Division: Clinched. Business: Unfinished.

Posted by Michael Baumann, Mon, September 27, 2010 11:36 PM | Comments: 0
2010 Game Recaps, Posts

Carlos Ruiz after the Phillies clinch the 2010 NL East titleI’ve always been awed by the ability of major league ballplayers to keep things in perspective. Consider Roy Halladay. Halladay signed what was then the richest contract in Phillies history in terms of annual salary, replaced a fan favorite, and, like Atlas, lifted the hopes and expectations of a city of 1.6 million on his shoulders. Tonight was his 33rd appearance of the year, and he was perhaps as stunning this evening as at any other point in his six months in red pinstripes (his perfect game in May notwithstanding). 97 pitches, 65 strikes, no walks, two hits, six strikeouts, no runs allowed. Methodical is the word that comes to mind.

Pitch no. 97 was a fading 84-mph split-fingered what-the-hell-was-that?-ball low and on the outside corner to a befuddled 23-year-old Nationals infielder named Danny Espinosa. I was sitting in Mac’s Tavern on Second and Market when that ball hit Carlos Ruiz’s glove. Mac’s is not really a sports bar, and it was only half full, but its patrons celebrated pitch no. 97 with appropriate pomp and circumstance: the Rocky theme was played, strangers were hugged, fists pumped, and high-fives exchanged. This fourth straight division title is an unprecedented occurrence for this team, so we were pretty jazzed. Imagine how Roy Halladay, a veteran of 13 major league seasons with nary a playoff appearance, must have reacted!

Methodically. Halladay, veteran of 13 major league seasons, none of them ending in playoff runs, pumped his fist, walked off the mound, and gave his catcher a peremptory hug. The eight position players on the field, seven of whom has played in a World Series in the past five years, were similarly nonplussed. Jayson Werth, whose two extra base hits and four RBIs paced a Phillies attack that methodically hung eight runs on five Washington pitchers, jogged in from right field to join the party. The ordinarily effervescent Shane Victorino couldn’t be bothered even to do that–he walked.

The fracas on the mound (if you could call it that) seemed staged, a display no one really wanted to bother with and only put on for the benefit of the TV cameras. The Phillies looked, for lack of a better word, bored with the division title. They expect to have another shot at this pitching-mound-orgy-and-champagne-shower business in a couple weeks. Considering recent events, that might be a reasonable expectation.

Here are some photos from tonight’s game courtesy of Brian:

Avatar of Michael Baumann

About Michael Baumann

Michael Baumann has written 229 articles on Phillies Nation.

Michael is a graduate student at Temple University who lost his childlike innocence when, at the age of 6, his dad let him stay up for the end of Game 6 of the 1993 World Series. Unsettled by the Phillies' recent success, he has threatened over the years to leave the team he loves if they don't start losing again, but has so far been unable to follow through. Michael spent 4 years as an undercover agent in Braves territory at the University of South Carolina, where he covered football and soccer for The Daily Gamecock before moving back up north. He began writing for The Phrontiersman in June 2009 before moving to Phillies Nation in January 2010.

  • Posts: 0 Philly Texan

    Unbelievable second half by this team.

    I always thought they would reach the postseason—even in the darkest days of getting shutout three in a row at Citi Field. But to do it like this—clinching the division with a week left and clinching best record—is truly stunning.

    What a special group. Let’s enjoy this. Greatest era in Phillies history. And hopefully a few more celebrations to come!

    Go Phils, 2010 NL East Champs!!!!

  • Posts: 0 Chris

    You wrote exactly how I felt (from my living room). It seemed like they were excited to win, but not that jump up-and-down, freak out celebration that has defined winning the NL East the past three years. I was a tad disappointed they weren’t more excited about it, but then again, they were in the play-off irregardless of the win tonight.

    Though I will say, I’m looking forward to October baseball. I’m totally loving this month lately!

  • Posts: 0 Andrew from waldorf

    Clincher clincher chicken dinner. 3 more to go.

