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NLCS 2010: San Francisco Slay the “Giants” and Are World Series Bound

It’s the law of gravity. Something that must be very delicately handled and respected. The question remained are we going up? Or is this the law of science forcing us to accept, there is no other way to go?

What goes up, must come down.

After too many years without a championship in Philadelphia, 2008 brought the end of a drought. 2009 assured us that we had something special on our hands.

Sure Shane Victorino doesn’t make too good of mistakes sometimes but, they’ll make it through—they always do. Yeah, Chase Utley slumps but someone will come through. Yeah Ryan Howard strikes out but he always seems to hit one when we need it.

It’s ok to have faith, but, at some point, you’ve got to look at everything and decide, something needs to be fixed.

Shane Victorino’s over-eager base running did us no favors in the bottom of the eighth, Utley’s careless mistakes cost us  this time. And Ryan Howard—those strikeouts, really, really did cost us this time.

It’s not something Phillies fans should look at as a terrible thing, though. The Phillies now know, they are not wizards. They need to work on that stuff.

Granted, injuries, clearly, have plagued this team from the first week of the season on. This was the first game the Phillies played all season as their true line-up. It all looked good, to begin, but after the Giants played, as they have all series and battled it out.

Taking advantage of the opportunities was key, and it’s something the Phillies have become known to do. It just wasn’t working for them—this whole postseason to be honest.

The Phillies left 11 men on base. They were 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position, no at-bat more painful than when Howard was struck out looking to end the 2010 season.
Matt Gelb, of reports that some of the Phillies remained at the top step of the home dugout as many fans didn’t move from their seats.

Everyone was stone cold. It was like watching your father get beat up by a neighbor… yeah, that was exactly the feel.

Nails bitten, hair pulled, kids crying…but really, it’s not that bad. Your fightin’ Phils will be back next year. Until then—thanks.

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2010 NLCS Giants-Phillies Game 5: Roy Halladay Slays Giants Despite Groin Injury

The “if necessaries” have evolved and have become absolutely necessary; they couldn’t be more necessary if you deliberately tried to make them be so much. 

It was absolutely imperative on Thursday night that the San Francisco Giants finished off the Philadelphia Phillies. Silently, a loss in Game 5 seems harmless. The urgency hides behind, “Oh, it’s OK, just get back out there and get the win in Game 6.”

It can happen, yes. But here is what has been surrendered by the San Francisco loss on Thursday night:


They’ve Lost Home Field Advantage

Not that this really mattered too-too much, as they used the first two San Francisco games as efficiently as possible. But a loss last night forces them to finish this series in the rowdy Citizens Bank Park. No doubt the ball park will be at an all-time high of loudness and emotional fans.

I’d put my money, if I were a betting man, on another incident or two that the media will blow up (as if this stuff happens NOWHERE else).


They’ve Left the Window Open

A general, well-known proverb of life is: “If you play with fire, you will get burned.”

The Philadelphia Phillies aren’t called the “Fightin’s” for no reason. They’re called the “Fightin’s” because playing with their backs against the wall is when they are at their best.

If you give the Phillies anything to work with, it almost always will come back to haunt you. Now, with home field advantage back, you’ve restored their poise and shook the top of the mountain, allowing some snow to begin sliding.

What the Giants need to focus on in Game 6 is jumping on the Phillies early because that bit of snow trickling down the top of the mountain is bound to escalate into an avalanche if you allow them to continue this momentum.


They’ve Put Themselves in a Mini-Must-Win Situation

The only way the Giants would get full credit for handling the Phillies is if they were in the situation they were in Thursday morning.

Turning a 3-1 advantage into a 3-2 advantage resurfaces any slight doubt that may exist. Lord only knows the havoc this would wreak should the Giants lose Game 6, forcing a Game 7 in Philadelphia at Citizens Bank Park.’s Sam Donnellon indirectly highlights the Phillies innate ability to not squander the opportunities:


Break No. 1.

