A late offensive surge, including a grand-slam home run by Raul Ibanez, leads the Phils to their fifth straight NL Eastern Division crown, as they crush the Cardinals, 9-2.
The Phils took the lead in the first as, with two men on, and with two men, Hunter Pence hits an RBI double, knocking in Jimmy Rollins, who had started the inning off with a single, then moved up to second base on Shane Victorino’s ground out, 4-3, giving the Phils a 1-0 lead, while sending Ryan Howard, who had just walked, on to third base. The Phils then took a 2-0 lead in the fourth as, with the bases loaded, via a walk by Placido Polanco, who then reached second base on a force attempt missed catch error by shortstop Rafael Furcal on a Roy Oswalt grounder to pitcher Jake Westbrook, with Oswalt reaching first, and a single by Rollins, sending Polanco to third base, and Oswalt to second base, and with one man out, Victorino forced in a run with a walk, scoring Polanco, giving the Phils a 2-0 lead, while sending both runners up a base. The Phils added to their lead in the sixth as, with one man out, Victorino hits a solo home run, his seventeenth home run of the season, giving the Phils a 3-0 lead. The Cardinals got a run back in the eighth as, with two men on, and with two men out, Lance Berkman hits an RBI single, knocking in Jon Jay, who had earlier singled, then moved up to second base on Albert Pujols’ single, cutting the Phils’ lead down to 3-1, while Pujols, who had earlier singled, would stop at second base. The Cards then cut the Phils’ lead down to 3-2 as David Freese hits an RBI single, scoring Pujols, while sending Berkman up to second base. The Phils got a run back in their half of the eighth as, with runners on the corners, and with one man out, Victorino hits an RBI single, scoring Carlos Ruiz, who had earlier reached base on third baseman Daniel Descalsco’s fielding error, ending up on second base, then went to third on Rollins’ single, giving the Phils a 4-2 lead, which Rollins, who had just singled, would stop at second base. Three batters later, after Chase Utley had been hit by a pitch, loading up the bases, as both Rollins and Victorino moved up a base, and Howard had struck out, and now with two men out, Pence hits an RBI infield single, beating shortstop Furcal’s throw to first base, as Rollins scored, giving the Phils a 5-2 lead, while both runners would move up a base, leaving the bases still loaded. The Phils then busted the game wide open as Raul Ibanez hits a grand-slam home run, his nineteenth home run of the year, knocking in Victorino, Utley and Pence, giving the Phils a 9-2 lead. That would be the final score, as Ryan Madson pitched a scoreless ninth as he got Furcal to hit into a ground out, 4-3, for the final out, leading to the Phils clinching their fifth straight National League Eastern Division title.
Roy Oswalt (8-9, 3.66) got the win as he pitched seven shutout innings, giving up five hits while striking out seven. Michael Stutes collected his twelfth hold of the year as he pitched two-thirds of an inning, as he gave up two runs on four hits. Brad Lidge received his seventh hold of the year as he pitched a third of an inning, getting out the only man that he would face. Ryan Madson pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit. Jake Westbrook (12-9, 4.58) took the lost as he went three and one-third innings, giving up two runs, only one of which was earned, on five hits and five walks, as he struck out one. Arthur Rhodes pitched two-thirds of an inning, getting out both men that he would face. Mitchell Boggs pitched a scoreless inning, walking two batters. Kyle McClellan pitched an inning, giving up a run on a hit, as he struck out one. Fernando Salas pitched an inning plus one batter, giving up an unearned run, as he struck out a batter. Marc Rzepczynski pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up three runs on two hits, as he struck out one. Octavio Dotel pitched a third of an inning, giving up two runs on two hits.
The Phils’ had ten hits in the game, with Jimmy Rollins leading the team with four hits, all singles. Shane Victorino (Single, Home Run, 3 RBIs) and Hunter Pence (Single, Double, 2 RBIs) then followed with two hits each. Raul Ibanez (Home Run, 4 RBIs) and Placido Polanco (Single) had the other two Phils’ hits.
