The 40 Greatest Philadelphia Phillies Moments of the Charlie Manuel Era (Video)

October 29, 2010 by  
Filed under Fan News

I can say without a doubt that I am seriously spoiled as a Phillies fan. I admit it.

Ten consecutive seasons of at least 80 wins. Eight consecutive winning seasons. Four straight division titles. Two pennants. And a world championship.

I cannot even imagine being a Pirates fan. An Orioles fan. A Nationals fan.

I have been blessed to witness 41 postseason games in the last four seasons—25 of them victories. I have witnessed countless moments that I will cherish forever. The moments that have helped define me as a passionate Philly sports fan.

I narrowed the list down to 40. My 40 favorite Phillies’ moments of the Charlie Manuel era, which began at the start of the 2005 season. 

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Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

The 2010 Philadelphia Phillies Regular Season Report Card

October 13, 2010 by  
Filed under Fan News

A rollercoaster ride of a season saw the Phillies at 48-46 in the middle of July, seven games behind the Atlanta Braves and fading quickly. Fast-forward two and a half months, and the Phillies have been crowned National League East Champions for the fourth consecutive season, thanks to an incredible 49-18 surge at the end of the season.

The 2010 Philadelphia Phillies are without a doubt the strongest Phillies team I’ve ever seen in my life. I’m 20. I don’t remember the 1993 Phillies, and even if I did, I would pick our current team as better. This might be the strongest Phillies team in the history of the franchise. True, the 1976 and 1977 Phillies won 101 games, but the pitching staff on this year’s team, particularly the Big Three, ranks with Maddux, Glavine and Smoltz as among the best in the history of baseball.

Twenty-eight players made enough of a contribution, or received enough playing time, to warrant a grade for their performance. From worst to best, I rank the players on the 2010 Philadelphia Phillies.

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Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

Dynasty In The Making: H2O Leads Phillies to 4th Straight Division Title

September 27, 2010 by  
Filed under Fan News

They trailed the Atlanta Braves by as many as seven games after the All-Star break. They had an extremely mediocre record of 48-46 on July 21.

Their hitting was terrible, their pitchers were struggling, and they couldn’t stay healthy.

Despite three consecutive National League Eastern Division titles, two World Series appearances, and a world championship, the Phillies appeared to be done.

Think again.

Following 46 wins in their next 63 games, the Phillies captured their fourth consecutive National League East title.

Although they trailed the Braves by three games at the start of September, they won 20 of their next 23 games, including an 11-game winning streak, their longest in nearly 20 years.

Our starting three of Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels, and Roy Oswalt, known as H2O, have been practically unbeatable. In fact, they won 12 straight decisions to begin the month of September.

Halladay became the first Phillies pitcher to win 20 games since Steve Carlton in 1982.

His complete game shutout to clinch the division has likely locked up his second Cy Young award, which would make him the sixth pitcher to win the award in both leagues.

Cole Hamels turned in a consecutive scoreless innings streak that reached 25, while lowering his ERA from 4.05 on July 26 to 2.93 by Sept. 20.

Despite receiving extremely poor run support, Hamels (12-11) has regained the form which made him a dominant pitcher in the 2008 postseason.

Remember how good CC Sabathia was after the Milwaukee Brewers acquired him in the summer of 2008? That’s almost how good Roy Oswalt has been.

After a loss in his Phillies debut, Oswalt has won his last seven decisions. His ERA? 1.76. Oswalt has a combined record of 13-13 this season, with a solid 2.80 ERA.

Heading into the postseason, the last thing I want to do is appear overconfident. But let’s just say that the past few years, as well as the past few months, have made me extremely confident.

We went 7-2 against the National League in both the 2008 and the 2009 postseason. That’s a combined record of 14-4 against the best the National League had to offer. We never trailed in any of the four series. Quite simply, we dominated.

I expect the same this season. Halladay has waited his whole life to pitch in the postseason. Hamels is a former NLCS and World Series Most Valuable Player. And Oswalt is undefeated in seven career postseason starts.

Pitching wins championships, and our Big Three is the best trio in franchise history. They’re one of the best trios in the history of major league baseball. And they’ll get their chance to show the world in October.  

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Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

By the Numbers: 15 Predictions for the 2010 Philadelphia Phillies

April 10, 2010 by  
Filed under Fan News

1. Roy Halladay will turn in the best season by a Phillies pitcher since Steve Carlton’s 27-win campaign of 1972. The former Blue Jays ace has turned in two 20-win seasons in Toronto. Imagine what he will do in Philly with seven All-Stars hitting for him.

I could see him winning 22, losing just 6, and posting an ERA around 2.50. And yes, that would be enough for Halladay to become the fifth pitcher in MLB history to win the Cy Young award in both leagues.

2. Cole Hamels will not regain his 2008 form (3.09 ERA), but he’ll be much better than he was in 2009 (4.32 ERA). Look for 14 wins, close to 200 innings pitched, and an ERA in the high 3.00’s. But don’t expect Halladay and Hamels to turn into the best one-two punch in baseball. That honor still belongs to the Giants’ tandem of Lincecum and Cain. 

