It feels the same way every time the local teams capture a playoff spot, your instantly transported back to your childhood and the feelings that those teams evoked.  The Phillies evoked those emotions on Monday night, clinching their fourth straight division title and securing home field advantage throughout the playoffs. 

They would also have home field advantage in the World Series because of the National League winning the All star game (home field advantage is determined by the winner of the All Star game).  It will be the first National League sponsored World Series since 1996.

For the Phillies, their fourth straight division title came the hard way.  They lost key players such as Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, and Jimmy Rollins for over 100 hundred games combined.  They also battled the Atlanta Braves for most of the year and only overtook the Braves after going 20-5 in September so far.

The Phillies four consecutive divisional titles are the second longest streak in MLB behind the Atlanta Braves’ 14 consecutive titles through the 1990’s and into the 2000’s (divisional play started in 1969).

It doesn’t stop there for the Phillies.  With a pitching threesome of Halladay, Hamels, and Oswalt, the Phillies have the deepest rotation in the National League.  All three pitchers have ERA’s under three and all are pitching some of their best ball right now.  If pitching wins championships, we are moving in the right direction!

“We’re just starting,” Roy Halladay said on Monday. “I’m looking forward to moving forward. It should be a lot of fun.”

Even through the Champagne sting of the locker room party, the Phillies have to look ahead to their 2010 World Series run.

The Phillies hitting has been consistent in September and my wild card for the playoffs has to be Jayson Werth.  He recently signed infamous agent Scott Boras and he will be auditioning for his suitors in the 2010 playoffs.  If he wants a big contract, he will be putting up big numbers for the Phillies.

The life of this team comes from their unity, and this team in ready to face the playoffs arm in arm. Even in a time of free agency and constant moving and shuffling, the Phillies hold true to their style of baseball and thrive continuously. 

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