Carlos Ruiz, who reached base when he was hit by an inside pitch, followed to second on the sacrifice. Shane Victorino then ripped a shot to the right side that careened off first baseman Aubrey Huff’s glove/leg and into no-man’s land in right- center field. Both runners scored and Victorino raced to second as three infielders chased after the ball.

Break No. 2.

“We did a lot of little things,” Halladay said.

Placido Polanco drove in Victorino with a single to left-center. Utley followed with a hit, but Giants starter Tim Lincecum struck out Ryan Howard and Werth flew out to left.

Lincecum retired the Phillies in order in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings, although Victorino put a scare in the crowd of 43,713 in the fifth with a towering fly that pushed Ross to the base of the right field wall. But the Giants’ two-time Cy Young winner had thrown 67 pitches by the end of the fourth, and was up to 89 pitches after the sixth.

He left after seven innings, 104 pitches. If an argument can be made that Halladay outpitched Lincecum in losing Game 1, the same could be said about last night in reverse.

“It won’t go down as it, but this may have been the most impressive outing he’s had,” Brad Lidge, who pitched a perfect ninth for the save, said of Halladay. “He gutted it out with a lot less than 100 percent out there.”

Halladay struck out Juan Uribe with two runners on to end the sixth. Jose Contreras and J.C. Romero worked a scoreless seventh. Ryan Madson struck out the heart of the Giants’ order in the eighth, as impressive a performance in power pitching as Halladay was with his guile.

Halladay has now thrown 272 2/3innings this season, and that’s a ton for even him.

The groin?

‘I was able to keep pitching and it didn’t get worse,” he said. “I’ve got some time to rest, so, hopefully . . . ‘

How’s that for size? Lincecum out duels Halladay Game 1, but gets out dueled against a Roy Halladay with a groin injury. Who knows what this all means?

What we do know is that there is another game to be played and it’s on Saturday in Philadelphia a 3:57 PM EDT.

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2010 NLCS Phillies-Giants Game 4: Is the Romance in Philadelphia Over?

Now before I address my analysis of this game, let me get one thing clear.

Jimmy Rollins, in 2008, called Phillies fans “front-runners.” Now, was that called for J-Roll? Do you really think we’re front-runners?

Or is it that we care too much? So much, that we are in deep when the dagger goes through our hearts? Kinda like a Romeo and Juliet kinda thing.

Some of us love our Phils so much this 3-1 hole could resemble the “death-like coma” that Juliet was in…how do we respond to what seems to be a tragedy? Dramatically. Just as Romeo did. It could cost us, though (as it always does). It could make us look ridiculous, like the rest of the Nation thinks we are, when really, it’s passion.

With that being said—the Phillies suck!

The game was over when one-fourth of our stubborn shot-callers of Philadelphia decided to keep Blanton as the starter when everyone knew, even him, that this was a game that was absolutely needed. How do we know Manuel was caught like a deer in the headlights? Roy Oswalt closed the…(gathering myself)…when Roy Oswalt closed the game.

That told me, Charlie is making a desperate move NOW in the ninth, when he should have made an urgent move BEFORE the first.

The bats—you can’t ask anymore out of the bats, (not really) they did their job. (It’s all politics, folks.) The pitching however…not good enough.

This one falls on Manuel’s hand.

If it’s not enough, he went with Blanton in the first place after 20, or so, days of not throwing a ball in a series in which they were down 2-1, and he yanks him in the fifth as if his first name were Jerry, and he managed the Mets.

Blanton still had the lead, albeit, he was laboring through. His decision set in motion a chain of events that ended with Roy Oswalt trying to pitch in a wildly unfamiliar role, needless to say (so why am I saying it?), he failed. Oswalt gave up two singles and a sacrifice fly that proved costly for the Phils, and made our managers look extremely _____ (fill in the blank). You name it.

While I’ll give Manuel credit, he was trying to win the game at all costs—and that does says a lot about a man, this is not PS3; can’t expect that to work in real life Uncle Char.

Phil Sheridan of, couldn’t have said it better when he said in his column:

We’ll never know what would have happened if they had started Roy Halladay on short rest Wednesday night. Maybe he would have shut the Giants down, maybe not. Manuel’s gamble was that Blanton would turn in a decent start, the offense would score a few runs off rookie Madison Bumgarner, and the series would be tied.