  • Posts: 0 Andrew from waldorf

    Great game to attend. Roy comes out for the 9th to clinch the Cy.
    CG SO

  • Posts: 0 rob5000

    I pose the following fan chant for subsequent Phillies games…


  • Posts: 0 NateB

    Great post. Love the description of Halladay’s last pitch, the nonchalant celebration, and impressed that Brian took a photo of the pitch aimed at Halladay’s head when he was bunting.

  • Posts: 0 Lefty

    Shane Victorino, when asked who was the team MVP-

    “To me, the whole team has been the MVP because we’ve had so many guys step up,” Victorino said. “You look at teams that had injuries like us and where are they? They’re nowhere to be found.”

    That’s what makes me so proud of these guys, instead of making excuses (like some other teams from NY and ATL) they just kept battling. Real Fightins.

    To quote our friend Kate from the game threads-”Don’t stop beliephing”
    They never did.

  • Posts: 0 bfo_33

    That was a great celebration, because it looked completely staged. What little suspense that was left in the 8th was completely wiped out with the 4 runs tacked on in the top of the ninth. They almost looked embarrassed. The division is nice and all, but it looked to me to be a team that has one goal in mind – wfc 2010.

    The Rays had a chance to clinch a playoff spot last night, and got 12,000 fans to the domed Trop. There looked to be more Phils phans who traveled 2+ hrs to be in Washington on a rainly, crappy night to watch us take the division. We may not be the smartest, or most politically correct, but certainly the most loyal fans in baseball. One more win, and home field advantage is ours throughout the playoffs.

  • Posts: 0 bfo_33

    It may have been rainly also, but meant rainy.

  • Posts: 0 Mazinman

    I think a hurricane could have hit Washington last night and Halladay would have still gone out in the 9th to finish it. You could tell that he just would not be denied this. If this is a preview of Playoff-Doc I feel bad for the other teams in baseball.

    Well I don’t think it was 100% staged. This show belonged to Halladay, Sweeney, and Schneider who had never experienced this before. I am really proud of the other Phils who let them have that moment. It shows that the front office have built a nucleus of not only good players but good team people.

    One more win and we have home field advantage throughout. Between that and Halladay, Hamels, and Oswalt I feel pretty good about our chances. Before that though, lets win these next two and then retire Bobby Cox with style!

  • Posts: 0 Mostone

    We already clinched home field advantage because we win the tie-breakers!

  • Posts: 0 NJ

    Amazing the total shift from where this team was in June when people on this board and in the baseball press felt major changes would have to come for the Phillies to sustain the teams dominance.

    I am so happy for the players because they’ve gone out and they’ve played baseball, they’ve as much as possible avoided the distractions thrust upon them doubting them and they’ve put themselves in a position their primed for the play-offs, not burnt out chasing using up all of their energy.

    It’s clear as maligned as this cities fans are, this is a team players want to come and play for now.

    Great job

  • Posts: 0 Manny

    I went to last night’s game and it was special. Staying there through the rain, waiting for the Phillies to clinch, watching the Doc dominate and finish the game with less than 100 pitches. This is a special moment, and we’re all part of it.

    The celebration was pretty much what I expected… this team means business and wants more!

  • Posts: 0 Brooks

    Does this mean that the Phils will have game 1 of the NLDS on Wednesday now? By tonight they should have best NL W-L record sewed up. I could not get an answer from Phillies.
    Anyone know when the announcement will be made?

  • Posts: 0 mikemike

    Back in march I picked the braves over the phillies, so I am hear to say I was wrong, am a phillies fan, just though the braves had better pitching,but the phillies proved me wrong congra again go all the way

  • Posts: 0 branderson

    what an explanation point to the Doc’s season.
    This sealed his Cy award. 8th CG and 4th SO, (I believe)

    For all those worried about his last few starts being lackluster, maybe this shows he will be lights out for the playoffs.

    first Phillies CY since Denny in 85!

  • Posts: 0 Mostone

    @ Brooks – I don’t know when the announcement will happen. I would guess not until the match-ups are decided and official.

  • Posts: 0 Brooks

    Yes Doc sealed it! I thought the CG count S/B at 9, the Shut outs at 4 now. Doc sealed it with class.

    Regardless – his closest competition up to this point I think was Wainwright and I think I heard he might not pitch again this year.

