Saturday, September 27, 2008

Phillies clinch second straight NL East title!

Why wait until the last game of the season when you can do it in the second to last game of the season? Last year the Phillies all made us wait until the last day to wrap up the NL East division but this season the Phillies managed to do themselves one better and clinch the division on the penultimate day of the 2008 season.

The similarities between last season's clinching game and this season's were numerous. The Phillies clinched against the Nationals at home both times. Jamie Moyer was the winning pitcher in both contests. In both games, the Phillies closer was on the mound for the final out, although last season Brett Myers cruised in the 9th inning while Brad Lidge ran into some trouble this season. Lidge came dangerously close to blowing his first save of the season, loading the bases with only one out in the 9th. Luckily, he forced Ryan Zimmerman to ground into a game-ending double play to earn his 41st save of the season.

The Phillies now enter the postseason for the second straight year. The last time they made the playoffs two years in a row was 1980 and 1981. Hopefully the Phils will fare better this postseason than last season, although they would only need to win a single game to have a better showing. Who they will play has yet to be determined.

With the Mets winning today and the Brewers losing, the two teams are now tied for the Wild Card. The Phillies would play the Brewers in the first round of the playoffs if they win the Wild Card and they would play the Dodgers if the Mets win the Wild Card. The Dodgers are the better opponent with a quality pitching staff, but the Brewers have C.C. Sabathia and a formidable lineup.

We'll worry about who they will play later. For now, enjoy the Phillies, the TWO TIME NL EAST CHAMPIONS!!!!

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