Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Posted: 30 Sep 2009 07:27 PM PDT
The Philadelphia Phillies have clinched their 3rd straight National League East crown. They are now guaranteed a playoff spot and a chance to repeat as World Series Champions. The end was kind of anticlimactic because the Braves lost before the Phils game was over, so they actually clinched the NL East before the game was over. But, hey, a division title is a division title.
As I type this I am watching the celebration at Citizens Bank Park (Photo above). The players are squirting themselves all over with champagne and celebrating their brilliant season. The Phillies pounded the Astros, 10-3, on their way to the playoffs.
Raul Ibanez is the player of the game in my opinion (maybe the smartest free agent pickup this year). Ibanez had a sac fly and a 2-run homer, leading the Phils to the the win.
Brad Lidge was brought out by Charlie to get the final out of the ninth. It was a rather touching moment, as Lidge trotted out to the mound. But was this a curtain call for Lidge? A last hurrah?
So their is still more work to be done by the Phillies. We, Philadelphians, are not satisfied with just a division title. We want a repeat, if not just for us, for Harry Kalas.
This team may be even better than last year's club. Their are only two major setbacks this club has faced, and both have to do with underachieving pitchers. Cole Hamels has to get back to prime form to give the Phillies the repeat. Also, the closer situation has to be addressed and Brad Lidge isn't the answer this year.
The Phillies now have Cliff Lee, a premium pitcher in the prime of his career. They have Raul Ibanez, a streaky hitter who (when hot) can win a series almost by himself. They now have Pedro Martinez, a pitching legend who still has a lot of playoff experience. Also, the have Ben Francisco, a great bat to have off the bench and a decent player.
Let's get ready for some October baseball, Philadelphia!!!!!!
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