The Phils’ bat waste a good effort by Joe Blanton, before watching the Rays bust the game wide open in the eighth inning, losing 7-1. The lost means that the Phils have now participated in another losing season of Interleague Play. GGGRRRR!!!!!
The Rays took the lead in the second as, with one man on, and one man out, Pat Burrell hits a two-run home run, his second home run of the season, scoring Carlos Pena, who had earlier singled, making it 2-0 Rays. The game would then become a pitchers’ duel between Phils’ starter Joe Blanton, who would end up giving up only six hits and two walks, as he struck out ten Rays in seven plus innings of work, and Rays’ starter Matt Garza, who was one hitting the Phils, striking out six batters (seven overall) by the seventh inning. In the seventh, the Phils cut the Rays lead to 2-1 as, with one man out, Jayson Werth hits a solo home run, his thirteenth home run of the season. The Rays would then break the game wide open in the bottom of the eighth inning. With the bases loaded, and two men out, Burrell hits a ball to Phils’ shortstop Jimmy Rollins which should had ended the inning, if he had thrown it over to first for the sure out. Instead, he threw over to second base, where it was beaten out by Ben Zobrist, who had earlier walked, allowing Carl Crawford, who had earlier singled, moved on to second when Pena was hit by the pitch, and then moved over to third on Zobrist’s walk, to score, while Pena, who had been hit by the pitch, and had moved up to second on Zobrist’s walk, to move to third, as the Rays increaded their lead to 3-1, as the bases remained loaded. The Rays would then make it a 5-1 game as Jason Bartlett hits a two-run single, knocking in both Pena and Zobrist, while sending Burrell, who had been safe at first on the fielder’s choice ground ball, to third base, putting runners on the corners. Gabe Gross then followed with a two-run double, scoring both Burrell and Bartlett, making it a 7-1 Rays’ lead. That would be the final score as the Phils went down in the ninth.
Joe Blanton took the lost in spite of pitching a very good game, as he went seven innings plus one batter, giving up only two runs on six hits and two walks, while striking out ten. His record is now 4-4, with an ERA of 5.06. J.C. Romero pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up three runs on one hit, a walk and a hit batter. Chan Ho Park pitched a third of an inning in relief, giving up a run on two hits. Matt Garza got the win as he pitched eight strong innings, giving up only a run on three hits, three walks and a hit batter, as he struck out seven. His record is now 5-5 with a 3.61 ERA. Randy Choate pitched a scoreless inning, giving up only a hit and a walk.
The Phils had only four hits in the game, with Jayson Werth leading the team with two hits, including a solo home run, accounting for the Phils only run, and one hit each by Matt Stairs and Greg Dobbs. The Phils’ batters were kept off-balanced for most of last night by Garza as they fail to support a good effort by Blanton,
The Phillies (37-32, 1st National League East) will conclude their interleague game series with the Rays (38-35, 4th American League East) tonight. The game will start at 7:08 pm Eastern and will be played at Tropicana Field. The Phils’ starter will be Rookie Antonio Bastardo (2-2, 5.21), who is coming off a lost against the Orioles on June 19, where he went seven innings, giving up four runs on five hits, as he struck out five, in the Phils’ 7-2 lost. He will be trying for his third win of the season, while trying to give the Phils the chance to win another road series. The Rays will counter with Andy Sonnanstine (5-7, 6.60), who is coming off a lost to the Mets on June 19, where he pitched six innings, giving up four runs on seven hits and two walks, while striking out five, in the Rays’ 5-3 lost. He will be trying to give the Rays a series win, while trying to improve his record. The Phillies will be trying for another road series win, only their second series win in Interleague Play.
The Phils continue to show themselves to be the best road team in the major league after posting six quick runs in the first as they coast to an easy 10-1 victory over the 2008 American League Champions Rays. In the process, the Phils stopped a six games losing streak.