3. The rest of the baseball world will finally realize that Ryan Howard , and not Chase Utley, is the most valuable player on the team. So Howard strikes out a lot and doesn’t play great defense. He has never had a full season that wasn’t fantastic.

He’s won a Rookie of the Year award, an MVP, and finished second, third, and fifth. He is one of the best power hitters in the history of baseball, and he has a batting average (.279) much better than most have realized. Look for a typical Howard season: 52 homers, 138 RBIs, .268 average. 

4. Brad Lidge will not be as terrible as he was in 2009, simply because that’s not possible. But if you have dreams of Lidge posting another perfect season, think again.

I expect an ERA around 3.30 with 33 saves in 39 opportunities, meaning Lidge would be a good but not great closer. I also wouldn’t be surprised if he spent a significant portion of the season on the disabled list.

5. The Phillies will let Shane Victorino run wild, and the Flyin’ Hawaiian’ will respond with 54 stolen bases. With the bat, expect a typical season from the consistent center fielder: a batting average around .280 with about 100 runs scored.

6. Jimmy Rollins will not make any predictions. At all. In 2007, the fiery shortstop correctly predicted that the Phillies were the team to beat in the NL East, which he backed up with an MVP season, while leading the Phillies to the postseason for the first time 14 years.

In 2008, he predicted that the Phillies would defend their division title, while winning 100 games. Not only did the Phillies defend their title, but they won the World Series, and including the postseason, won 103 games.

And before the 2009 World Series, Rollins predicted that the Phillies would win in six games, maybe even five. We all know what happened there. So I think it’s time for a prediction-free season by Rollins. 

7. And with the bat, I think Jimmy Rollins will turn in a slightly disappointing season. He’ll led the league in at-bats, like usual, and maybe triples or stolen bases, and I expect at least 100 runs. But I think he’ll hit around .265 with an on base percentage in the low .300’s, which would be one of the worst in baseball. 

8. After two seasons of poor regular season play followed by fantastic hitting in October, Carlos Ruiz will do the opposite this year. I expect him to hit around .280 with double-digit homers and 60 RBIs in the regular season, but I think he’ll be an embarrassment in the postseason, hitting below the Mendoza Line.

9. Jayson Werth will turn in a season better than anything Bobby Abreu ever did for the Phillies. Werth turned in an All-Star season last year, setting career highs in almost every statistical category.

I see no reason why he shouldn’t continue to get better. Look for the first 30-30 season by a Phillie since Jimmy Rollins in 2007, a batting average close to .300, and a top 10 finish in the MVP voting.

10. Raul Ibanez is going to be a disappointment. The soon to be 38-year-old has been remarkably consistent over his career, but I think age will take a toll on the left fielder.

Whether he is injured, loses playing time to Ben Francisco, or just doesn’t play well, I don’t think he is going to hit more than about 18 homers, with a batting average around .250. 

11. Ryan Madson will convert all 14 save opportunities during Brad Lidge’s two stints on the disabled list, leading many Phillies fans to call for his conversion to full-time closer. But Lidge will keep the job, despite Madson’s success. 

12. Jamie Moyer is going to show his age. Big time. I expect the 47-year-old to win about five or six games all season. I think he’ll spend some time on the disabled list, and may lose his spot in the rotation.

If his ERA is under 5.00, I’ll be pleased. And I think he will call it quits after the conclusion of his 25th season in the major leagues.

13. Don’t expect a lot of pinch-hits from the Phillies. The Phillies have their seven All-Stars and Ruiz, and that’s about it. Ben Francisco hit just .231 as a pinch-hitter last season. Greg Dobbs was one of the best pinch-hitters in baseball in 2007 and 2008, but hit just .247 last season.

I expect a little better from him this year, but I just don’t see the old Greg Dobbs returning. Wilson Valdez and Juan Castro are terrible hitters, and Ross Gload is decent, although he has declined over each of the last four seasons. 

14. Do expect to see some late-inning defensive replacements. If DeWayne Wise ever reaches the majors, the Phillies will remember his catch in the ninth inning to save Mark Buehrle’s perfect game last year, and he’ll see some time on defense in the outfield.

Ben Francisco is a solid defender, and Philly fans still remember his fantastic catch in the NLDS last year. Castro and Valdez are above average defenders and Gload is pretty good with the glove at first. 

15. I just don’t see how this team can miss the postseason. They’re completely stacked on offense, boasting an All-Star outfield, and one of the best infields in the last 50 years. They can hit for power, leading the National League in home runs each of the past two seasons.

They have speed, ranking in the top three in the National League in steals each of the last three seasons. They have an above average pitching staff, with arguably the best starting pitcher in baseball.

They have a closer who could rank among the best in the game if he regains his form. And they have a manager who knows how to discipline his players, while at the same time keeping them happy.

Don’t be surprised to see this team win its second World Series in three seasons, which would solidify this squad as one of baseball’s dynasties. 

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Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies