2010 MLB Playoff Predictions: Why the Philadelphia Phillies Will Beat the Reds

October 4, 2010 by  
Filed under Fan News

As the Atlanta Braves fought for the right to play into the second phase of the season on Sunday, the Philadelphia Phillies started Cole Hamels against Atlanta’s Tim Hudson.

And then after Hamels came Roy Oswalt.

And then after Oswalt came …

And so it was for the Phillies on the final day of the regular season, their National League East title wrapped up long ago.

No Philadelphia pitcher worked longer than Hamels’ two innings, with manager Charlie Manuel using Game 162 as a “staff” day to get eight different pitchers some work.

For Atlanta, this game was all about survival.

The Braves knew their only hope to give manager Bobby Cox one more postseason before he rides off into retirement was to outlast the San Diego Padres and, potentially, the San Francisco Giants for the Wild Card.

But the Braves beat the Phillies 8-7 behind a four-out save from Billy Wagner, and the Giants beat the Padres out west to claim the division and give Atlanta the Wild Card.

There would be no Game 163, or Game 164 for that matter, something that’s never happened in history but would have happened had the Padres won.

As all the little guys sweated it out, the Goliath in Philly gave Chase Utley and Ryan Howard three at-bats apiece and then pulled them, winning not necessary.

The day was more about preparation and, when needed, rest to get ready for this week’s showdown with the Cincinnati Reds in the NLDS.

In fact, it’s felt that way with these Phillies for a while now. Not only do the Phillies look like a tough team to beat, they also look like the early favorite to represent the National League in the World Series for a third consecutive year.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at how the Phillies just may be able to win the NL pennant, beginning with their matchup against the Reds.

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Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

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