The Phils (98-52, 1st East) will continue their series with the Cardinals (82-69, 2nd Central) with a night game later today. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park, and will begin at 8:05 pm EDT. The Phils will send to the mound Cole Hamels (14-8, 2.71), who is coming off a lost against the Astros on September 13, as he went five innings, giving up four runs on nine hits and a walk, while striking out six, in the Phils’ 5-2 lost. He will be going out to help lower the magic number for home field advantage during the playoffs. The Cardinals will counter with Chris Carpenter (9-9, 3.80), who is coming off a no-decision against the Pirates on September 13, as he went seven innings, giving up four runs on ten hits and a walk, while striking out six, in the Cards’ 6-4 win. He will be trying to help his club stay in the wild card race. The Phils will now be going out to clinch home field advantage throughout the playoffs.
The Phillies held on to defeat the Nationals, 4-3, to win their second straight Eastern Division Championship. The Phillies would take the lead in the fourth, as, with runners on the corners and no one out, Pat Burrell would hit a foul ball sacrifice fly, scoring Chase Utley, who has earlier singled and would go to third on Ryan Howard’s single, giving the Phillies a quick 1-0 lead. Three batters later, with the bases loaded and still one out, Carlos Ruiz would hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Howard, who would go to second on Shane Victorino’s single, and would then move up to third on Pedro Feliz’s walk, while Victorino would move up to second on the walk, giving the Phillies a 2-0 lead. The Nationals would cut the Phillies’ lead down to 2-1 in the fifth, as, with a runner on second and two outs, Anderson Hernandez would hit a RBI double, scoring Roger Bernadina, who has earlier singled and would move on to second on Nationals’ starter John Lannan’s sacrifice bunt, 1-4. The Phillies would get that run back in their half of the fifth as Jayson Werth would hit a lead-off solo home run, his twenty-fourth home run of the year, giving the Phillies a 3-1 lead. In the sixth, the Nats would threaten to score as they would get their first two hitters, Ryan Zimmerman and Lastings Milledge, on base with singles, with Milledge’s being a bunt single that succeeded because Moyer has broken originally towards third base at the end of his delivery, before he was unable to grab the ball, putting Nats runners on first and second. But Moyer would then get out of the inning by getting first Elijah Dukes and then Aaron Boone to fly out to center and then getting Wil Nieves to strike out swinging. In the eighth inning, the Nats would make it close as, with runners on second and third, and no one out, Milledge would hit a sacrifice fly on a great play made by Jimmy Rollins for the inning’s first out, as Cristian Guzman, who has earlier singled and would go to third on Zimmerman’s double, would score during the collision between Rollins and a sliding Victorino, in which they would hit their right shins together, making it 3-2 Phils. As Rollins walk back to his position, walking it off, Victorino would lie on his back for a while, before he finally got back up and then walked it off as well, before the game resumed. Ryan Madson, who was pitching in relief of Chad Durbin, who, in turn, had pitched the seventh in relief of Phillies’ starter Jamie Moyer, would end the inning by first getting Dukes to ground out, 6-4, and then getting Boone to strike out swinging. The Phillies would get that run back as, with a runner on first and two outs, Feliz would hit a RBI double, scoring Victorino, who has earlier singled and would run all the way home, making it 4-2 Phillies. The ball is then given to Brad Lidge to close it out. After striking out Emilio Bonifacio, he would give up a single to Bernadina. Pinch hitter Ryan Langerhans would than get on base with a walk, moving Bernadina up to second. Hernandez would follow with a RBI single, scoring Bernadina and sending Langerhans to second, making it 4-3 Phillies. Guzman would then single, moving Langerhans and Hernandez both up a base, as the bases are now loaded. The next batter, Zimmerman, would then hit a ground ball that tried to go into right center field for a hit. Rollins would stop the ball, and then threw it perfectly to Utley for the inning’s second out, wiping out Hernandez. Utley then threw a high throw that was brought down by Howard, beating out a slow running Zimmerman for the game’s final out on a double play and would lead to the start of the Phillies’ celebration of their second straight National League Eastern Division Championship, won at home for only the second time in the Phillies’ history.
Jamie Moyer would get the win, in the process tying Nolan Ryan’s record for the most games won by a 45 years old pitcher, as he went six innings, giving up only one earned run on six hits. His record is now 16-7 with a 3.71 ERA. Chad Durbin would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up no hits. Ryan Madson would pitch an inning, giving up one earned run on two hits. Brad Lidge would pitch an inning, as he gave up an earned run on three hits as he recorded his forty-first save in forty-one attempts. John Lannan would get the lost, as he pitched five innings, giving up three earned runs on seven hits. His record is now 9-15 with a 3.91 ERA. Steven Shell would pitch an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. Mike Hinckley would pitch an inning and a third, giving up no runs on no hits. Garrett Mock would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up an earned run on two hits.