The Phils took an early lead in the first as, with two men on, and nobody out, Chase Utley hits a two-run double, scoring Jimmy Rollins, who had earlier reached base on a two-base throwing error by Rays’ third baseman Evan Langoria, and Shane Victorino, who had just walked, giving the Phils a 2-0 lead. It became 3-0 Phils as Ryan Howard hits an RBI double, scoring Utley. After Jayson Werth followed Howard with a single, sending him up to third base, putting runners on the corner, with still nobody out, and Pedro Feliz struck out swinging, for the Phils’ first out, John Mayberry made it 6-0 Phils with a three-run home run, his third home run of the season, scoring both Howard and Werth. The six-run outburst made things easier for Phils’ starter Jamie Moyer, who would proceed to have an easy game, giving up only five hits before finally being taken out of the game in the seventh. Before then, the Phils would add to their lead. In the top of the fourth, with two men on, and nobody out, Carlos Ruiz hits an RBI ground out, 6-3, for the Phils’ first out of the inning, while scoring Mayberry, who had reached first base on a missed catch error by Rays’ first baseman Carlos Pena, then moved up to second on Chris Coste’s single, before continuing on to third on Rays’ center field B.J. Upton’s fielding error, while Coste moved up to second, as the Phils increased their lead to 7-0. Two batters later, with Coste now on third with, two men out, thanks to a Rollins’ ground out, 4-3, Victorino would make it an 8-0 lead as he hits an RBI single, scoring Coste. Utley then gave the Phils a 10-0 lead as he hits a two-run home run, his sixteenth home run of the season, knocking in Victorino. The Rays would score a run in their half of the fourth as, with two men on, and two men out, Jason Bartlett hits an RBI single, knocking in Pena, who had earlier doubled, while sending Pat Burrell, who had earlier walked, over to second, making it a 10-1 Phils’ lead. But that would be all of the scoring that night, as the Rays’ bullpen stopped the Phils’ offense, while Tyler Walker and Sergio Escalona, recalled from the minors to take the place of Clay Condrey, who had been placed on the 15-day disabled list, took over for Moyer and threw three shut out innings at the Rays.
Jamie Moyer got the win as he pitched six strong innings, only giving up a run on five hits and three walks, while striking out four, recording career victory no. 251. His record is now 5-6 with an ERA of 5.97. Tyler Walker and Sergio Escalona combined for three shut out innings, giving up only three hits (Walker), while striking out one (Walker). David Price took the lost, as he got roughed up for all ten runs, only five of which were earned, on seven hits and two walks, while striking out only two, in four and a third innings of work. His record is now 1-2 with a 4.45 ERA. Winston Abreu and Lance Cormier then came in for four and two-thirds scoreless innings, giving up only three hits (Abreu (2), Cormier (1)) and a walk (Abreu), while striking out five batters between them (Abreu (3), Cormier (2)).
The Phils had ten hits in the game, with Chase Utley leading the way with three hits, including a double and a home run, knocking in four runs, as he raised his batting average to .303. He was followed by Shane Victorino, who had two hits, knocking in a run, as he raisied his average to .308. Ryan Howard, Jayson Werth, John Mayberry Jr., Chris Coste and Carlos Ruiz had the other five Phillies’ hits, with Mayberry’s hit being a three-run home run, and Howard’s hit a one-run double. Besides Utley’s four RBIs, Mayberry’s three, and Victorino and Howard’s one RBI each, Ruiz knocked in the other RBI, as the Phils’ bats finally knocked in some runs, as they took advantage of some sloppy fielding by the Rays.
The Phillies (37-31, 1st National League East) continue their three-games Interleague Play series with the Rays (37-35, 4th American League East). The game will be played at Tropicana Field, at 7:08 pm Eastern. The Phils will send to the mound Joe Blanton (4-3, 5.28), who is coming off his third straight no-decision, this one against the Blue Jays on June 18, as he pitched five and one-third innings, giving up four runs on nine hits and a walk, while he struck out two, in the Phils’ 8-7 lost. He will once again try for his fourth straight win and his fifth win of the season, while trying to eat up the innings to help give the bullpen a much needed rest. The Rays will counter with Matt Garza (4-5, 3.83), who is coming off a lost against the Rockies on June 18, as he pitched five innings, giving up four runs on five hits and two walks, as he struck out five, in the Blue Jays’ 4-3 lost. He will be trying to even up his record while hoping to avoid getting creamed by the Phils’ potent road warrior offense. The Phillies will be looking for another road win, while at the same time go back to increasing their lead over the Mets.
