For the fourth consecutive year, the Philadelphia Phillies have won the National League East title. It is the first time they have won 4 straight in Phillies history. They also currently hold the best record in the league with a record of 94-63. Roy Halladay took the mound tonight at Nationals Park in search of his 21st win of the year; he got that win plus his first division title and will play in the postseason for the first time in his 13-year career.
Not only that, but Halladay accomplished the feat by pitching a complete game shut-out against the Nats. Halladay only allowed 2 hits, did not walk a batter and struck out 6. He even avoided having his head chopped off by a wild pitch while batting in the 9th. The bat saved him as the ball ricocheted off it.
The offense early on was provided mostly by Jayson Werth. Werth homered in the 2nd and then drove in 2 more runs with a double in the 6th. Carlos Ruiz then doubled Werth home to give the Phillies a 4-0 lead over the Nats. But the real explosion came in the 9th where they scored 4 more runs, all with 2 outs in the inning. Placido Polanco, Chase Utley and Werth all collected RBI’s in the 9th.
The bottom of the 9th went by quickly as Halladay knocked the Nats down to clinch the division. He hesitated for a moment before celebrating after the final out; either he was soaking it in, or he was just not sure it was really happening. After the game, Halladay told Gary Matthews, “It was fun but it’s only going to get funner.” Halladay is amazing…he is totally allowed to make up his own word ;o)
CONGRATULATIONS TO THE NL EAST CHAMPION PHILLIES!!
By the way, many Phillies fans have been wondering, where is J-Roll?
Manager Charlie Manuel has said a few times this week that we are going to see a start from Jimmy Rollins who has been nursing a hamstring injury. He finally pinch hit on Sunday but was supposed to start today and did not due to “rain.” Yes, they are being so careful with J-Roll that he cannot play in rain. Is he made of china or is this just extreme precaution? Or perhaps he has been kidnapped, trapped under a heavy object or tied up with Duct tape? Hmmm…. Manuel says now he will start tomorrow…we shall see.
With the division all tied up, not only should Rollins get some playing time, but expect to see many bench players getting tuned up for the playoffs while the regulars get some rest. The Phils have 2 more games in DC and 3 in Atlanta. Tomorrow’s game time is 7:05pm. In the meantime, pop the champagne…time to celebrate!