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Blogging about the 5x NL East Champion Phillies

Monthly Archives: September 2011

Blanton edges Herndon; NLDS roster set

And that settles it. Herndon, who posted a 1.55 ERA in 29 innings, lost the final roster spot to Blanton, who pitched seven innings since coming off the DL with elbow problems. Blanton can barely throw 90 MPH and Herndon closed out the Phillies 102nd win of the season.

For the full playoff roster, it’s posted on our roster page.

ALDS Preview: New York Yankees vs Detroit Tigers

New York: 97-65; 1st in AL East
Detroit: 95-67; 1st in AL Central

Schedule
Game 1: Sep. 30, 8:37 PM – (C.C. Sabbathia vs Justin Verlander)
Game 2: Oct. 1, 8:37 PM – (Ivan Nova vs Doug Fister)
Game 3: Oct. 3, 8:37 PM – (Freddy Garcia vs Max Scherzer)
Game 4*: Oct. 4, _PM – (TBD vs TBD)
Game 5*: Oct. 6, _PM – (TBD vs TBD)

Road to the Playoffs
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ALDS Preview: Texas Rangers vs Tampa Bay Rays

Texas: 96-66; 1st in AL West
Tampa Bay: 91-71; 2nd in AL East (Wild Card winner)

Schedule
Game 1: Sep. 30, 5:07 PM – (C.J. Wilson vs Matt Moore)
Game 2: Oct. 1, 7:07 PM – (Derek Holland vs James Shields)
Game 3: Oct. 3, 5:07 PM – (TBD vs TBD)
Game 4*: Oct. 4, _PM – (TBD vs TBD)
Game 5*: Oct. 6, _PM – (TBD vs TBD)

Road to the Playoffs
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The greatest night of baseball: Phils, Manuel set franchise records

Atlanta's Martin Prado and Dan Uggla sit in the dugout after their loss to the Phillies cemented one of the biggest collapses in baseball history. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

How do you recap such an incredible night of baseball?

Records, drama, comebacks, chokes. It’s all a part of what makes the game of baseball special, and that all happened in one night.

Atlanta, GA: The Philadelphia Phillies trail the Braves, 3-2, in the top of the 9th. Rookie closer Craig Kimbrel was three strikes away from guaranteeing at least one more game of Braves baseball. The first batter, Placido Polanco, ripped a lead off single into right field. Two batters later, Ben Francisco and Jimmy Rollins worked back-to-back walks to load the bases with one out. Chase Utley followed with a sacrifice fly to score pinch runner Pete Orr and tie the game…

Houston, TX: The Cardinals just blew out the Houston Astros, 8-0, to win their 90th game of the season, putting them 1/2 a game ahead of the Braves for the NL Wild Card. Sitting in their clubhouse, they anxiously waited for the Phils and Braves to end…

Atlanta: In the 13th inning, Hunter Pence drove in Brian Schneider to give the Phils a 4-3 lead. They would go on to win a franchise record 102 wins and give Charlie Manuel a franchise record 646th win. It completed the Braves miserable choke. The Cardinals were in, the Braves were shut out.

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Once more, Phillies grace the SI cover

First it was the starting rotation.

Then it was Carlos Ruiz.

For the third time during this baseball season, the Phillies will have a couple of players posted on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Starting pitcher Cliff Lee and Ryan Madson are featured on this week’s regional cover with the tagline “Brotherly Lovefest.”

The side of the cover shows two article teases with the first being “Baseball Heaven in Philly,” which is obviously an article about this season. The second article is “Aces and Closesrs: The Keys to October,” which will obviously mention the Phillies staff as well as a few other teams such as New York, who boasts the best closer in the game and the young staffs of Texas and Tampa Bay (if the latter makes it presumably).

Picture of the cover after the jump.

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Switch. Flipped: Phils offense explodes in Atlanta

Phils RF Hunter Pence winds up his swing against the Braves. He homered in the 5th. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

That magical switch that I talked about yesterday is officially on.

And hopefully, no one goes near the damn thing for another month.

The Phils blasted the Atlanta Braves, who are clinging onto a second straight Wild Card berth by only one game, in a 7-1 route.  Their 101st win tied the franchise record set in 1976 and 1977. A win tomorrow and this team stands alone.