And that’s just what was happening until Manuel walked to the mound with two out in the bottom of the fifth inning. Let’s be clear. No one is suggesting Blanton is any more than what he is, a good major-league pitcher. He does not have the stellar array of pitches that Halladay, Oswalt, and Cole Hamels use to dazzle hitters. He is not a shutout waiting to happen.

But Manuel and Dubee decided to give him the ball in the biggest game of the postseason so far. If that was the right call, then logic dictates they needed to go all in with Blanton. If he was good enough to deserve this start, he was good enough to finish the fifth and then go another inning or two.

How could I have said it any better?

After the game, Manuel said, as reported by David Murphy of

“He [Oswalt] already told [pitching coach Rich] Dubee that he was ready to go. He wanted to be in there. I didn’t ask him. Dubee told me Oswalt could go.”  Manuel was asked that since he used Oswalt, why didn’t he just start ace Roy Halladay in Game 4? “I think I have answered that haven’t I?” Manuel said. “[Joe] Blanton had a lead when he left.” 


Charlie, if Oswalt told you he wanted to jump off a bridge—would you let him?

I’ve made it very clear, all season…I’ve made numerous predictions this year and I can’t think of one that hasn’t come to fruition.

So this, what I’m about to say, is scary.

Philadelphia…it’s all over. Not officially, of course. But, in a Romeo and Juliet kind of way. 3-1 is a deficit not many overcome. Could this be another thing to add to the Phillies legacy? A 3-1 comeback?

Maybe, but I’m afraid not. The Phils need to figure something out, quick. Before this love affair becomes a complete tragedy. We need the Friar to make sure the message gets to Philly fans like me, who are making dramatic predictions such as these:

Giants in six. (Shaking my head.)

Rip me to shreds Philly. Tell me I’m wrong. Be the messenger that didn’t get to Romeo in time to tell him it isn’t what it appears to be. I need the pep talk.

Bookmark this article and I hope you all have the chance to return and tell me what an idiot I am in true Philly style. I can handle it. It’s certainly something I’d be glad to be dead wrong and ignorant about.

Oh Philly, wherefore art thou bats? Wherefore art thou strikes? And wherefore art thou manager’s brains? For never was a story of more woe / Than this of what happened, in Game 4, in San Francisco.

Note: This article also appears on Sports

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2010 NLCS Game 2: Phillies’ Bats Come Out of Slumber While Roy Oswalt Delivers

Anyone who thought that this would be an easy series…do you have your answer yet?

A day after the Giants eked out a one-point win on the defending National League champions, the Phightin’s turned around to pull off a 6-1 win to even up the series at one game apiece.

The only thing that was more ironic than the spelling of Cody Ross’ name spelled backwards (Sorry Doc), was another solo shot from Cody Ross on a pitch in the same place to break up another no-hitter tonight.

The man affectionately named “Little Roy” in Philadelphia, attempted to do it all with eight innings of work, only giving up three hits, striking out nine, with a 1.12 ERA, a hit and he scored a run as well.

The second installment of the three aces scored from second, running through the third base coach Sam Perlozzo’s stop sign to score the team’s third run of the night. When asked about what was going through his mind, Oswalt said that he read the ball well off the bat and had made up his mind to score. Halfway there he saw the stop sign, but it was too late to stop—his mind was made up.

Jimmy Rollins, who batted sixth, ended up in the right place, at the right time, clearing the bases in the seventh, on a double giving the Phillies a 6-1 lead that they would never look back on.

The last game Jimmy had a RBI in was on October 1st against the Braves, in which he also had four.

When asked if he saw any advantages to batting in that spot, he was very reluctant to commit his heart to the six-hole, but he did admit that, tonight, he was happy to be in that position.

Tonight, however, demonstrated to the Giants why it’s so hard to stop the Phillies. They will have to find a way to stop the offense of the Philadelphia Phillies for 51 more innings, while, simultaneously, defeating their lights-out pitching.