    What a way to enter into the post season.. Doc has made himself and this year into a Philly icon. This is one of those seasons to be remembered and passed on.

  • Posts: 0 Brooks

    I just got off the phone with the Phils and they said its the Phils choice which game they start off with. It looks like they will stick with game 1 on Wednesday (according to the kid I just spoke with). Doc to start.

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Cliff who?????????

  • Posts: 0 Lefty

    Brooks, So that means that if we take the Wednesday game, the game four starter (Monday) could pitch on four days rest, right?

  • Posts: 0 Lefty

    ^^If we need game four.^^

  • Posts: 0 Philly Texan

    they’ll take the Wed. start to the NLDS and have Thursday off. That means the Big Three can pitch all games in the series on regular rest.

  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    Bedrosian won the Cy in ’87. Must take the off day alternative for the playoffs. Jayson Werth…I’m proud a ya buddy. Hail fellow, well met.

    The Dipsy

  • Posts: 0 Brooks

    This is what it looks like:
    Game 1, Oct 6th, Wednesday – Doc (day 1)
    Game 2, Oct 8th, Friday – Hamels? – Oswalt? (day 3)
    Game 3, Oct 10th, Sunday – Oswalt/Hamels (day 4)
    Game 4, Oct 11th, Monday – Doc (five day rest for Doc)
    Game 5, Oct 13th, Wednesday – Hamels (five day rest for Hamels)

    It seems pretty straight forward for the NLDS, the 7 game series looks a little more like we’ll have to call upon either KK or JB or both.
    Either way, no way I fear a 7 game series. This team is built to win!

  • Posts: 0 The Original Chuck P

    The Phils, owning the best record in the NL, get to choose their start date… they would likely take Wednesday. In the event that the opposing team can’t set up their rotation (if that wild card race goes down the last day), it would give the Phillies a clear advantage in game 1. Also, it would allow them to pitch Halladay (assuming he’s the game 1 starter) on 4 days rest in game 4 (rather than 3, if they have the other series). They could go with a 3 man rotation in the NLDS without putting too much stress on their starters.

  • This is probably the best story I’ve read about the team, and shows their true character. Class, all class. http://bit.ly/aEesny

  • Tampa Bay Rays sold 12,000 tickets for a possible clinching game at home?Phillies had over 10,000 on the road in the pouring rain in DC.

  • “For years to win the division, you had to go through Atlanta,” Nationals manager Jim Riggleman said. “Now you’ve got to go through Philadelphia.”

  • Posts: 0 Mazinman

    Yeah, that story about Howard and Sweeney was awesome. Really proud of the big guy for how he treated a veteran player. Hopefully we can get him a ring.

    I got a feeling that Oswalt will be starting Game 2. Nothing against Cole and the great job he has done but the guy has insane numbers at CBP. 10-0 in a hitter’s park. I would much rather have Oswalt pitch games 2 and 5 at CBP.

    As for Doc, what else can you say about the guy at this point? I think the best part is that he is such a competitor that even if we win it all this year you know he will return next year with the same intensity and drive. Man, the first season isn’t even over yet and I already can’t wait for the sequel.

  • Posts: 0 The Original Chuck P

    That’s a great point, Mazin… Cole is not as good at home as he is on the road. My knee-jerk was that Cole deserves to pitch in game 2 based on what he’s done this year and prior years as a Phillie (and I would not object if Charlie went that way) but Charlie’s a guy that likes to dissect the numbers and you can’t argue with the facts; Oswalt has been really good at the Bank. It doesn’t hurt either way.

    It’s scary how much better we are this year than we were last year… our playoff rotation last year was Lee, Martinez, Hamels (bad Cole) and Blanton. Lidge was a trainwreck, Chan Ho was Chan Ho, Madson was iffy… our pen is still a streaky bunch but Lidge is ten fold better and Madson is definitely capable in that 8th inning role. It will be interesting to see how much Rollins plays down the stretch; he should be getting regular at bats but they’re not going to rush him back if he’s not ready, either. How much does he want to play and how hurt is he?


  • Posts: 0 The Original Chuck P

    Great story, Jay.

