The 2009 National League East Champions

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In 2007, I could not stand Charlie. He certainly won me over well before he won the whole thing. What he did tonight by allowing Lidge to finish is the most classy move he made to date. I really hope Lidge can contribute to the post season. Speaking of contributors, Kendrick has really been on top of his game lately. How happy are we all to see Chooch in back of the plate again? I hope we keep up the intensity, but I think we have to rest some of the regulars. Lee needs a good, no a great game tomorrow. And when the Fish come in here this weekend, we should thank them with a standing ovation, and then beat the hell out of them. I would much rather play LA in the first round than the red hot Rockies even though I want home field.

I became a fan in 1979 when I was 9 years old, so I just missed the 3-year run from 1976-1978. I always wondered how cool it must have been to win the division 3 years in a row like they did back then. Now I know. Pretty sweet. The Phillies have had 2 golden eras in their 126-year history: ’76 – ’83 and ’07 – Present. These are the glory days. It doesn’t get much better than this.

WTF is Cole smoking? Once again teh Phillies show how classy they are as an organization, first by bringing in Lidge, then by paying tribute to Harry. Now, time to rest the regulars a bit and get ready for the playoffs. While home field is important (mainly to us phans who get to go to more games) let’s not forget how well we’ve played on the road this year. Better an extra game in LA or St. Louis then having everyone exausted going in.

Today’s line-up-Ruiz-c, Tracy-1b, Brunlett-2b, Rollins-ss, Cairo 3b, Francisco-cf, Mayberry LF, Stairs RF

BTW, how great was it to see all the guys run to CF and pay tribute to Harry?

f.i.j.: That’s Jayson, not Hamels in the photo. And with this bullpen, the biggest advantage of home field is that it saves them the ignominy of a walk-off home run.

finkbomb: Yeah, winning 3 straight in the 70s was nice, but the lingering fear of facing the Dodgers and the Big Red Machine loomed large. And remember, those were 5-game series in those days. That team was good, but this team is better.

Another great run by the Phillies in 2009. The celebration on the field was more subdued this year with the Phils expecting this to happen, I remember in 2007 on the last day of the season when they clinched it was total pandemonium on the field.

It was a total team effort again. Raul Ibanez busted out with a magical first two months of the season, Ryan Howard hit a ton of homeruns and rbi’s, Jimmy Rollins provided a spark that goes beyond his batting average, and the starting pitching staff was under siege for a lot of this season but in the end they got the job done. Jason Werth had the ‘most improved’ and elevated himself to superstar this year. You can go on and on with who really accomplished things for the team this year, how about Antonio Bastardo and Rodrigo Lopez coming in for cups of coffee with the team but they left their marks as well.

Looking forward to the playoffs now in 2009! Go Phils

This organization has outclassed all others in the city. Bringing in Lidge was very touching and in a way worthy.

No one has mentioned that this win was basically all small ball runs with the exception of RAUUL’s HR. The 2 triples were also something special.

My favorite moments: the players @ the HK sign and the men in the pen toasting victory in the pen. That was awesome!!


So THIS is what it feels like to be perennial winners!! Fantastic.
I agree, davegas, having Chooch behind the plate was very comforting. It was classy the way the team went out to left field to pay respects to Harry, similar to how the Angels did the same for Nick Adenhart.
Did anyone catch Wheels’ lockerroom interview with The Big Piece? after popping the cork, he poured it over someone’s head and said: “S**k on it” Maybe that will be this years catch phrase, a la ‘World F’n Champions’ last year?

sully, that is hilarious about Wheels. I wish I saw that. The park was electric last night and really went crazy when Lidge came in. I too thought that was a super classy move by Charlie. He knows the players so well. I know that had to go over big with the other guys on the team as well. I feel so dirty for ever bashing Charlie pre-2007.

But some are speculating that Charlie is really going to use Lidge to close to open the playoffs….that makes me pretty uneasy but imagine if he does and last night is the catapult that bring back 08 Lidge.

joed: Don’t feel badly about bashing Charlie. He was taking over for a legend (Bowa) and didn’t exactly fit in right away. Once he got the players on his side things changed for everybody. Now, he’s in that pantheon of coaches who will “walk together forever” with the fans here.

As for Lidge, WIP had one of the beat writers on this morning. He was in Charlie’s office with 3 or 4 other guys (Todd?) and his feeling was that Charlie was going to go with Brad as his closer going into the division series.
I’m not sure you can use his one pitch appearance as a “catapult.” I would guess that Brad will get another shot or two to close as we wind down, so we’ll see.

Mule: thanks for the correction about who is having the (I assume) Cigar.
As for lidge, I think he has to be the closer at least until he proves he is incapable of doing the job. What I hope to see, however, is a very quick hook from Charlie if he doesn’t do the job. With Eyre back and Romero ready to go, the need for Happ in the pen has decreased. Given Pedro’s neck, and his less then perfect outing yesterday, I would rethink the rotation and have it as Hamels, Lee, Blanton and Happ. Pedro goes to the pen in place of Moyer as a long/ mid-inning relief. Madson has the 8th (or closes if Lidge reverts to being unreliable again) and Romero/Eyre are the lefties. Park (assuming he’s ready, has his old job back, being the true anchor of the gang-filling in everywhere he’s needed.

f.i.j.: As of now, I’d think it’s Lee-Hamels since game 1 is Wednesday. According to the Phils web site, Cole is pitching Saturday which would line him up for Thursday’s game 2. Lee would pitch tonight and Game 1 on Wednesday on 5 days rest, or they could even use Blanton in game 1, since he’s scheduled to go on Friday.
The only way I could see that changing is if they moved Cole up to Friday or pitched him on short rest on Wednesday. But we know what a Diva he is and I wouldn’t think they’d go on short rest at this point.

I think Charlie will play it by ear with the starters. If they play the Rockies, don’t be surprised if he goes Lee-Hamels-Happ since the Rockies are a decidedly left-handed hitting club. Going forward he would use Blanton and Martinez as the #3 and #4 against the Cardinals and Dodgers. The cool thing is that they have enough pitching to go with the matchups.

Division three-peat is great, but they’re not done yet.

f.i.j.: Why would they do that? And which “kids?” Charlie wants home field and he isn’t going to get it unless he runs his best pitchers out there. They won’t need 4 starters in the divisional round.
Hamels needs to keep pitching to stay sharp. He won’t be off until next Thursday. Get real.

I think they let hamels miss his next start and give it to one of the kids. Also, what is nice about winning early is they can reset the entire rotation. Whether it”s Cole/Lee or Lee/Cole I think even you’ll agree that the 4th starter is Happ

Plus Charlie also needs to see what the status of return from the DL bullpen guys can do. Eyre and Romero have only pitched 1 inning. Myers hasn’t pitched at all. So it would be beneficial to give them some work to see how that will pan out for the post season.

Mule: I see what you’re saying. I didn’t look at how soon the first game of the post season really is (Next wed). The way the rotation is set at present, Lee, who goes tonight, pitches game 1 on an extra day’s rest. Cole goes Sat and game 2 on normal rest. I would rather see Cole go in game 1, however as he has post season experience and Lee doesn’t. Also, I want Blanton pitching game 3 and not Cole as Blanton is 5-4 4.38 while Hamels is 3-6 4.99 on the road. Happ on the road is 7-2 1.99

As for needing 4 starters, if you look whomever pitches game 1 would be pitching on 3 days rest (one less then usual) if he pitches game 4 on Sunday. Given, as you said Cole’s reluctance to do this, I think it safe to say that if he pitches game one we see Happ in game 4. If it’s Lee, it depends.

In any case, Charlie needs to rest Ibanez and Utley and Werth at least 2 games. The other starters need at least 1 day off. I still say I’d rather have a rested team then home field advantage. Not that I don’t want both, or that both aren’t important, it’s just what I feel is more important right now for this team. In any case, we have home team advantage in the first round since we won the division and are facing the wild card

It would be counterproductive to sit the starters until the playoffs. They will give the starters their work in turn, just not stretch them out, therefore giving the question marks in the bullpen plenty of work. None of the starters will pitch more that about 80 pitches, just enough to get their work in.
Lee will pitch tonight, giving him five days rest before Wednesday. Blanton goes Friday, Hamels on Saturday. That sets up Hamels to pitch Thursday on his normal rest. Pedro and Happ will both pitch multiple innings on Sunday to set them up to pitch a possible game four, maybe game three (Happ) if Charlie decides to go three straight lefties against the Rockies. They will both be on the roster, one to the bullpen. The rest of the bullpen will get plenty of innings in the next four games to see who is healthy and available for the postseason. The only givens in the bullpen that I can see is Lidge, Madson and Eyre. The rest of the guys are coming off injury (Park, Myers, Romero) or are replaceable/replacement parts (Durbin, Condrey, Kendrick). I don’t even consider Walker and Escalona.

Someone please explain to me what small ball is exactly. I do not define it as getting 10 runs on 9 hits which included 3 doubles and 2 triples in addition to a homerun. A low scoring game with several singles bunched together and supplemented by a steal here and there and a sacrifice, preferably of the bunt variety, now and then represents small ball to me. Maybe throw in a hit and run. What the Phillies did yesterday was not small ball.

In the sport of baseball, small-ball is an informal and colloquial term for an offensive strategy in which the batting team emphasizes placing runners on base and then advancing them into position to score a run in a deliberate, methodical way.
This strategy places a high value on individual runs and attempts to score them without requiring extra base hits, or sometimes without base hits at all, instead using bases on balls, stolen bases, sacrifice bunt or sacrifice fly balls, the hit-and-run play, and aggressive baserunning. A commonly used term for a run produced playing small-ball is a “manufactured run”.

My point was the Phils usually rely heavily on the long ball/HR. Yesterday they did extremely well with RISP. It was fun to watch. Loved Chooch trying to get a triple. Priceless….

So glad to have Chooch back in the line-up! I must admit Bako did a better job offensively and defensively than I expected.

OK, I think I’ve finally recovered, from attending two great back-to-back games!
Last night was fun. But not nearly as much fun as ’07! Sorry. No more reminising.
Very classy of Charlie to put Lidge in!
My guess is, if he’s concerned about home field advantage, that Charlie will rest the starters one at time. Starting with Chase, I hope!

Oh, by the way….My post-season tickets are OFF the market! Haha!

norma: They might have to hide Chase’s glove to keep him out of the lineup. I agree, I don’t see wholesale lineup changes until Sunday. Two days off prior to the start of the series should be enough.
Guys like Stairs, Dobbs and Bruntlett could use a start to try to get them going, although I’m still of the opinion that Stairs is worthless. Where is Geoff Jenkins?

According to Missanelli….the guys playing tonight are

Bako C
Howard 1B
Bruntlett 2B
Rollins SS
Feliz 3B
Ibanez LF
Francisco CF
Werth RF

Lee on the mound

jenkins is enjoying the beach, woman and wine on his salary from the Phillies for not playing this year. Him and Eaton are laughing their a$$es off. As for rest, you don’t need to give them all the same night off. Let Brunlett spell Chase one night and Rollins the next. Let Cairo give Feliz a night off. Tracy can replace Howard. Not for every game, and anot a line-up of “back-ups (like last year’s last game of the season) but every game give 1-2 guys a night off. As for Utley, you hiding his glove may not be enough. They’d have to chain him to his locker, or put him on a flight to the wrong city to keep him out of the lineup

I agree, F.I.J. I don’t think Charlie should rest 3 guys. Maybe 2. Why rest Ruiz? He just came back for one game.
Rest 2 a game, for the last 4 games. Plus, there’s 2 more days before the post-season starts.
Can’t wait to see Chase, scowling in the dugout, tonight. LOL!

The last thing the Phils have to do to show they have the same never-say-die attitude that helped them win it all last year is to come from behind late in a game and win it. It’s been soooooooo long since they have done it. None of us expect it anymore. Tonight is a chance to do it and get back to ’08 playoff form.

Wow, they almost pulled it off! 2 in the 9th. That was very encouraging because Valverde is one of the best closers in the NL. They will be facing pitchers that good in the playoffs. Let’s hope the bats do just as well but with a WIN instead of a LOSS.

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