The 2008 World Series will continue with the series’ second game, which will be played later today at Tropicana Field. The game will begin at 8:29 pm Easten time. The Phillies will send to the mound Brett Myers (0-0, -.–), who is coming off his victory in the National League Championship Series over the Dodgers on October 10, where he would go five innings, giving up five earned runs on six hits and four walks, while striking out six, in the Phillies’ 8-5 win, thanks in part to his going 3 for 3 at the plate, knocking in three runs and scoring two. His post-season record is 2-0 with a 5.25 ERA, as he has pitched twelve innings, giving up seven earned runs on eight hits and seven walks, while striking out ten. During the regular season, Brett’s record was 10-13 with a 4.55 ERA, as he pitched in thirty games, giving up 103 runs, 96 of which were earned, on 197 hits and 65 walks, while striking out 163 batters in 190 innings of work. But, he was a much better pitcher in the second half, after his return from a minor league reassignment to clear out his head, as he would go 7-4 with two no-decisions. Myers will be pitching his first start on the road during the post-season, and hoping to stake the Phillies to a 2-0 lead in the series, while hoping to avoid a repeat of his last road start back on September 19 against the Marlins where he got bombed for ten earned runs. The Rays will be countering with James Shields (0-0, -.–), who is coming off his second straight bad start in the American League Championship Series against the Red Sox on October 18, as he would go five and two-third innings, giving up four runs, three of which were earned, on nine hits and three walks, while striking out three, in the Rays’ 4-2 lost. In the post-season, his record is 1-2 in three starts, as he would pitch ninteen and a third innings, giving up nine runs, eight of which were earned, on twenty-one hits and six walks, while striking out thirteen. His regular season record was 14-8 with a 3.56 ERA, as he would pitch in 33 games, going 215 innings, giving up 94 runs, 85 of which were earned, on 208 hits and 40 walks, while striking out 160. Shields will be going out to even the series at a game a piece, while trying to avoid getting hurt for the third straight game in the post-season.
The Phillies will once again be trying to be patient with another Rays’ starter who have had even worst recent luck in the post-season than has last night’s starter Scott Kazmir before striking the major blow, while hoping that Myers will be able to do well on the road for at least this game, before heading back home to the friendly confines of Citizens Bank Park and its very loud, screaming fans. The keys to this game will be trying to get Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Howard into get themselves into the game, especially Howard, who at the moment is hurting the Phillies’ cause more than helping it with his bat. Howard needs to follow Phillies’ manager Charlie Manuel’s advice of trying to just relax and let the ball come to him. Very good advice, as he is at the moment swinging at too many bad pitches that are out of the strike zone. And the only reason opposing pitchers are doing it is because of his swing and misses. Ryan need to make a quick mental adjustment, and not swung at the junk, especially when it is way out of the strike zone, forcing opposing pitchers to throw balls that will be more towards the center of the plate which he should be able to handle. For Rollins, he seems to be swinging at high stuff, especially after getting behind in the count. Sadly, JayRo may have to start swinging early in the count again to stop this, as he is right now taking too many strikes that seems to either go down the middle of the plate or hit the corner away from him. I know I would normally be the first one to say don’t swing early Jimmy, but if opposing pitchers are going to throw stuff like that early in the count, Jimmy may have to swing at them, unless he is completely sure that they will end up being balls. I guess it’s time for certain Phillies’ batters to start making the opposing team’s pitchers suffer for their post-season miseries.
Seven strong innings from Cole Hamels and two shut out innings from Ryan Madson and Brad Lidge would be the difference as the Phillies would hang on to defeat the Rays, 3-2, to take the first game of the World Series. The Phils would jump into the lead in the top of the first, when, with a runner on first and one man out, Chase Utley would hit a two-run home run into the right field seats, scoring Jayson Werth, who has earlier walked, to give the Phillies a 2-0 lead. The Phillies would threaten to increase their lead in the second, when, with the bases loaded via a single (Shane Victorino) and two walks (Pedro Feliz and Carlos Ruiz) and with one man out, Victorino would try to score on a shallow fly ball to left center field by Jimmy Rollins that was caught by Rays’ centerfielder B.J. Upton for the inning’s second out. Victornio, who would later admit that he ran home on a miscommunication with third base coach Steve Smith, who was telling him not to go home, would be tagged out at home plate by Rays’ catcher Dioner Navarro for the inning’s final out. In the top of the third, the Phillies would threaten to score again after Werth would reach third base via a lead-off double and a Utley ground out, 4-3, for the inning’s first out. But Rays’ starter Scott Kazmir would get out of the inning by getting first Ryan Howard and then Pat Burrell to strike out swinging. The Rays would then mount a threat of their own in