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Phillies SS Jimmy Rollins Wins 4th Gold Glove

Photo via egraphs

In a season filled with losing, Jimmy Rollins was a winner.

The 33-year-old short stop has won his fourth career Gold Glove award, his first since winning from 2007-09.

Rollins posted a .978 fielding percentage, the highest among short stops in all of baseball. His 13 errors in 594 chances gave him the lowest total among short stops with at least 500 attempts.

Rollins’ four Gold Gloves rank him third in Phillies history. He stands behind 10-time winner Mike Schmidt at third base and eight-time winner Garry Maddox in the outfield.

Rollins beat out Miami’s Jose Reyes, Washington’s Ian Desmond and Cincinnati’s Zach Cozart.

Catcher Carlos Ruiz was a finalist for the NL Gold Glove but lost out to Yadier Molina of the Cardinals.

Kershaw wins 2011 NL Cy Young; Halladay, Lee round out top three

(Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

The race was down to four competitors, unlike the American League in which Justin Verlander took home the AL Cy Young in a unanimous decision.

Roy Halladay, Clayton Kershaw, Cliff Lee and Ian Kennedy all have had seasons to make a unanimous decision impossible. Only one of those four men was going to be named the 2011 NL Cy Young Award winner.

That man was Kershaw.

Kershaw got 27 first place votes, good for 207 points. Halladay finished in second with 133 points (four 1st place votes) and Lee came in third with 90 points (no first place votes). Kennedy got the other first place vote, finishing in fourth.

Kershaw won the pitching Triple Crown, the first to do that since Jake Peavy in 2007. Ironically, Peavy also won the Cy Young that year.

Kershaw was 21-5 with a 2.28 ERA and 248 strike outs. He also had an incredible 0.98 WHIP which was also best in the majors.

Last year’s winner, Halladay, went 19-6 with a 2.35 ERA. Teammate Cliff Lee had a similarly incredible season, going 17-8 with a 2.40 ERA, boosted by an incredible June and August.

Arizona’s Kennedy tied Kershaw for the league lead in wins but had a significantly lower ERA and strike out total to the other pitchers. Philadelphia’s Cole Hamels (14-9, 2.79 ERA, 0.99 WHIP) finished in 5th, giving the Phills three starters in the top five.

Polanco lone Phil to take home the Gold Glove

Phillies third baseman Placido Polanco was the sole Phillie to take home the Gold Glove award.

Polanco, who won his third Gold Glove, became the second player in Major League history to win the award at two different positions (Darin Erstad as an outfielder and first baseman).

Center fielder Shane Victorino was a finalist but lost out to Los Angeles Dodger Matt Kemp. The voting format switched to picking a left, center and right fielder as opposed to picking three outfielders like years past.

Here are the winners in both leagues: Read more of this post

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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One-on-one battles highlight MVP and Cy Young races

Brewers 1B Prince Fielder (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

NL MVP
Matt Kemp: There have been two bright spots for the Dodgers this season, who are in the middle of a financial rut and baseball abyss. One of those bright spots is Matt Kemp (the other is in the Cy Young race). Kemp is having a Willie Mays-ian season (yes, I compared him to the Say Hey Kid), combining a rare mix of elite fielding, speed on the base paths, hitting for a high average and power while driving in runs on a terrible team.

Kemp is in the top four of all three Triple Crown stats: 4th in average (.320), 2nd in home runs (31) and 2nd in RBIs (102). He is only one homer and RBI behind the NL leader but sits .016 behind the injured Jose Reyes. If Kemp does go on one more hitting tear, a Triple Crown is a possibility. Kemp is one of a very small handful of players in baseball who are threats to do that every season and the fact he’s doing that this year makes him a top candidate for MVP.

Prince Fielder: Prince Fielder is right up there with Kemp statistically. Hitting .293 with 29 homers and 102 RBIs, Fielder is enjoying another one of the best seasons he’s compiled as a Milwaukee Brewer. Kemp has the advantage on Fielder for playing a more skilled position but Fielder has an advantage in another area that could be more important.

When voters look at Fielder, they will see that he’s raking on a team with the third best record in the NL, putting the Brewers in the position for the #2 seed in the post season. By being a “valuable” asset to one of the best teams in the National League, Fielder has made himself a top MVP candidate

Sleepers: Shane Victorino (Philadelphia), Ryan Braun (Milwaukee)

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Doc is masterful in ASG outing

Milwaukee's Prince Fielder hits a three-run homer in the 4th inning. The NL won, 5-1. (Getty Images)

Five Phillies were selected to represent the National League in the All-Star Game but only two were available to play.

NL Starting pitcher Roy Halladay and Phils starter Cliff Lee pitched the first four innings for the NL, who beat the American League for the second straight year thanks to pitching, 5-1.

Halladay was perfect through two innings, throwing 19 pitches and striking out one. He was absolutely fantastic – and efficient as well – allowing Phils pitching coach Rich Dubee to not stress over his most valuable possession pitching in an exhibition game.

Lee pitched the next 1 2/3 innings. He was perfect through the first five batters but allowed the game’s first run, a solo home run to Boston’s Adrian Gonzalez. He was then yanked in favor of Washington’s Tyler Clippard after surrendering two more hits.

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