We saw the same thing last year in the World Series. The Phillies were able to take a lot of hype, compress it into a chip to place on their shoulder and take it into Game 1 to muster out a win. However, the odds were against them to be able to sustain that for another three games in a seven game series.

They sent their ace, who at the time was Cliff Lee, back out there to get them another win. But that’s all a seven game series would allow them…two wins.

The Phillies’ batters look to be heating up, even against Tim Lincecum last Saturday night. In the long run, though, if the Giants are going to beat the Phillies, they’ll have to shut them down—not outplay them.

If you let the Phillies get into a rhythm, it’s very rare you outplay them.

All in all, Game 2 is in the books and the Phillies won 6-1, the series is 1-1 and we’re catching a red-eye flight to San Francisco, for a Cole Hamels versus Matt Cain showdown at AT&T Park on Tuesday, October 19th.

The place to catch it, FOX; the time, 4:19 ET.

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NLCS 2010: Philadelphia Phillies Drop Game 1 for the First Time in 3 Years

Early in the seven o’clock hour, the rally towels were already waving. The noise was already to the max, and the fireworks were already firing.

The historical city of Philadelphia always finds a way to write and rewrite history. The action was preceded by the world-famous Philadelphia’s boys choir opening with the National Anthem, and then it was time to play ball.

The Phillies came into the game on what can be considered a hitting slump by their standards. Turns out the irony of everything is, in a game that was thought to have been a pitching duel, turned out to be a battle of the bats.

Both teams started off swinging strong. The innings still ended three up, three down on hits sent into play.

At that point, it was evident, this wasn’t going to be your traditional pitcher’s duel: something was going to give. The question at the time still remained what? And who?

Each pitcher got through the first inning on seven pitches, which, quite frankly was symbolic of the match-up. 

Cody Ross, by far the Giants MVP of the night, hit two home runs to make it 2-1. That opened the door for the sixth inning when Roy Halladay got into trouble, a close umpire call kept Pat Burrell at bat.

That’s when Burrell took advantage of his extra life with a two-out/two-strike double which scored two, making it 4-1. 

Two pitchers that only allowed a total of two hits combined in Game 1 of the NLDS, turned around to belt 16 hits in Game 1 of the NLCS giving the Phillies their first game one loss of their four-year NL takeover.

“You find out what you’re made of. You never expect it to be easy,” Halladay said after the game. And it wasn’t easy; at all.

A series after Halladay’s gem, Lincecum had 14 strikeouts in San Francisco’s 1-0 win over Atlanta. He gave up six hits and struck out eight against the Phillies.

Lincecum, the reigning two-time NL Cy Young Award winner, had some adventures with a bat in his hands, though.

The notoriously rough Philadelphia fans came up with a unique way to mock Lincecum instead of the usual boos.

They serenaded him with whistles when he batted in the fifth and seventh, mocking his “beauty” with the long hair and innocent face.

Lincecum responded, in jest, “I must have a really nice butt. I was hearing a lot of them.”

In the end, though, that innocent face and long hair got the best of Philadelphia. The Giants took a 1-0 lead in the NLCS.

Game 2 is Sunday, Oct. 17, same place, at 8:19 p.m. EDT.

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2010 NLDS: Cincinnati Reds Get Schooled in Lessons for a Young Team

In a completely anti-Game 1 sort of way, the Philadelphia Phillies pulled off an unprecedented win against the Cincinnati Reds Friday night at Citizens Bank Park. 

In a way, the Reds revealed a Phillies-like resilience about them.

In what could have been a culture shock for fans transitioning from Game 1 to Game 2, the team turned into the same old Phillies that they’ve come to know in the last four years.

Despite a horrendous start by one-third of H2O, Roy Oswalt was able to keep the damage minimal enough to support a Phillies late-game rally.

Experience was a huge factor in this.

While the Cincinnati Reds showed talent and power, the Phillies pulled out their wily veteran moves and remained calm. It’s one thing to get a lead; it’s another thing to keep it.

Despite what may seem like all bad for the Reds last night, these are very key learning opportunities they are receiving here.

With Dusty Baker getting his contract extended, we can only imagine that he’s using these times to teach his team poise. It’s an unfortunate occurrence that the team they drew in the NLDS were the shifty, resilient, powerful Philadelphia Phillies; it only makes sense to take the opportunity to grow.

Of all the things the Reds could have taken from these first two games, here are a few:


The Reds showed in both games that there are playoff jitters.

The Reds are tied for the least amount of errors in the National League.

However, in Game 1, they had three costly fielding blunders that ultimately cost them the game. In Game 2, it seems they learned to fight through the early game jitters, but failed to keep their poise to be able to bring it home, giving up four costly errors.


Costly Errors

In the playoffs, every little mistake is exploited by resilient veteran teams. You cannot allow room for a team to be able to take advantage of you.

One good example is the matchup of Aroldis Chapman versus Chase Utley.

Chapman was beginning to look unhittable until he started grazing his pitches close to the batters. Utley, being the opportunist that he is, took a very close pitch and passed it off as a hit batter. He knew, like all of us, that it wasn’t—but the opportunity was seized. 

Of the four errors, Jay Bruce losing the ball in the lights or crowd was the error that gave the Phillies the lead. From there, you just knew: There isn’t any turning back from this one.

The Reds will need to cut down their mistakes in Game 3 to have a shot.



I give them an A+ on this one. They bounced back after that punch in the mouth Wednesday night and brought a counter-punch early Friday.

They demonstrated the resilience that we’ve watched all year. They thrive off bad performances in that same way the Phillies do. The only difference, and I keep saying this, is experience.

The Phillies have been here, and if you recall from last year, their NLDS matchup was no walk in the park that year either—the Rockies gave them all they could handle. Still, the Phillies pulled juice out of their reserves and edged them out, something they have become known to do.

It’s a lesson the Reds can learn from—and I’m positive they will.

Philadelphia can close this series out on Sunday at 7 p.m. in Cincinnati.

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Philadelphia Phillies vs.The Cincinnati Reds Preview

Since the franchise was born 127 years ago, the Philadelphia Phillies have never finished the season with the best record in the MLB.

Their 11-5 win over the Atlanta Braves, coupled with a loss by the Tampa Bay Rays, have given the Phillies a 2.5-game lead over the Rays, with two games remaining.

The Phillies could clinch the best record today if the Yankees lose half of their doubleheader with the Red Sox, or if the Phils pull off one more win versus the Braves.

In a finishing stretch for the ages, the Phillies have literally gone where no Phil has gone before and they look to continue that trend.

This postseason will consist of a mountain of franchise firsts that the 2010 Phillies look to accomplish, including:

  1. Be the first team to win three NLCS in franchise history, and the first in NL history.
  2. Be the first team in franchise history to make three consecutive World Series appearances.
  3. Be the first team in franchise history to win two out of three World Series.

The last time they ended their season with the best record in the National League was in 1977.

The Phils await their opponent in the first Divisional Series of the playoffs. As it sits now, they’d face the Cincinnati Reds, who have already clinched their place as well.

If the San Diego Padres could catch the Braves in the wild card race, the Phils would face them in the NLDS.

As powerful as this team is, and experienced as they have become, they face more unmarked territory.

With the summer heat being pushed south, a band of rain passing through the east coast ushered in the crisp air of October…and it’s that time again. 

Time to make your postseason picks. Time to set your alarm clock to the maximum volume for the morning, when your team plays the late game, and time to map out where you will follow the scores from the early games in the Division Series match-ups.  

The season, as usual, brought a lot of drama, controversy and disappointments. But there have also been a few stories of redemption. 

Dusty Baker and the Cincinnati Reds are a good example. 

The excitement of the Red’s franchise and fan-base is evident.  It’s the first time in 15 years they’ve clinched a postseason berth, a position the Phillies found themselves in in 2007. 

That fact alone makes the Cincinnati Reds America’s favorite comeback story this year.

