Philadelphia Phillies: 5 Bold Predictions for the NLDS

September 30, 2011 by AJ Krow  
Filed under Fan News

After the most exciting, unbelievable finish to a season in MLB history (I'm not even qualifying this as arguable), the NLDS could go seven games and be won on a walk-off home run and still not seem that special.  The Cardinals now get rewarded for their historic comeback by getting to play the 102-win Philadelphia Phillies.  If this last month has shown us anything, it's that anything can happen.  I apologize for the annoyingly cliched statement, but it is in fact true.  So with that, here are my five bold predictions for the series, which you probably already knew unless you completely ignored the title.  So get your Cracker Jacks and peanuts ready, here we go:

Begin Slideshow

Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

Cardinals vs. Phillies: Red Birds Have No Shot vs. Title-Hungry Phillies

September 30, 2011 by Andrew Kulha  
Filed under Fan News

St. Louis is a baseball town, and they are always hungry for their Cardinals to win the World Series. But, frankly, they don't have a shot against this Philadelphia Phillies team.

The Phillies don't just want the World Series, they need it, and you can tell by the way they talk about it.

This is a team that has been built to play in the postseason. This is a team that thrives in the postseason.

They are the hands-down favorite to win the National League, and that's being pretty nice to the rest of the competitors.

Sure, anything can happen in the postseason, and that's what makes baseball so special. Sure, if they do make it to the World Series, it becomes a whole new ballgame as the teams are usually evenly matched.

From a talent stand-point, anything can happen in the postseason. That's why they play the games and why the Cardinals are showing up to the ballpark.

The Phillies have one thing that no other team in this postseason has, though, and that's the understanding of true greatness.

Terrence Moore of MLB.com chronicles the Phillies thoughts on the postseason:

All you need to know is that, from a pitching standpoint, starters Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay are former Cy Young Award winners, and they both are contending for that honor again this season.

The bullpen is solid. In fact, nobody in the Major Leagues finished with a lower team ERA than the Phillies' mark of 3.04.

Plus, along with Rollins as a spark plug in the batting order, the Phillies have Shane Victorino, who plays a brilliant center field. Then there are sluggers Ryan Howard and Chase Utley. The Phillies also acquired Hunter Pence during the summer to complement other capable hitters such as Raul Ibanez, Carlos Ruiz and Placido Polanco.

No wonder Phillies manager Charlie Manuel showed that he gets it, too. He reflected on his team's present and future before saying, "If you look at what we have, we're capable of winning a world championship every year over the next three or four years.

"Winning that second one is what sets you apart, but it's hard. I mean, it's really hard to do. That's what the Big Red Machine did, and those Oakland teams were able to get it done. And the Yankees have won, what, 27 world championships? And [winning multiple times] is what makes people great, like Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan."

It all starts with the concept of Now.

Make that the concept of Right Now.

The Phillies aren't content with winning a Championship and then making postseason appearances for the next five to ten years.

They want to be the best, and it's scary because I think they are shooting to be the best ever. They may not always achieve greatness, but their minds are in the right place.

In baseball, controlling your mind is half the battle, and then you just have to let your talent take you the rest of the way.

We all know that Philadelphia has the talent. They have a packed lineup and a rotation that is only rivaled by the Detroit Tigers, but the edge goes to the Phillies for experience.

They have the talent and the experience, and they have the correct mindset.

That's a combination that can lead to greatness for a very long time, and the Phillies will take that first step against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Follow AKonSports on Twitter 

Read more Philadelphia Phillies news on BleacherReport.com

Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

NLDS Schedule: 3 Keys to Phillies Victory in Series vs. Cardinals

September 30, 2011 by Michael Mill  
Filed under Fan News

The Philadelphia Phillies and St. Louis Cardinals kick off their NLDS series Saturday afternoon at 5 p.m. ET.

The Phillies finished the regular season with the best record in the league at 102-60.

Despite this, they seem to be the team on upset alert for the Division Series of the 2011 postseason.

The Cardinals do present some potential matchup problems for the Phillies, but the chances of them pulling off the upset are still relatively slim.

Here are three reasons the Phillies will avoid an upset from St. Louis.

1. Matchup of Relievers

The Philadelphia Phillies relied on relief pitchers less than any other team in the league this season. Obviously, this is because of the talent of the starters.

Halladay, Lee and Hamels all logged over 200 inning this season. They play deep into games keeping the bullpen fresh.

The bullpen for the Phillies blew eight saves this season, less than any other team in baseball. The Cardinals blew 36, second most in the league.

2. Cardinals Batting Advantage

All of the talk about batting points the finger towards St. Louis for the advantage. Although this is true, the advantage is less than people are making it out to be.

First off, Matt Holliday will be missing Game 1 with a finger injury. Even though it's only one game, any time a star player misses time it's an issue.

Second, Albert Pujols may be a beast, but he struggles against the three aces in Philadelphia. Pujols is just 7-42 in his career against Halladay, Lee and Hamels.

Lastly, the Phillies batting has improved vastly since the acquisition of Hunter Pence at the trade deadline. The addition has given Philadelphia a boost at the plate.

3. Pitching Postseason History

If there is any reason for Philadelphia fans to feel confident, it's the history of the Phillies pitchers in the postseason.

Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels are all proven veterans with fantastic postseason play.

Sometimes there is a fear that players under duress can't perform in high stakes situations like the playoffs. It's something nobody in Philadelphia will have to worry about.

Read more Philadelphia Phillies news on BleacherReport.com

Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

Philadelphia Phillies: 4 Reasons They Won’t Get Past the Cardinals

September 30, 2011 by Miguel Llull  
Filed under Fan News

The Phillies finished the regular season on cruise control, having clinched their division on September 17, sporting the best record in baseball at 102-60. They face the St. Louis Cardinals in the division series and this could be a matchup the Phillies are concerned with.

The short, best-of-five series causes problems for teams because it leaves little room for mistakes. The Phillies have their starting rotation set and have had the opportunity to rest players and get ready for the series over the course of several weeks. The Cardinals are on a roll having fought to the final game of the season to make the playoffs as the wild card.

Here are five reasons that the Cardinals could win this series.

Begin Slideshow

Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

Cardinals vs. Phillies: Why Phillies Need to Sweep the Cardinals

September 30, 2011 by Dan Renfro  
Filed under Fan News

The Philadelphia Phillies can't afford to let the St. Louis Cardinals win a game.

The Phillies are the clear-cut favorite to win the National League, and they need to play like it from the very start. If not, they could find themselves sitting at home for the NLCS and World Series.

Obviously, the Phillies are more talented. More importantly, they have a much better pitching staff. All three of the Phillies projected starters would be (and have been) the ace on any other staff in the majors (except maybe Detroit and New York).

Those pitchers need to have their best stuff at all times. If they pitch a gem in one of the first three games and the Phillies lose, it goes to waste. You can't afford to waste good pitching performances in the playoffs.

Everything will come back around to the averages (eventually), and if the Phillies lose a great start, they might be forced to try and win during a bad start. That's not something you want to try and do, especially in a five-game series.

Also, the Phillies do not want to give the Cardinals confidence. If the Cards can steal Game 1 or Game 2, they will have the opportunity to close out in St. Louis. They will be able to play in front of their home crowd, and they will have confidence from splitting the games in Philadelphia.

Underdogs need to be crushed. The longer you let an underdog hang around, the better chance that underdog will pull off an upset. The Phillies know that, which is why they need to eliminate the Cardinals as fast as possible.

With Albert Pujols in the lineup, the Cardinals will always have a chance to turn a series around with one swing, which is something the Phillies want to avoid.

By sweeping the Cardinals, the Phillies will give themselves a chance to set up their rotation for the NLCS. With only three games, they won't even have to worry about a fourth pitcher.

They could have Roy Halladay pitch three times, and Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels could pitch twice. While they might not decide to do that, it is a distinct possibility. Does anyone think they could beat that rotation four times? Probably not.

Therefore, the Phillies need to sweep the Cardinals because they need to capitalize on good pitching performances, eliminate the underdog and set up their rotation for the NLCS. If they don't sweep the Cards, they could be in for an early playoff exit.

Read more Philadelphia Phillies news on BleacherReport.com

Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

NLDS Schedule 2011: Why Philadelphia Phillies Should Fear St. Louis Cardinals

September 30, 2011 by Matt Faulconer  
Filed under Fan News

We all know the Philadelphia Phillies are the favorite to reach the World Series out of the National League, but they better be on their toes in the National League Divisional Series.

The St. Louis Cardinals are one of the hottest teams in Major League Baseball right now, and will certainly put their best foot forward against the Phillies in this five-game series.