  • Posts: 0 The Original Chuck P

    Here’s what I think about when I read that story, Jay…

    This is why guys want to play here.

    Look, winning is certainly very important but these guys are great teammates and good people. Think about the humility that it takes for Howard and Co to take a back seat to guys like Sweeney and Schneider (and Halladay, although not as much)… if Howard wanted to pop the first cork, no one would disagree that he’s earned that honor. If Utley wanted to do the honor, it’s his… the celebration, as tame as it was, is very very important. The season is a grind… further, it’s not just a division title, it’s the fourth straight division title and Sween and Schneider has squaaa-dooosh to do with that… but they gave them the floor anyway. They respect the game… they love the game… and the game loves them back. They’re selfless, they’re humble, they’re driven and they’re ours… so thankphul for this team.

  • Posts: 0 Brooks

    Between the story and your lovefest OCP, I need a game to watch -

    And at the center of it is Cholly -

  • Expect the Phillies to play Game 1 on Wednesday afternoon at CBP, around 4 p.m. Yankees will be in primetime

  • HERE IS ANOTHER GOOD STORY- http://bit.ly/a5Sm4q

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Wow….it’s a damn good thing Phillies fans didn’t panic back in July…

  • Posts: 0 Mostone

    @Chuck – HA!

  • Posts: 0 RichieAllen

    Never saw Doc so happy….after the game he was smiling so much his face must need therapy today.Even Chase had a stogie .
    This is a great time to be a Phils PHAN PHOR Sure.

  • ”To do what we’ve done the last four years here is a great accomplishment, and we’re well aware,” Werth said, soaking wet from head to toe. ”But there’s bigger things at stake, and we know where we want to end up.”

  • The only thing i don’t like about the playoff’s is the day off after every game.I like it when they play 2 in a row,then have a off day.Don’t like them dragging it out!!!

  • Posts: 0 Brooks

    the days off allow for more rest for H2O.

  • Posts: 0 Jeff

    Staged. I do not think so. Yes, this team knows they have a bigger hill to climb but they were all very happy. Excited. You have a magic number of one and playing the Nats with a huge lead. Not like when Myers saved that big game in 07. Guys like Doc, Sweeney were excited.

  • Posts: 0 Jeff

    let them drag so we can pitch our big three

  • Posts: 0 Nunzio Scholeri

    You really can’t go wrong with either Hamels or Oswalt in game 2. I might pitch Hamels, partially out of respect for what he’s done for the team longer than Oswalt and even more so because that splits up the two right-handers, but I wouldn’t complain if Oswalt got game 2 either.

  • Posts: 0 Phillistein

    “Kind of embarrassing when everyone in the stadium is clapping against you and you’re at home,” Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond said. “It’s not really where you want to be.”

  • Posts: 0 Phan in the outfield

    Chuck – Love that comment. Hilarious.

    Jay – I saw that Werth quote. Thanks for putting it here. He and Halladay won that game last night. Werth has essentially been saying this same thing in different words since ST. I have to hand it to these guys, through it all they’ve solidly maintained their heads, and they never forgot to keep up the hardwork that gets them to the goal they never lost sight of. I just find them incredibly impressive.

    All during the injuries, the slump from hell, and coming back from 3rd to 1st I heard stuff from the Mets & Yankees fans (I’m in nyc). So I’d say, ‘Go ahead, laugh it up. We’ll see you in Sept.’ Now the Yankees are tanking & the Mets have been out of it for a while. Hard to believe I was actually right. I have to smile: it’s a sweet feeling to have the right to be a bad sport – but to not do it.

  • Posts: 0 bfo_33

    My guess is that the 1st round is a 3 man rotation, CS and WS is a 4 man. While I believe the Phils are better than whichever west coast team we play (or any other team for that matter), I like Oswalt better on short rest (if it goes 5), would pitch Hamels 3.

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    So how about those security guys at Nats Park last night?? Were they d*ckheads after the game or what??!!

    Guess our travelling fanbase roadshow was too much for them..

Leave a Comment

>> Create a new Phillies Nation account.
>> Already registered with Phillies Nation? Log in here.
>> Comment without logging in:

Please ensure your comments comply with our Comment Policy.