Charlie Manueal also tied Gene Mauch’s Phillies franchise record of 645 wins. He will easily beat that record either tomorrow or very early next season. Mauch reached that number in 1,331 games. Manuel did it in 1,133.

Roy Oswalt was on his best stuff in a very long time. The right-hander, who will be the Phillies number 4 starter in the post season, pitched six shut out innings. He allowed only three hits and a walk, and struck out four batters in his final start of the regular season.

Oswalt’s fastball was hitting it’s usual 93-94 MPH. His final pitch, a swinging strike out to Dan Uggla to end the 6th, was 95 MPH of fury.

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The Natch: Still the best team ever?

Phils manager Charlie Manuel (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

It’s almost that time of year.

The leaves are changing, the temperature is dropping and the Philadelphia Phillies are playing in the post season. That last part wasn’t always true about autumn – seeing the Phillies play past September – but in the last five years, Phillies baseball has almost become synonymous with the word “fall.”

And what does that mean? It means it’s the time of year when the expectations rise and the pressure mounts. Losing streaks no longer become something to joke about – like the last slide the Phillies were able to put together. Instead, each loss is looked upon as one step closer to failure and disaster. Every year for the past four years now the expectations have remained the same: World Series or bust.

But this year feels different.

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Phils give 100 reasons to love them

The switch has been flipped.

Many thought the eight-game skid was something to worry about. The logical ones knew there was a switch somewhere to be turned on.

It appears the Phillies have find this switch and have hopefully locked it in the “on” position.

With a 4-2 win in Atlanta, the Phillies earned themselves their 100th win of the season, a number Mr. Jimmy Rollins himself said the Phillies would hit. And why not 11 more, Mr. Rollins?

It was the 3rd time in franchise history the Phils hit the 100-win mark. And with one more win, the Phils will tie that franchise record of 101 wins with a shot at 102 with a series sweep of the Braves.

The Braves jumped out to a 2-0 lead with Chipper Jones’ solo homer in the 1st and Alex Gonzalez’s RBI double in the 2nd. But Lee took command of the game, shutting down the Braves in his six innings of work. He allowed two runs on five hits while striking out six.

The Phils answered back with an RBI single by Placido Polanco and a solo homer by Rollins to tie the game 2-2. Raul Ibanez put the Phils ahead for good with RBI singles in the 6th and 8th to give the Phils a 4-2 win.

2B: Victorino (27). 3B: Victorino (16)). HR: Rollins (15).

WP: Lee (17-8). LP: Martinez (1-3). S: Madson (32).

Series Preview: at Atlanta Braves

PHI: 99-60, 1st in NL East; ATL: 89-70, 2nd in NL East

When: September 26-28
Where: Turner Field (Atlanta, GA)

Probable Pitchers
Monday: Cliff Lee (16-8, 2.38) vs Randall Delgado (1-1, 2.70)
Tuesday: Roy Oswalt (8-10, 3.68) vs Derek Lowe (9-16, 4.92)
Wednesday: Joe Blanton (1-2, 5.03) vs Tim Hudson (16-10, 3.23)

Broadcast Info
Monday, 7:10, CSN
Tuesday, 7:10, CSN
Wednesday, 7:10, CSN
All Games on 1210 AM

Rookies, post season roster and contracts discussed today

A lot was discussed this past hour about the post season roster and beyond.

This includes the fate of the Phillies September call-ups, the size of the post season roster and a few off season moves.

Relivers Joe Savery and Justin De Fratus will go to Clearwater when playoffs begin to keep throwing just in case. They will be joined by Domonic Brown, who will not be an option for the post season roster.

Reliever Michael Schwimer and outfield Brandon Moss will be sent home at the end of the regular season.

In regards to the post season roster, the Phils ar flirting with the idea of carrying 11 pitchers. That will include the four starters, Ryan Madson, Antonio Bastardo, Brad Lidge, Michael Stutes and Vance Worley. Kyle Kendrick, Joe Blanton and David Herndon will battle for the 10th and optional 11th pitching spot.

By carrying 14 hitters, they will have eight starters, a back-up catcher and five bench players for hitting, running and fielding.

And in some future news, the Phillies have extended contract offers to every single coaching position for next season. A 99-win season would do that.

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