The Phillies knew they would be in this position after acquiring Cliff Lee last offseason, but they can't get too comfortable. Sure, they boast Lee, Roy Oswalt, Roy Halladay, and Cole Hamels. Of course it is the best rotation in baseball, of course they have a terrific lineup, so why should they worry?

Well, the Cardinals aren't exactly putting scrubs on the field. Albert Pujols, Matt Holliday, and Lance Berkman all give the Cardinals plenty of pop in the middle of the lineup. Holliday might miss some time due to a finger issue, but the Cardinals will be fine with Allen Craig in that spot, who hit .315 on the season.

The Cardinals appear to be making one extremely smart move by throwing Chris Carpenter in Game 2. LaRussa is going to be hoping that Carpenter can steal a victory in Game 2, and head back to St. Louis with a chance to close out the series at home.

The first game of the series really isn't essential, and the team just needs to steal one of three games in Philadelphia, so bringing in a fresh Carpenter for the second game makes sense. If they save him until the third game it could be too late, and wouldn't give the team an option of pitching him on short rest for the fifth and final game.

The rest of the pitching staff has been effective as well for St. Louis, so if the Phillies think they just have to show up and their pitchers are going to win the series for them, they are mistaken.

The Phillies better be on their toes, and they better show up to play, or they could find themselves in trouble against the Cardinals.

Full NLDS Schedule:

Sat, Oct 1 at Philadelphia 5:07 PM  
Sun, Oct 2 at Philadelphia 8:07 PM  
Tue, Oct 4 at St. Louis TBA  
Wed, Oct 5 at St. Louis TBA  
Fri, Oct 7 at Philadelphia TBA  

Read more Philadelphia Phillies news on BleacherReport.com

Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

MLB Playoffs: 3 Reasons to Watch for a St. Louis Upset vs. Philadelphia

September 30, 2011 by Michael Mill  
Filed under Fan News

Two nights ago the Philadelphia Phillies finished off the Atlanta Braves with a 4-3 score that booted them out of of the playoffs after a disastrous collapse.

The Philadelphia team ended the year with more regular season wins (102) than ever before and Charlie Manuel now holds the title for most wins in Phillies history.

That's all nice and wonderful, but more importantly it knocked the Braves out of the postseason. It opened the door for the St. Louis Cardinals.

Will winning come back to haunt the Phillies?

Here are three reasons to watch for a St. Louis upset over Philadelphia.

1. Starting Pitching

There is absolutely no denying that the Phillies have one of the best pitching rotations Major League Baseball has ever seen.

They have three pitchers in Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Roy Oswalt who have Cy Young ability. Cole Hamels has led the team to a World Series. Vance Worley is a rising stud.

The Cardinals may not have the big names and prestige, but they have actually been more effective when the teams have met this season.

Chris Carpenter and Jamie Garcia each pitched 15 innings and allowed just a .60 ERA. Kyle Loeshe's 15.33 innings were no less impressive, allowing just a 1.76 ERA.

The Phillies were less impressive. The only pitcher who allowed under a 3.00 ERA was Cliff Lee.

This could be one of the surprising keys that may catch people off guard.

2. Lineup

The reason for the above stats isn't that the Cardinals have better pitching than the Phillies.

The success has come because they have better batters. Albert Pujols and Matt Holliday may get all of the attention, but the entire Cardinals lineup is one to fear.

As a team, St. Louis has an on-base slugging (OPS) of .766. The Phillies OPS is .717.

The stat puts St. Louis at the top in the National League.

3. Confidence

Now, I'm not suggesting that the Phillies aren't a confident team. What I'm saying is that the Cardinals are much more confident right now.

St. Louis had to pull off miracles to make the playoffs.

Here they are. Despite the odds the Cardinals are set to face the Phillies tomorrow night in the first game of the series.

The organization is flying high right now. Nobody thought they'd be here a month ago.

To add to it, the Cardinals dominated the Phillies in a series earlier in the month just to keep their hopes alive.

The 6-3 regular season record has to be an extra ego boost heading into the games.

Read more Philadelphia Phillies news on BleacherReport.com

Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

Determining Major League Baseball NLDS Winners by Cultural Superiority

September 30, 2011 by Dan Levy  
Filed under Fan News

We already broke down the ALDS by cultural superiority and now it's time for the NLDS.

We decided to look at eight metrics to determine cultural superiority. The categories we chose are purposefully general, to give us the opportunity to compare on a level playing field. They are: City Nicknames, Average Ballpark Attendance, Popular Food Offerings, Famous Musicians, Songs About the City, Famous Actors, TV Shows Set in the City, Beer.

  

PHILADELPHIA AND ST. LOUIS

 

City Nicknames 

Philly: City of Brotherly Love 

St. Louis: Gateway to the West, The Lou

Winner: The Lou? Is that serious? That's what people call the toilet. Philly.

Average Ballpark Attendance

Philly: 45,440, 104.1 percent capacity (first in the league)

St. Louis: 38,196, 86.9 percent capacity (sixth in the league)

Winner: Philly.

Popular Food Offerings

Philly: Cheese Steak, Roast Pork, Soft Pretzels

St. Louis: Barbeque. And did you know St. Louis claims to have invented Peanut Butter?

Winner: Philly. It's not close.

Famous Musicians

Philly: Chubby Checker, Frankie Avalon, Jimmy Darren, Fabian, Bobby Rydell, Patti LaBelle, The Delfonics, The Stylistics and The Spinners, Teddy Pendergrass, Hall and Oates, Will Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff, Boyz II Men, The Roots, Eve and glam band Cinderella just to name a few.

St. Louis: Fontella Bass, Chuck Berry, Sheryl Crow, Michael McDonald, Ike Turner, Tina Turner, Akon, Nelly.

Winner: If this was the '60s it would be tough. Chuck Berry, the Turners, Fontella Bass? Wow, that's an incredible list. But the Philly oldies are just as good, plus '90s stars like Will Smith and Boyz II Men. More recently, The Lou is putting Akon and Nelly up against the Roots? The Roots?

Winner: Philly.

Songs About The City

Philly: You've heard all these: "Streets of Philadelphia" by Bruce Springsteen, "Philadelphia Freedom" by Elton John, "Motown Philly" by Boyz II Men, "Summertime" by Will Smith. Have you heard this by James Taylor and Mark Knopfler:

St. Louis: Nelly did a song about his hometown. Jewel did something about St. Louis too. But how can we not put this one...

Winner: Philly in a landslide.

Famous Actors

Philly: Will Smith, Bradley Cooper, Kat Dennings, Kim Delaney, Kevin Bacon, Seth Green, Richard Gere, which I admit I never knew, Rob McElhenney, Blythe Danner, Holland Taylor, Linda Fiorentino, Bob Saget, Kelly Monaco, John Doman of The Wire, Kate Flannery of The Office, Gary Dourdan, Danny Bonaduce, David Boreanez, Grace Kelly, Jack Klugman and Bill Cosby. And that's just a few of the names I found.

St. Louis: Does St. Louis have the edge here? No, but it's not a bad list, including John Hamm, John Goodman, Kevin Kline, Robert Guillaume, Vincent Price, Redd Foxx, Scott Bakula, Linda Blair, Nell Carter, Kate Capshaw and Fred "Re-Run" Berry headline the list. Yes, Re-Run from What's Happening.

Winner: Philly.

TV Shows Set in the City

Philly: There are a lot of shows set in and around Philly, including dramas like Cold Case, Body of Proof, Thirtysomething, plus long-running soaps like All My Children and One Life to Live. But seriously, do I need to go beyond Boy Meets World, It's Always Sunny and Fat Albert?

St. Louis: After MASH, The Baxters and The John Larroquette Show, it's depressing. There has to be something I've missed. Where did Alf take place? California? Darn.

Winner: Philadelphia.

Beer

There are a ton of great microbrews in both, but we're sticking with the big names.

Philly:, Yuengling. America's oldest brewery.

St. Louis: The entire Anheuser-Busch enterprise. Oh, wait, aren't they owned by a Belgian company now?

Winner: Philly. 

Cultural Superiority: 8-0 Philly. And I swear it has nothing to do with where I live.

  

MILWAUKEE AND PHOENIX

 

City Nicknames

Milwaukee: According to this, a lot: Brew City, Milwacky, Miltown, Mildoggy, Ma-waukee, Cream City, Milburg, The Mil, Mill-e-wah-que.

Phoenix: Valley of the Sun

Winner: More fun to say? Mill-e-wah-que.

Average Ballpark Attendance

Milwaukee: 37,918, 90.5 percent capacity (seventh in the league)

Phoenix: 25,992, 53.4 percent capacity (18th in the league)

Winner: Brew Crew.

Popular Food Offerings

Milwaukee: Um…they have a race, every game, between various sausages. This cannot be topped.

Phoenix: By all accounts, the food in Phoenix is really good. Still, Mexican/Southwest food or Brats?

Winner: Brats and other encased meats.

Famous Musicians

Milwaukee: Other than Al Jarreau, it's almost hard to call any of these people famous. Well, Gordon Gano, the lead singer of the Violent Femmes. Other than that, it's the bassist for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, the keyboardist for Talking Heads and Speech from Arrested Development. Fun fact: Speech toured with Al Gore during the 1996 presidential campaign.

Phoenix: A pretty good list of names, including Jimmy Eat World, Chester Bennington of Linkin Park, Dierks Bentley, Michelle Branch, Glen Campbell, The Gin Blossoms, Stevie Nicks, Linda Rondstadt, Jordin Sparks and Tanya Tucker.

Winner: Phoenix.

Songs About The City

Milwaukee: According to this post, there really aren't any. Other than this glorious piece of television history.

Phoenix: There are a lot of songs about Phoenix and Arizona (mostly Arizona). Which would give me more street cred, embedding Wilco's "Hotel Arizona" or Kings of Leon's "Arizona"? I went Wilco.

Winner: Arizona.

Famous Actors

Milwaukee: It's an odd list for Milwaukee, including Heather Graham, Gene Wilder, Jane Kaczmarek, Spencer Tracy and of course, Bob Uecker. I used to watch Mr. Belvedere every single day.

Phoenix: As surprisingly good Arizona was with music, it's that bad with TV. Linda Carter, who was the original Wonder Woman, is from there. That's…about it.

Winner: Milwaukee.

TV Shows Set in the City

Milwaukee: Two of the greatest sitcoms of all time: Happy Days and Laverne & Shirley, until they ruined it by sending them to California for the last few seasons.

Phoenix: Alice. That's it. That's the list. And even she wasn't planning to go to Phoenix until her car broke down and she had to get a job as a waitress at Mel's diner. Alice was a good show in its own right, but not quite as good as Laverne & Shirley. Nothing was as good as Happy Days.

Winner: Fonz.

Beer

Milwaukee: The Brewers play in Miller Park. Does the mascot still slide down into the giant beer when someone hits a home run?

Phoenix: It's a little unfair because I have no clue what beer they drink in Phoenix. Is it all microbrews? If anyone knows the most popular beer, leave it in the comments.

Winner: Their name is Brewers. They win.

Cultural Superiority: 6-2 Milwaukee. I thought it would be closer.

So there you have the National League winners. Maybe the best teams have the best area culture too.

Read more Philadelphia Phillies news on BleacherReport.com

Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

Philadelphia Phillies: With Braves Sweep, Rivalry Now Even More Intense

September 30, 2011 by Alec Snyder  
Filed under Fan News

Say sayonara to the regular season and the same to the Atlanta Braves, Phillies fans.

With the win on Wednesday night in what is being dubbed one of the best nights in baseball history, the Phillies achieved a few milestones. First of all, they got to 102 wins, a franchise-best that was thought to be unattainable with the team's eight game losing streak last week. The same goes for Charlie Manuel passing Gene Mauch for the Phillies all-time record in managerial wins, yet he did when he received his 646th career victory as the Phillies' skipper.

But something that isn't necessarily thought of as a milestone is that we eliminated the Braves from the playoffs that night. We came in hoping to just get win number 100, and we exceeded expectations by not only reaching wins 101 and ultimately 102, but we swept the Braves on the road in the final series of the season coming off just one win, which followed the eight game skid.

How did they do it? They just got hot at the right time, and considering that the series was the last en route to the postseason for the Phils, they ended the season on the best note possible.

As for the Braves, their loss (and collapse resulting from it) is being regarded as one of the biggest in baseball history, alongside that of the Boston Red Sox, who hold the title of having the biggest collapse ever in September baseball.

Both the Braves and Red Sox had substantial leads in September, peaking at eight and a half games and nine games respectively in the Wild Card races during this past month. Yet it was their at-the-time lowly competitors, the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL and Tampa Bay Rays in the AL, that eventually took the crown in each league, simply by taking advantage of the leading teams slumping in September and winning enough games for themselves to take the Wild Card titles in each league.