their half of the third as they would load up the bases with only one out via two singles (Ben Zobrist and Akinori Iwamura) and a walk (Jason Bartlett). But Cole Hamels would end the threat by getting Upton to ground into a 5-4-3 double play on a sharp grounder hit to Feliz. The Phillies would finally add another run in the fourth as, with runners on second and third and one man out, Victorino, who has earlier singled, would move to second on Feliz’s single, and who would both move up a base on Chris Coste’s ground out to first, would cross the plate on Ruiz’s ground out, 6-3, giving the Phillies a 3-0 lead. The Rays would finally get on the scoreboard as, with two outs, Carl Crawford would hit a solo home run on a Hamels’ curveball, cutting the Phils’ lead down to 3-1. The Rays would then cut the Phils’ lead down further in the fifth, as, with a runner on second and two men out, Iwamura would hit a RBI double, scoring Bartlett, who has earlier walked and then stole second, to make it a 3-2 Phillies’ lead. Hamels would then end the inning by getting Upton to foul out to Howard, who would make a spectular catch just inside the stands behind the first base foul line. The Rays would try to threaten again in the sixth as Howard would boot Carlos Pena’s ground ball for a fielding error. But, when Pena tried to steal second, he would be picked off by Hamels, who would throw over to Howard, who would then throw to Rollins, would would just barely tag out Pena for the inning’s first out, although the Rays’ bench would claim that Hamels had actually balked, a claim that first base umpire Kerwin Danley would ignore. Hamels would then proceed to strike out Evan Longoria and then get Crawford to ground out, 4-3, to end the inning. The Phillies would make another threat to score an extra run in the seventh, as, with runners on third (Utley (single, stolen base and wild pitch (J.P. Howell)) and first (Burrell (walk), who was then replaced by pinch runner Eric Bruntlett) and two outs, Rays’ reliever Grant Balfour, the second Rays’ reliever for the inning, would end the inning by striking out Victornio. Hamels’ seventh would be an easy eleven-pitch 1-2-3 inning. After the Phillies would go down 1-2-3 in the top of the eighth, Ryan Madson would come out in relief of Hamels and proceed to pitch a 1-2-3 inning of his own. In the Phillies’ ninth, the Phils would make one final attempt to get an insurance run as they would get runners on second (Werth (ground-rule double) and first (Utley (intentional walk)) and one out. But, the Rays would get out of the inning as first Howard would strike out looking and then Bruntlett would pop out to the second baseman. The Phillies would then hand the ball over to Brad Lidge to close it. Lidge would proceed to strike out Pena and Longoria on seven pitches before ending the game by getting Crawford to foul out to Feliz for the final out, recording the save.
Cole Hamels would get the win as he would pitch seven strong innings, giving up two earned runs on five hits and two walks, while striking out five. His record in the series is now 1-0 with a 2.57 ERA and a 4-0 record in the post-season. Ryan Madson would pitch a 1-2-3 inning, striking out one. Brad Lidge would also pitch a 1-2-3 inning, striking out two, as he would record his fifth save in the post-season and his forty-sixth save in forty-six tries. Scott Kazmir would receive the lost as he pitches six innings, giving up three earned runs on six hits and four walks, while striking out four. His series record is 0-1 with an ERA of 4.50. J.P. Howell, Grant Balfour, Trever Miller and Dan Wheeler would combine for three scoreless innings, giving up two hits (Howell and Balfour one hit apiece) and two walks (Howell and Balfour would each give up a walk), while striking out five (Howell and Balfour two each and Miller one).
The Phillies would win last night’s game thanks to the bullpen shutting down the Rays’ offense in the last two innings, while Cole Hamels, Ryan Madson and Brad Lidge would combine to get the last eleven Ray batters out, after Hamels had picked off Carlos Pena trying to steal second in the sixth inning. Speaking of the pick off, Rays’ manager Joe Maddon and the Rays’ bench all thought that Hamels had balked before he threw to first base after Pena had started to run towards second base. The first base umpire, Kerwin Danley, would ignore their argument, but before the start of the Phillies’ seventh, home plate umpire Tim Welke told Maddon that he would look into the matter. Quite frankly, I don’t know what the point of all this is. If it was a balk, Danley should’ve called it right then and there. I just hope this wasn’t an attempt by Maddon to influence things later in the series as it could backfire on his team since the umpires could decide to look closely at the pitchers of both teams when their pitchers throw towards first when there is someone on base who is a basestealing threat. I guess time will tell. Meanwhile, the Phillies offense would once again in the post-season be unable to hit an early knockout blow against their opponent as they would leave eleven men on base, thanks mainly to Ryan Howard being unable to stop chasing junk out of the strike zone. Hey big guy, lay off the junk pitches will you? As long as you keep swinging at them, they’re going to keep throwing them to you. Please follow Charlie Manuel’s advice, just relax at the plate and let the ball come to you. Even if it means hitting into an out, it’ll at least be a lot better than being made to look like a fool with your constant swing and misses at off-speed junk.
