronto Blue Jays: 1-2
With their record against American League teams in Interleague play, it should means that this team might have a hard time with the American League Champion Tampa Bay Ray. But the team that got creamed by the American League in May and June is not the same team that have finished crushing first the Milwaukee Brewers in the Divisional Series and then the Los Angeles Dodgers in the Championship Series, and with little help from either their set up man (Jimmy Rollins) or their biggest offensive threat (Ryan Howard) until the end of both series. This team appears to be a lot more confident now then they did when they faced the American League elite teams the Boston Red Sox and the Los Angeles Angels at home back in June. That might make all the difference by the time the World Series is over.
The Phillies also had a very good home-road split. At Citizens Bank Park, they had a record of 48-33, where they were in a four way tie for the second best record for the National League, while they were 44-37 on the road, the best record in the National League. Overall, their 92-70 record was the second best in the National League, trailing only the Chicago Cubs (97-64) and the fifth best in the Majors. Those two records of success at both home and on the road should help the Phillies when they face the Rays starting on Wednesday.