 

Many things can be accused as the reason why the Braves faltered in September. They could blame their injuries to pitchers Jair Jurrjens and Tommy Hanson, which sat them both out the entire month and then some. They could fault manager Fredi Gonzalez, who in his first year of being manager of a postseason contender didn't know how to handle the hype. They could blame Dan Uggla for his monstrosity of a season subtracting his hitting streak, or closer Craig Kimbrel for blowing the save in their most important game of the season. Or they could simply accuse the team on the whole for a bad September.

But knowing the way baseball works, they won't be doing any of that, oh no. Who will they blame?

You guessed it. The Philadelphia Phillies.

Generally speaking, when teams in baseball are eliminated from October play, they tend to blame their competitors in the sport who were responsible, regardless of whether it's right or not. It happens in every sport, from baseball to football to hockey (and yes, we'll include basketball in here despite their little probability of having a season next year) and more. When a team is in a slump, especially at the end of their season, and are eliminated from the playoffs by another team, they tend to blame the team that beat them despite it being their own fault in some way.

But since the Phillies are division rivals and the Braves biggest competitor in recent years, the blame will arguably be bestowed upon them.

 

In some ways the Phillies are responsible for what occurred. They did sweep the Braves to end the season, their eight-win month of September, and their hopes of making a postseason run. Their sweep earlier in September sure didn't help the Braves' cause either.

And the Braves will jump on this faster than you can say...well, you get my point.

Personally, I think it's a neat aspect to baseball to see another team potentially blame the team that took it all away from them. And the fact that it's the division-rival Phillies who destroyed the Braves' playoff dreams as they had done to us early last decade makes it even more enticing to think what could and will occur from this.

I remember attending the last two games the Phillies held at Veterans Stadium. The dates were Saturday and Sunday, September 27 and 28, 2003, the last day and night games at the Vet to be held. Lincoln Financial Field was near-finished across the parking lot, and Citizens Bank Park was still being built.

In what were two of the Phillies most important games at the time, games that would end the Vet's legacy, they lost both of them. The Phils walked out of Veterans Stadium for the final time with their heads hanging down, anguished in the agony that came with losing the final game of the season, a date when almost all past players (including Tug McGraw, who made one of his final public appearances in the post-game ceremonies there) shared their legacy with the team as well, and the Phillies couldn't even swallow their pride simply because they didn't have any.

After that day, the New York Mets didn't even matter to me anymore. It was the Braves who I wanted to see the wrath of the Phillies. And when that came starting in 2006 with their division streak snapped by the Mets and 2007 and beyond by the Phillies, I was happier than a clam (sorry for that awful idiom there, folks).

 

Seeing the Braves lose to the Phillies now was the final blow I had been waiting for for so long. And now that the Phillies play the red-hot Cardinals in the NLDS, I could be eating my words in a matter of days. But for now, I celebrate.

In unbiased and impersonal terms, this could mean something big. The Braves almost undoubtedly have more hatred for the Phillies than ever before thanks to this series. It could inspire them to win everything they can in the future.

At the beginning of their season, their attitude was probably to win the Wild Card and just compete with the Phillies as much as possible. But now that they aren't even in the postseason at the mercy of the Phillies, their hatred of us could rise to a new level, one that sparks them enough to win the NL East once again.

Could that come next season? Absolutely, and it's worth thinking about. But for now, the Phillies (and Cardinals) can rejoice in knowing that the Braves are done for the year, and the postseason has taken a whole new look because of it.

But next year, look out for the Atlanta Braves, who could hold a vengeance more prominent than that of any team the Phillies (or even the majors) has seen before.

Read more Philadelphia Phillies news on BleacherReport.com

Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

Philadelphia Phillies: Predicting Their Postseason Lineup

September 30, 2011 by Joe Iannello  
Filed under Fan News

The Philadelphia Phillies have arguably their greatest team in their entire 127 year history of a franchise and they have never entered a postseason with higher expectations. The Phillies have the best starting rotation in baseball and a lineup that has a ton of experience when the games matter most.

The Phillies should certainly feel prepared for the postseason as each game at Citizens Bank Park is sold-out and has a playoff feel to it. Home-field advantage throughout the playoffs (including the World Series) and the best team in baseball equate to a World Series or bust 2011 October/November.

Charlie Manuel knows this team so well and the Phillies have proven that they have what it takes to win it all. Here is a prediction of the Phillies' starting postseason lineup.

Begin Slideshow

Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

Next Page »