But now, with the 2010 postseason only days away, the match-ups are close to being set and it’s time for each team to bring their A game. 

Let’s analyze the Phillies personnel and approach:

Batting Lineup

It is possible that Phillies’ skipper, Charlie Manuel, could put Jimmy Rollins back in lead-off position where he’s been for some seven or eight years, or he can keep the hot bat Shane Victorino there. 

Otherwise, here’s the rest:

Shane Victorino/Jimmy Rollins

Placido Polanco

Chase Utley

Ryan Howard

Jayson Werth

Raul Ibanez/Jimmy Rollins

Shane Victorino/Jimmy Rollins/Raul Ibanez

Carlos Ruiz

Ruiz has had a phenomenal year, increasing his statistics in almost every category tremendously, making an already dangerous bunch more lethal.

It’s no secret that due to injuries the Phillies batting numbers this season have cooled down. 

Their 21-6 September proved that when everyone is healthy they are still every bit as powerful as they have ever been.

Pitching Rotation:

The Phils announced a pretty vicious pitching rotation for the Reds series on Friday night. 

Game One on Oct. 6: Roy Halladay.

Game Two on Oct. 8: Roy Oswalt.

Game Three on Oct. 10: Cole Hamels.

Game Four, if necessary: Roy Halladay.

Game Five, if necessary: Roy Oswalt.

The three have had a combined record of 20-7 and an outstanding September record of 13-1.


Joe Blanton, Kyle Kendrick, Brad Lidge, Ryan Madson, Jose Contreras, J.C. Romero and Chad Durbin.

If Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels give us seven solid innings, we’ll see a lot of Ryan Madson in the eighth and Brad Lidge in the ninth.

Brad Lidge is crucial to the Phillies postseason success. If he can continue to have a solid year, the Phillies will be very difficult to beat.


The Phillies don’t make many mistakes in the field.

They have arguably the best set of infield men in the MLB. Ryan Howard accounts for most of the errors committed in the infield. 

Otherwise, don’t expect to see too many mistakes from the Phillies this postseason.

Keys to winning the series

The Reds have a very potent lineup, so the first key is to keep H2O (Halladay, Hamels, and Oswalt) on the field as long as possible. 

The other key is continuing their timely hitting. 

There needs to be at least one game in which the Phillies unleash their bats. If not, the Reds just may.

If Carlos Ruiz keeps his excellent season going, he will be another key to outlasting the Reds as a 1-8 threat always wears on starting pitchers. 


My prediction is that this series goes, at the most, four games. The Reds may take game three at Great American Ball Park, against Cole Hamels who Stamp predicts will go up against, Travis Wood. 

As a Reds columnist, Matt Stamp reminds us:

“ some of you may recall, Wood was three outs away from pitching a perfect game in Philly. Wood finished that game (which the Reds lost 1-0 in 11 innings) pitching nine innings of one-hit ball with eight strikeouts.”

So, timely hitting will have to do the trick. 

The Phillies will ultimately prevail because of the Red’s lack of experience. 

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Top 12 Things That Work to The Phillies’ Advantage This Postseason

The Philadelphia Phillies are in a good place. It’s a place most young kids, high school standouts, and college athletes covet.

The sporting pinnacle.

You’re on a team—your own team—that you helped build with your own hands and you are enjoying success year after year.

This is what Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, and the rest of the gang are experiencing now.

They’ve clinched four straight National East crowns, and they find themselves standing alone at the top of the mountain as the hottest team in the MLB.

They’ve even held the league’s best record for a good part of the final stretch this year.

It’s hard to bet against the Phillies right now, with so much going well for them.

Among many different things that work in their favor, I was able to consolidate them into 12 different things, beginning with…

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Philadelphia Phillies’ National League ‘Magic Number’ Is Two

Now that the Phillies (93-63) have made the playoff’s it’s important they finish first in the National League.

If the Atlanta Braves (87-69) win their remaining games, they can finish with no more than 93 wins.

The San Diego Padres (87-68) and San Francisco Giants (88-68) are competing for the NL West championship with the Giants holding a slim half-game lead.