The 2008 World Series continues tonight with the series’ second game, being played tonight at Tropicana Field. The game will begin at 8:29 pm Easten time. The Phillies will send to the mound Brett Myers (0-0, -.–), who is coming off his victory over the Dodgers on October 10, where he went five innings, giving up five earned runs on six hits and four walks, while striking out six, in the Phillies’ 8-5 win, thanks in part to his going 3 for 3 at the plate, knocking in three runs and scoring two. His post-season record is 2-0 with a 5.25 ERA, as he pitched twelve innings, giving up seven earned runs on eight hits and seven walks, while striking out ten. During the regular season, his record was 10-13 with a 4.55 ERA, as he pitched in thirty games, giving up 103 runs, 96 of which were earned, on 197 hits and 65 walks, while striking out 163 batters in 190 innings of work. But, he was a better pitcher in the second half, after his return from a minor league reassignment, as he would go 7-4 with two no-decisions. Myers will be pitching his first start on the road during the post-season, and hoping to stake the Phillies to a 2-0 lead in the series, while hoping to avoid a repeat of his last road start back on September 19 against the Marlins where he got bombed for ten earned runs. The Rays will be countering with James Shields (0-0, -.–), who is coming off his second straight bad start in the ALCS against the Red Sox on October 18, as he would last just five and two-third innings, giving up four runs, three of which were earned, on nine hits and three walks, while striking out three, in the Rays’ 4-2 lost. In the post-season, his record is 1-2 in three starts, as he would pitch ninteen and a third innings, giving up nine runs, eight of which were earned, on twenty-one hits and six walks, while striking out thirteen. His regular season record was 14-8 with a 3.56 ERA, as he would pitch in 33 games, going 215 innings, giving up 94 runs, 85 of which were earned, on 208 hits and 40 walks, while striking out 160. Shields will be going out to even the series at a game a piece, while trying to avoid getting hurt for the third straight game in the post-season. The Phillies will once again be trying to be patient with another Rays’ starter who have had even worst recent luck in the post-season than has last night’s starter Kazmir before striking the major blow, while hoping that Myers will be able to do well on the road for at least this game, before heading back home to the friendly confines of Citizens Bank Park and its very loud, screaming fans.
The first game of the 2008 World Series between the National League Champion Philadelphia Phillies and the American League Champion Tampa Bay Rays (aka Fox’s Worst Nightmare)will start later tonight. The game will be played at Tropicana Field and will start at 8:22 pm Eastern time. The Phillies’ starter will be Cole Hamels (0-0, -.–), who is coming off a brilliant start against the Dodgers on October 15, where he went seven strong innings, giving up only one earned run on five hits and three walks, while striking out five batters, in the Phillies’ 5-1 win, clinching the National League pennant and winning the National League Championship Series MVP in the process. During the post-season, he would go 3-0 with an 1.23 ERA, as he pitched a total of twenty-two innings, giving up only three earned runs on thirteen hits and six walks, while striking out twenty-two batters. During the regular season, his record was 14-10 with a 3.09 ERA, as he worked 227 and a third innings, giving up 89 runs, of which only 78 were earned, on 193 hits and 53 walks, while striking out 196 batters. He will be trying to make his record in the present post-season 4-0 while setting things up for the Phillies in the World Series. The Rays will counter with Scott Kazmir (0-0, -.–), who is coming off a good start against the Red Sox on October 16 in Game 5 of the American League Championship Series, as he would go six innings, giving up no runs on two hits and three walks, while striking out seven, in the Rays’ 8-7 lost. In the playoffs, his record is 1-0 with two no-decisions in three games, posting an ERA of 4.02, as he would pitch fifteen and two-thirds innings, giving up seven earned runs on sixteen hits, eight walks and two hit batters, while striking out thirteen. During the record season, his record would be 12-8 with a 3.49 ERA, as he would pitch 152 and a third innings, giving up 61 runs, 59 of which were earned, on 123 hits and 70 walks, while striking out 166. He will be trying to improve on his last start, while hoping that the Phillies won’t do to him what the BoSox did to him in Game 2 of the ALCS.
The keys to the Phillies’ victory in tonight’s game will be for Cole Hamels to come out and dominate the young bats of the Rays with his pitches while the Phillies’ bats will have to be patient with Scott Kazmir, raising his pitch count with good, long at bats before finally striking. A good start from Jimmy Rollins to help set things up for the rest of the offense and Ryan Howard’s bat waking up completely from its post-season slumber wouldn’t hurt the team. But most important of all, the Phillies will need to be relax and stay loose, while using the fact that most people don’t see them winning the series (gee, there’s that 1980 feel again) should be used as a motivator to get them going.
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.