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:

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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 Lefty

    Philly Texan, Brooks and OCP- thanks for helping answer my question earlier!

    Jay, – the first article you posted is excellent, you need talent to get to the pinnacle of baseball, but team chemistry is very important too. You know I was already a big fan of Ryan Howard, now even more so. BTW I posted part of your second article earlier this morning – great minds think alike :)

    Phan in the outfield- It’s a sweet feeling, it really is.

  • Posts: 0 Lefty

    Jayson Werth may be putting on for the press, or he maybe not.
    I think not.
    Based on his comments lately, I get the feeling he might be willing to give us a small hometown discount for nexct year. We’ll see I guess.

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    More from that roadshow…


  • Posts: 0 Manny

    I’m with Nunzio. I prefer Hamels 2nd to break up the two righty Roys, but I’ll be happy with whatever decision we make. Oswalt has great numbers at CBP and keeping him behind Halladay might require less reshuffling (Halladay pitched yesterday, Oswalt today).

    Also, if we’re playing the Padres in the NLDS, Hamels OWNS Petco Field (at least that’s my impression).. so yet another reason to potentially go Roy-Roy-Hamels.

    I still think the R-L-R argument is stronger and would prefer to see Hamels pitch 2nd. Let’s see how Roy 2 performs tonight, and how Hamels handles his next start. To me, that should be the real difference maker –choose who’s hotter right before the playoffs.

  • Posts: 0 Brooks

    Jay – who’s starting tonight?
    Dude, your late~

  • Posts: 0 Lefty

    Thanks for the clip Chuck.

    IMO it’s not too classy though, glad I wasn’t there. We already have a bad name, do you see what the next clip is when it ends? Fan gets tasered. I hate that when I talk to my non-Philly friends all they know is the negative stuff.
    Hopefully Phan in the outfield won’t mind me borrowing his line.

    “it’s a sweet feeling to have the right to be a bad sport – but to not do it.”

  • The Hangover: Rollins 6, Ibanez 7, Utley 4, Howard 3, Francisco 8, Brown 9, Dobbs 5, Schneider 2, Oswalt 1

  • Sry brooks….lol

  • Posts: 0 Bacardipr05

    Ptiching save this season simple. If this offense would of have been the same offense as last year with the same pitching(pitchers) from last year…We might not be where we at……

  • Posts: 0 bfo_33

    Roy’s start tonight is the last of H2O for the rest of the season. They may make a cameo in Atl just to loosen up, go a few innings, but they won’t be going 7 (or even 5 for that matter). After Oswalt, you’ll see Blanton, KK, Worley, and the b-team bullpen.

    I don’t think there is a wrong answer in the set-up (3 man rotation in the DS, 4 man for the CS and WS), but think that if the DS goes 5, I’d rather see Oswalt on short rest than Hamels. If it goes more than 3 games, there will be back to back righties in there somewhere anyway. Hope for the best, plan for the worst.

  • Having clinched the NL East title and home field advantage throughout the playoffs, the Phillies essentially have five games to get themselves ready for the postseason. That should mean carefully-monitored work for the pitching staff, and plenty of at-bats for players who have not seen much action during the stretch run.

    Tonight, Jimmy Rollins is back in the line-up for the first time since straining his hamstring on Sept. 8. He’s leading off tonight (Shane Victorino has the day off).

    Ben Francisco gets the start in right field, his first start since Sept. 5. Brian Schneider, who has played in just five of the last 28 games, is behind the plate.

    Domonic Brown is in the starting line-up for the first time since Sept. 6. The rookie outfielder has had just one at-bat since his last start.

  • Posts: 0 Bacardipr05

    That aint come out right if we had this years version of offense with last years pitching…

  • Posts: 0 Phan in the outfield

    Chuck – I heard they wouldn’t let the Phillies come back out to celebrate w/the fans. Bad form but I kind of wouldn’t expect them to allow it. The announcers weren’t thrilled about that fact that nearly 8/10ths of the slightly over 14,000 in attendance were Phillies fans. How embarrassing for them. But they made money off our fans.

    I don’t have a computer at home so I don’t get to see the game threads until the next day. But I wanted to mention — JAY you said this last night and I just cried laughing: “If Werth and Utley were out past 4am in July when they were in St. louis…what are the chances they wake up naked on Abe Lincolns lap?” Brilliance, really. But unfortunately we haven’t heard anything, so I guess all was quiet.

    I have to see the games on the MLB channels and have been subjected to the Gnats’ bad announcers. Every time we play them they talk about the CBPark “bandbox” & how tiny it is. They’ve also said our players get their great numbers from playing in CBPark. Dumb guys.