Todd Zolecki of points out that the Giants and Padres play each other in a three-game series this weekend at AT&T Park. He goes on to note that if both teams win every game leading up to that series, they would both be 91-68. One of those teams obviously will win at least two of those games, pushing one team to 93 wins while the other team finishes with no more than 92.

Two wins should clinch the best record in the National League for Phillies, and they have three games coming up against the Washington Nationals in which to do so.

If the Phils complete the feat for the first time since 1977, they’d have the option to choose when they want to start their playoff play.

This is significant because if they choose to start on October sixth, look at what the pitching rotation coulld be:


  1. Oct. 6 – Game 1 – Halladay
  2. Oct. 7 – Off
  3. Oct. 8 – Game 2 – Hamels
  4. Oct. 9 – Off
  5. Oct. 10 – Game 3 – Oswalt
  6. Oct. 11 – Game 4 – Halladay (Normal Rest)
  7. Oct. 12 – Off
  8. Oct. 13 – Game 5 – Hamels (Normal Rest)



  1. Oct. 16 – Game 1 – Halladay
  2. Oct. 17 – Game 2 – Hamels
  3. Oct. 18 – Off
  4. Oct. 19 – Game 3 – Oswalt
  5. Oct. 20 – Game 4 – Blanton
  6. Oct. 21 – Game 5 – Halladay
  7. Oct. 22 – Off
  8. Oct. 23 – Game 6 – Hamels
  9. Oct. 24 – Game 7 – Oswalt

World Series

  1. Oct. 27 – Game 1 – Halladay
  2. Oct. 28 – Game 2 – Hamels
  3. Oct. 29 – Off
  4. Oct. 30 – Game 3 – Oswalt
  5. Oct. 31 – Game 4 – Blanton
  6. Nov. 1 – Game 5 – Halladay
  7. Nov. 2 – Off
  8. Nov. 3 – Game 6 – Hamels
  9. Nov. 4 – Game 7 – Oswalt


That would mean in 17 out of 19 games the Philadelphia Phillies aces would be pitching.

That is a killer rotation to enter into the postseason with. The three pitchers(Oswalt, Hamels, and Halladay) have a combined record of 12-1 in September.

Their being lined up in the recent series against the Braves made a talented lineup seem completely inferior.

If the Phillies don’t go to the World Series this year, it’s a lock that the team that beats them absolutely does.

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Joe Blanton and the Philadelphia Phillies Are Kings of the Hill

After Minnesota‘s blundering 10-1 loss to the Tigers and the New York Yankees’ 10-8  loss to the Boston Red Sox, the Philadelphia Phillies sit alone with the MLB‘s  best record.

With a 93-61 record, they are a half-game above the Minnesota Twins and a full game ahead of the Yankees.

Thanks to a 11-game win streak, the Phillies‘ magic number is now down to two with the Atlanta Braves losing to the Nationals, 8-3.

The Phillies are now an amazing 19-3 in September, as scorching as today’s Philadelphia sun. Shane Victorino started off today with a leadoff home run and a second-inning RBI, to give Philadelphia to a 2-0 lead.

From there, the Phillies never looked back, led by Joe Blanton‘s seven innings of two-run ball.

The Mets tied the game up in the top of the fourth inning, but the Phils responded in the bottom of the inning, which has become common for the surging NL champs.

From there, the Phillies pitching didn’t allow any more scoring. The streaking Ryan Madsen and Brad Lidge wrapped the game up in the eighth and ninth inning.

The Phillies look poised to roll into October with unwavering skill and grace

According to Phillies, the Phillies’ most wins in a month is 22 in September 1915. A year which eerily resembles 2010. In 1977, the last year the Phillies ended with the best record in the NL, they went 22-7.

This year, they hold the best September record at 19-3 with eight games to play, and have a great chance to break that record if they just split their final eight games.

The 2010 Phillies are putting their bid in as the best version of the team to step foot in America’s birthplace.

They currently have two more games against the Mets this weekend and three games next week against the Nats before finishing with three against the Braves.

For more writing from Vincent Heck visit:

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