With the victory, the Phillies have captured their seventh National League Eastern Division pennant in the team’s 126 years history, and their first two consecutive divisional crowns since they have won three Eastern Division pennants back in 1976-1978. This is the first time that they have entered the postseason for two straight seasons since the 1980-1981 seasons. Jamie Moyer, for the second straight season, has pitched the Phillies into the playoffs with his strong six innings outing. Every regular, except for Carlos Ruiz, would get at least one hit, while Shane Victorino would go 3 for 4, all singles, and scoring what would turn out to be the game winning run.
The 2008 Eastern Divisional Champion Phillies (91-70) will be playing their last regular season game tomorrow afternon, Fan Appreciation Day, against the Nationals (59-101). The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will begin at 1:35 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter, thank to the clinching, will be J.A. Happ (1-0, 3.90), who is coming off a no-decision against the Braves on September 21, as he went six and two-thirds innings, giving up only two earned runs on five hits, in the Phillies’ 6-2 win, instead of their ace Cole Hamels, who will now be given the day off. He has faced the Nationals once before, pitching an inning in relief against them on September 1, as he gave up no runs on one hit, in the Phillies’ 7-4 lost. In four starts, he is 1-0 with three no-decisions, all of which would be won by the Phillies, with an ERA of 2.28. He will be trying for his second major league win tomorrow afternoon. His opponent will be Odalis Perez (7-11, 4.27), who is coming off a lost to the Padres on September 21, as he went six innings, giving up three earned runs on five hits, in the Nationals’ 6-2 lost. In his last appearance against the Phillies on September 3, he pitched a no-decision, going five innings, giving up three earned runs on five hits, in the Nationals’ 9-7 win. He will be trying to improve his record and end the Nationals’ season on a high note.
The Phillies are still ahead of the Mets by two games, as they defeated the Marlins. In the Wild Card race, the Mets and the Brewers are once again tied for the wild card lead as the Brewers lost to the Cubs. The Wild Card race will now go down to the wire between the Mets and the Brewers with the magic number for both being at 2. The Phillies will more than likely be resting most of their regulars tomorrow, while waiting to see who their opponent will be in the National League Divisional Series.
Originally posted September 29, 2007:
That’s right, the Phils have just captured the Eastern Division flag of the National League with a 6-1 victory over the Washington Nationals while the Florida Marlins, obviously woken up by that bench clearing fight yesterday afternoon, defeated the New York ‘Chokes’ Mets, 8-1. Jamie Moyer, who step up, unlike Adam Eaton, pitched 5 1/3 innings, giving up only 1 run, unearned, while Jimmy Rollins, who should be the MVP, unless the baseball writers are real jerks, scored a run in the first inning with a single, two steals and coming in on a sacrifice fly, while knocking in a run of his own in the sixth with a triple, making him a member of the very exclusive 20-20-20-20 club (stolen bases, doubles, triples and home runs), while Ryan Howard knocked in what turned out to be the game winners with a two run single in the third inning with the bases loaded and one out and later hitting a home run, number 47, which was a monster of a shot into the right field upper desk, giving him the RBI lead (I hope he can hold on and win it.). Charlie Manuel should be this year’s manager of the year, considering the mostly lousy pitching staff he was given this year by the management, and with the number of injuries that hit the team (20 people placed on the disable list). So, the Phils are finally in the playoffs after 14 years of choking and losing and just plainly blowing it, while the New York Mets, the team that everyone expected to be in the playoffs as the division champs, choked at the end.
Nelson: Ha Ha, New York choked.
Oh, guess what people. The Ghosts of ’64 has been put to rest!!!! And, I’m sure the Cubs fans are all thinking that the Ghosts of ’69 has been put to bed for them, since it was because of their team collapse that year that allowed the Miracle Mets of ’69 to get into the post season for that season while the present team has won the Central Division on Friday.
Now, to just wait for their opponent for the Divisional Playoffs.
Edit: I’d just discovered that this was the first time the Fightin’s have won a Regular Season Championship of any kind at home. SWEET!!!!!