    When JDub hit the HR early last night, Carpenter said, “I think that’s the farthest homer hit here in a while. . . ” The guy with the southern accent (played for the Reds at some point) said, “I think you’re right. Boy that hit the back seats.” They went on to talk about what a job Werth has routinely done on the Gnats’ pitchers over the past couple of yrs. Funny they didn’t remember that his numbers are fake b/c he plays in a “bandbox” and he can’t hit in other parks. That’ll teach ‘em.

  • Posts: 0 Brooks

    What a lineup! How about putting Dobbsy in the #8 spot -

  • Posts: 0 Kate

    Something tells me Roy Oswalt is going after the Nats tonight for as long as he’s in.

    A lot of stuff going on in Nationals Stadium this weekend. Doc vs Lannan, the rematch… the clincher… Citizens Bank South… Roy Oswalt returns to the scene of his only losing decision as a Phillie…

    Roy’s gunning for the Nats.

  • Posts: 0 Brooks

    Thanks Jay!

  • Kyle Kendrick will start Friday against Atlanta, which means Hamels, Halladay or Oswalt will be skipped this weekend


  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    I have such a dislike for Greg Dobbs that I don’t want to see him in ANY spot. I know Cholly loves him and believes in him and that he will play some in these next five games….but seriously…..I’d rather see the bat boy in the line-up.

  • Roy Halladay will probably not make another start this season. Kendrick goes Friday. TBA the rest of the weekend.


  • Posts: 0 Bruce

    My guess is Oswalt will go 5 innings and that’s it. The “Triple Aces” will get their rest as same as the regulars prior to the playoffs. It will give Manuel a chance to have a extended look at the young pitchers such as Worley. Hopefully, Werth sits and we see Brown given a chance to play and get to know the opposing pitchers and their repertory of pitches. It’s good preparation for Brown when he takes the vacated spot in RF next season.

  • Posts: 0 Andrew from waldorf

    Going again tonight. Guess I am post season form too.
    Was a real pleasure to see Roy up close and personal. Now tonight the other Roy. Seats arent as good but since only 10,000 people will show up maybe I will be able to move up.

  • Posts: 0 Phan in the outfield

    JAY – Nevermind, that was flatout HILARIOUS. The image was enough to make me laugh out loud at work. It also conjured the blurry foto I saw of them on Twitter (which I never go on) at some blackjack table or whatever in St. Louis @ 4am in July, the buttheads.

    Andrew – Knock ‘em dead, baby! SAY HEY! from all the Phillies Phans stuck up here in NYC!! And my guess is your seat # won’t matter much. You’ll be able to move around at will. Heh heh. Have fun.

    Lefty – Sorry bud, feel free to use it, bruthah! You are more than welcome.

    Chuck & I have been saying all along we thought Werth wanted to stay enough to give a hometown disc (whatever that could mean). But that was early in the season. Money’s been spent since then, Amaro’s said things to the papers, and the FO has seemed willing to keep and/or acquire anyone & everyone but Werth. From Werth’s vantage point it might seem like a generalized ‘dissing’.

    If he still does honestly want to stay (he may feel more strongly depending on how far they go & whether or not they win it all) then he might have to control Boras and make sure he knows exactly what he wants — don’t leave the table until it happens — kind of thing. You know.

    It doesn’t have to be a heinous thing that Boras is hired. I’d prefer he wasn’t but… Personally I feel he’s a plague on sports in gen. But he IS Madson’s & Brown’s agent too. So obviously we’re going to pay for RF NOW or LATER, Brown won’t be cheap long. Frankly I’d rather keep JDub, platoon Brown w/Ibanez, letting him learn, then let him take LF when Rauuuul leaves. I know — in an ideal world….


  • The Phillies have NEVER finished with the best record in #MLB going all the way back to 1903. They have a chance in 2010

  • Has anyone been able to answer this question yet: Where was Oswalt during the celebrations last night?

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Oswalt’s starting tonight….so why would he be celebrating last night??

    Intense starting pitchers in the mold of Roy Oswalt take their next day starts so seriously and have such a routine that NOTHING…even a celebration…will de-rail them.

  • Shane Victorino will leave the team Thursday for Las Vegas to be with his wife, Melissa, who is pregnant with the couple’s third child. Victorino said he expects to miss Friday’s game in Atlanta.


  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    I would imagine that Oswalt “celebrated” in his own way….but decided to stay out of the spotlight. I’m ok with that.

    And speaking of celebrations….I hope the Phillies are careful with all these clubhouse parties at each level throughout the playoffs. I can see blowing off some steam with winning the division…..because of where they came from to do it…

    But now it should be “let’s get down to business” and keep things subdued until the final prize is theirs.

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