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Tag Archives: playoffs

2012 ALCS Preview: New York Yankees vs Detroit Tigers

New York: 95-67; 1st in AL East
Detroit: 88-74; 1st in AL Central

Game 1: Oct. 13, 8:00 – (Andy Pettitte vs Doug Fister)
Game 2: Oct. 14, 4:00 PM – (TBA vs Anibal Sanchez)
Game 3: Oct. 16, 8:00 PM – (C.C. Sabbathia vs Justin Verlander)
Game 4: Oct. 17, 8:00 PM – (TBA vs Max Scherzer)
Game 5*: Oct. 18, 4:00 PM
Game 6*: Oct. 20, 8:00 PM
Game 7*: Oct. 21, 8:00 PM

Position Players (13): R Martin, M Teixeira, R Cano, D Jeter, A Rodriguez, I Suzuki, C Granderson, N Swisher, J Nix, R Ibanez, B Gardner, C Stewart, E Chavez.

Pitchers (12): C Sabbathia, H Kuroda, D Phelps, P Hughes, A Pettitte, B Logan, C Rapada, J Chamberlain, C Eppley, D Lowe, D Robertson, R Soriano (CL).

Position Players (14): A Avila, G Laird, M Cabrera, P Fielder, O Infante, J Peralta, R Santiago, D Worth, Q Berry, A Dirks, A Garcia, A Jackson, D Kelly, D Young.

Pitchers (11): A Alburquerque, J Benoit, P Coke, O Dotel, D Fister, R Porcello, A Sanchez, M Scherzer, D Smyly, J Valverde (CL), J Verlander.

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The Quest For Six: The Phillies are still favorites this season, but the competition is steeper than ever

Phillies 41-year-old 1B Jim Thome talks hitting with catcher Carlos Ruiz. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

I don’t have a lot in common with the Philadelphia Phillies. I can’t throw a 90 MPH fastball. I can’t hit a homerun. I can’t even hit the ball.But for all our differences, there is one thing the Phillies and I have in common – we’re both going to die.

Gives you a warm, fuzzy feeling, right?

But it’s true. I’m getting older, and one day I’ll kick the bucket.

The Phillies are getting older too. The average age of the expected everyday lineup is 31.9 years. That’s 223.3 in dog years. And that’s including Ryan Howard, who isn’t expected to be ready for the start of the season. Instead, plug in Jim Thome and his 41 years. Somebody call the AARP.

But age isn’t the problem; it’s just part of the problem. You can still be old and be good. When the Yankees beat the Phillies in the 2009 World Series, their average age was 31.3.

The Phillies could win the World Series this year just as easily as anyone else. But the team’s age does show us something: the window is closing. Maybe it won’t slam shut this year or next year, but don’t be fooled, it’s going to happen soon. Just look at the trend.

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2011 Moment: #8 IronPigs make first ever playoffs

The Pigs celebrate after reaching their first ever Governor's Cup.

Much wasn’t expected when Hall-of-Famer Ryne Sandberg took over as manager of the Lehigh Valley IronPigs.

The IronPigs had never had a winning season in their first three years of existence. In fact, they had never had a record over .500.

But Sandberg turned everything around and had the Lehigh Valley buzzing.

The IronPigs finished the 2011 regular season with an 80-64 record and made the International League playoffs for the first time.

They advanced all the way to the Governors’ Cup finals where they fell to the Columbus Clippers three games to one.

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Dear Crossing Broad: Stop Crying

NOTE: Team to Beat is a very objective, non-controversial site. Though we express our opinions, they don’t go to the extremes you would see on most other sites. But there comes a time where stepping out of our shell and ignoring our policy is necessary. This is one instance. This post is in no disrespect to Kyle Scott or his website, Crossing Broad. But his latest blog post warrants this post and trip back to reality is needed for Philadelphia’s most controversial blogger.

The image is still burned in our minds: two straight years of the Phillies season ending in sudden disappointment with Ryan Howard taking the team’s final hacks (or lack thereof in one of those isntances).

But the image that sickens me isn’t Howard making the final out, rupturing his Achilles and seemingly being out for the first couple months of next season. It’s the gutless complaining and accusations directed at three of the Phillies on Twitter.

Why gutless? Because the same people who throw Shane Victorino under a bus over the computer would be kissing his ass, asking for an autograph and picture while continually telling him he’s “the man.” The same people who tell Jimmy Rollins he should have manned up in the post season would kiss his feet and thank him for 12 years in Philly if they saw him on the streets. They would also tell Hunter Pence to enjoy his meal if they saw him at a Philly restaurant instead of hoping he chokes on his steak while mentioning @HunterPence3.

So Mr. Scott aka CB aka the most hated blogger on Twitter, who in the blue hell are you to call these guys out? Who do you think you are to say Rollins can’t enjoy the weather, or Pence can’t try food in Philly or Victorino can’t tweet about the remaining teams in the post season?

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Cardinals Freese Phils; force Game 5

Phillies center fielder Shane Victorino hopelessly reaches for a two-run homer off the bat of David Freese in the 6th. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

Matt Holliday’s presence in the Cards line up indirectly gave them the spark they needed.

With him hitting in the five spot, David Freese got bumped down a few spots. This spread out the Cardinals fire power and he provided them with four RBIs and another day of baseball.

A two-run double in the 4th and a two-run homer in the 6th was more than enough for the Cardinals, who went on to win 5-3 and force a Game 5 back in Philadelphia.

Holiday, who was 1-for-2 with a single in two pinch-hit scenarios this series, went 1-for-3 with a run scored in his return to the line up in the post season. His troubled hand didn’t affect him enough for it to hurt the Cardinals and should be expected to be back in the line up for Game 5 on Friday.

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Halladay makes due with one run

Phils SP Roy Halladay pitches his 8th complete game of the season and first shut out in the Phils 1-0 win. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

If you’re going to give Roy Halladay only one run to work with, he’s going to win with that one run.

The Phils scored two batters into the game but were shut down. But it was all Doc needed to earn his 18th win of the season, and finally posting his first complete game shut out of the year as the Phils beat Houston 1-0 to prevent a sweep.

The Phils clinched a playoff spot with today’s win. It’s the first time in Philadelphia baseball history that a team reached the playoffs five straight years. It is also the fastest a Phillies team has clinched a post season birth. The 1915 Phillies did it in 148 games with far less games to play whereas this team did it in 146 games.

Halladay pitched his 8th complete game of the season, and first shut out, scattering six hits and one walk over his nine innings while striking out six. His gem stopped the bleeding of a three-game losing streak, getting the Phillies out of Houston alive.

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Post season ball in the minors

The main reason Ruben Amaro Jr. said that he was going to halt a bit on calling up some players in September was in order to not deplete his minor league team’s chances at a championship.

That favor has helped the Lehigh Valley IronPigs in making the International League playoffs as the Wild Card team. Along with Domonic Brown, Mike Zagurski, Erik Kratz and a handful of other Pigs, Lehigh will play the Columbus Clippers (Cleveland) in the first round.

The AA Phillies affiliate Reading Phillies also made the playoffs. They will play the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Toronto) in the first round.

If both teams win their series as the road teams, they will play in the championships.

It’s the first time the IronPigs history that they made the postseason. It is manager Ryne Sandberg’s first year running the Pigs and he took a very talented team to the playoffs. It’s just another step in the right direction for the future of Phillies managing.