The Phillies ended the 2011 regular season with 102 wins after a 13 inning 4-3 victory over the Braves. The 3-game sweep knocked the Braves out of the playoffs and also set a new record for the Phillies. The franchise mark of 101 wins in a season has been surpassed, making this 2011 team statistically the best in Phillies history.
It also made Charlie Manuel the best manager in Phillies history. His 646th win with the team surpassed the previous record of 656 held by Gene Mauch.
And as usual, the Phillies fought for their manager until the very end. The game lasted 4 1/2 hours and 13 innings with 17 total pitchers used between the two teams. The pitching was very good all around for both and hits were hard to come by; 11 for the Phils and 10 for the Braves.
In the 13th, Hunter Pence finally broke up the stalemate, knocking in the winning run with an RBI-single. He had two hits in the game, as did Chase Utley, Placido Polanco and Ryan Howard.
By beating the Braves, the Phillies basically chose their own opponent. The win handed the Wild Card spot to the Cardinals. The Phillies struggled against the Cards in the regular season, winning only 3 games out of 9. But coming off the momentum of this 3-game sweep and making Phillies history, the team should be ready to face the Cards again.
In the American League, the Red Sox are out, having lost what was previously and 8.5 game lead in the Wild Card race. As they crashed and burned against the lowly Orioles again, the Tampa Bay Rays climbed out of a 7-0 hole to beat the Yankees and take the Wild Card spot.
So here is how the NLDS and ALDS line-up:
- Phillies vs. Cardinals
- Brewers vs. Diamondbacks
- Yankees vs. Tigers
- Rangers vs. Rays
The first game for the Phillies is this Saturday; no time has been announced yet.
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Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography