Philadelphia Phillies: Reviewing The Season With 22 Games Left

September 8, 2010 by  
Filed under Fan News

Overcoming adversity is nothing new to the Philadelphia Phillies, but how the Phillies react to these conditions is what sets them apart from other teams in the league.

In 2007 they overcame a seven game deficit with 17 games to go, the first team in MLB history to do so. In 2008 it was three and a half games back with 16 to play. Both teams ended up playing in the post season, with a World Series title coming home in 2008.

This year it has been injuries instead of games in the won lost column that made things a little bit uncomfortable at times this season. In the off season leading into the 2010 campaign, the Phillies and general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said goodbye to pitchers Brett Myers, Cliff Lee and Pedro Martinez, Lee and Martinez were added in mid season 2009 to bolster the second march to the World Series in as many years.

Also on the way out were infielders Miguel Cairo and Pedro Feliz. Some of the bigger names that were brought in were Roy Halladay, Jose Contreras, and Gold Glove winning infielder Polanco, who has said in the past how much he enjoyed his first tour of duty in Philadelphia.

He never wanted to leave, which seems to be a common feeling with players that have played in the Philadelphia organization.

The Phillies went 12-10 in April with some of the highlights being Polanco‘s grand slam on Opening Day with seven innings out of Halliday in an 11-1 win over Washington, Ryan Howard passing Greg Luzinski for fifth place on the Phillies all time home run list with his 223rd on April 7th.


On April 9th the Phils took sole possession of first place, and scored 41 runs in the first five games. April also saw the beginning of the calf problems that would haunt Jimmy Rollins and the Phillies for the next few months. Chase Utley homered in four consecutive games in April, and after a loss to the Giants later in the month the Phillies dropped out of first place for the first time in 135 regular season games going back to May 29, 2009.

May saw the Phillies return to the top of the division but also saw the death of a legend, on May 6th Hall of Fame pitcher Robin Roberts passed away, Roberts was still a presence in the Phillies clubhouse among the current pitchers and a patch with his retired number would be worn for the rest of the season.

The Phillies opened interleague play in Boston and were one hit by Daiskue Matsuaka, with the only hit being a Juan Castro single. The Phillies were accused of stealing signs from the bullpen, Carlos Ruiz injured his knee, and the Phillies went 30 innings without scoring a run. None of this seemed to matter when Roy Halladay pitched only the 20th perfect game in MLB history.

And on May 30th the Phillies dropped out of first place, they also finished to month going 68 innings without a home run. Players on the disabled list in May were Lidge, Joe Blanton, Jimmy Rollins and Brian Schneider.

A 13-13 record in June seems sounds uneventful, but there were some interesting match ups and situations in June. Brad Lidge blew his first save of the season, the second round of interleague play saw a Phillies Yankees rematch with the Phillies taking the series two games to one and Jamie Moyer collected his 265th career victory.

There was also the road trip that was played at home, the Toronto Blue Jays were scheduled to host the Phillies but the series was played in Philadelphia because of a political summit that was scheduled in Toronto the same week. The Blue Jays batted last and the designated hitter rule was in effect for the first time ever in a NL ballpark during the regular season. June also saw Utley, Rollins, Polanco, Ruiz, and Chad Durbin on the DL.

July started out with Charlie Manuel serving a one game suspension following an incident with umpire C.B. Bucknor. On July 7th the Phillies were six games behind Atlanta, and took a 4 game winning streak into the All Star break. After the break the Phillies gave the almost lights out Ubaldo Jimenez his second loss of the season, in a 10-2 victory. On July 27th Shane Victorino and Jimmy Rollins were both injured, clearing the way for Domonic Brown’s promotion to the majors, Brown went 2-3 with two runs scored and two RBI in his debut.

Roy Oswalt was added to strengthen the rotation, in a trade that sent J.A. Happ to the Astros. July was a busy month for disabled list activities, Ryan Madsen and Ruiz were taken off the DL, Moyer and Victorino were sent to the DL. The Phillies finished the month 15-13.

August saw Ryan Howard headed to the 15 day disabled list on the 3rd of the month, with Victorino and Utley coming off the list. John Mayberry Jr. made his return to the bigs in Howards place. The Phillies also got their first look at National’s phenom Stephen Strasburg on August 21st, Srasburg left the game early and headed off to Tommy John surgery.


Mike Sweeny who was signed on August 4th to take Howard’s spot while he recovered hit his first homer as a Phillie. The squad finished the month 18-10.

September call-ups saw the arrivals of Paul Hoover and Greg Dobbs and Nate Robertson with his 57-77 career record, as well as the recalls of Mayberry and Vance Worley. Moyer was placed on the 60 day disabled list and Ross Gload was activated off the DL. With all the injuries throughout the season the Phillies appear to be in a healthy position right now and seem to be hitting their stride at the right time.

The schedule the rest of the way out will basically let the Phillies dictate their own destiny this season. The rest of the season is played against NL East teams with three versus Atlanta at home September 20-22, and the final three games of the season in early October in Atlanta. While the race could come down to the final three games the Phillies will have an opportunity to close it out earlier.

While other teams have had injury problems this year, most notably the Detroit Tigers and the Boston Red Sox, two teams that were expected to make a run at the title this season, both are basically out of the race, while the Phillies, faced with the same situations reacted to differently and it seems to be paying off. The biggest luxury that the Phillies had was the depth of the farm system, it’s a nice problem to have when you can bring a player like Domonic Brown to the bigs and not have to make a trade that depletes the farm system.

Right now the Phillies hold the future in the palms of their hands and the future looks bright.

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Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

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