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Central Division

East Division

Series Wrapup

Story

National League fans were treated to three exciting divisional races that went right down to the wire in 2007.  Each division-winner was decided on the season’s final weekend, with the largest margin of victory being the slim two-game edge the first-place Chicago Cubs held over the runner-up Milwaukee Brewers in the N.L. Central.

The Cubs captured their first Central Division title in four years by concluding the campaign with a record of 85-77 that left them two games ahead of the Brewers and seven games in front of the third-place St. Louis Cardinals.  The Cardinals found their efforts to repeat as world champions compromised by injuries to several of their best players.  Top starters Chris Carpenter and Mark Mulder both missed virtually the entire season, and sluggers Jim Edmonds and Scott Rolen also missed a significant amount of playing time.  Albert Pujols did his best to carry the team on his shoulders, hitting 32 home runs, driving in 103 runs, scoring 99 others, and batting .327.  But, it just wasn’t enough, and the Cardinals finished out of the playoffs for the first time since 2003.

The Cubs relied heavily on their improved pitching to edge out the Brewers for the top spot in the division.  Compiling a team ERA of 4.04 that placed them second in the league rankings, the Cubs featured a deep starting rotation that included four double-digit winners.  Carlos Zambrano and Ted Lilly headed the staff, posting 18 and 15 victories, respectively.  Meanwhile, Derrek Lee, Aramis Ramirez, and Alfonso Soriano paced Chicago on offense.  Lee hit 22 home runs, drove in 82 runs, scored 91 others, and batted .317.  Ramirez batted .310, homered 26 times, and led the team with 101 runs batted in.  Soriano batted .299, hit 33 homers, and scored 97 runs.

Although the Brewers came up a bit short in their quest to make the playoffs, their lineup featured two of the league’s best young players.  Third baseman Ryan Braun earned N.L. Rookie of the Year honors by hitting 34 homers, driving in 97 runs, scoring 91 others, batting .324, and topping the circuit with a .634 slugging percentage.  In just his second full season, 23-year-old first baseman Prince Fielder earned a third-place finish in the N.L. MVP voting by batting .288, knocking in 119 runs, scoring another 109, and leading the league with 50 home runs.       

As close as Chicago and Milwaukee finished to one another in the N.L. Central, things were even tighter out West, where just one game separated the top three teams at the end of play on the final day of the regular season.  The Arizona Diamondbacks concluded the campaign with a record of 90-72 that placed them just one game ahead of both the Colorado Rockies and the San Diego Padres, who finished the season with identical marks of 89-73.  Forced to play a one-game playoff to determine the senior circuit’s wild-card entry into the postseason tournament, the two clubs subsequently engaged in a thrilling 13-inning affair that the Rockies ended up winning by a score of 9-8.  The victory capped a brilliant two-week run during which the Rockies put themselves in a position to make the playoffs by winning 14 of their final 15 contests, including their last nine in succession.  Along the way, Colorado set a new major league record by compiling a team fielding percentage of .9893.  

Although Colorado and San Diego finished the regular season with identical won-lost records, they arrived at that point in extremely dissimilar fashions.  The Rockies scored the second-most runs in the league (860), led the circuit with a .280 team batting average, and finished eighth in earned run average, with a mark of 4.32.  On the other hand, the Padres finished ninth in the league in runs scored (741), and they finished next-to-last in batting average (.251).  However, led by Cy Young Award winner Jack Peavy, who captured the pitcher’s version of the Triple Crown by leading all N.L. hurlers with 19 victories, a 2.54 ERA, and 240 strikeouts, the Padres posted a team ERA of 3.70 that placed them first in the league rankings.

While the Rockies relied heavily on their hitting to earn a spot in the playoffs, their pitching staff included 17-game winner Jeff Francis and bullpen aces Brian Fuentes and Manny Corpas, who combined to save 39 games.  On offense, veteran first baseman Todd Helton batted .320 and knocked in 91 runs.  Outfielder Brad Hawpe hit 29 homers and drove in 116 runs.  Third baseman Garrett Atkins hit 25 long balls, knocked in 111 runs, and batted .301.  Rookie shortstop Troy Tulowitzki homered 24 times, drove in 99 runs, scored 104 others, and batted .291.  Leftfielder Matt Holliday earned a close second-place finish in the N.L. MVP voting by hitting 36 home runs, scoring 120 runs, and leading the league with 137 runs batted in, 216 hits, 50 doubles, and a .340 batting average.  Holliday performed particularly well during the season’s final month, leading the Rockies on their extraordinary late-season run by hitting 12 homers, driving in 30 runs, scoring 29 others, and batting .367 over the final four weeks.  

Although the Diamondbacks ended up winning the division, they had less talent than the Rockies and Padres, placing behind both teams in the league rankings in practically every major statistical category on offense, and posting a much higher team ERA (4.13) than San Diego.  Brandon Webb anchored Arizona’s starting rotation, finishing second in the league with 18 wins and a 3.01 ERA, and leading all N.L. hurlers with 236 innings pitched, four complete games, and three shutouts.  Closer Jose Valverde led the league with 47 saves, while pitching to a 2.66 ERA and striking out 78 batters in 64 innings of work.  Eric Byrnes led Arizona on offense by hitting 21 home runs, scoring 103 runs, batting .286, and stealing 50 bases.    

While Arizona barely edged out Colorado and San Diego for the Western Division title, a collapse of historical proportions enabled the Philadelphia Phillies to sneak into the playoffs as champions in the East.  The New York Mets appeared to have the division locked up, leading the Phillies by seven games with only 17 games remaining on the schedule.  However, the Mets faltered down the stretch, losing 12 of their final 17 contests.  Meanwhile, the Phillies went 13-4 during the same period, to finish the season with an overall mark of 89-73 that left them one game ahead of the Mets, who failed to gain a postseason berth.

Despite blowing what appeared to be an insurmountable lead in the closing weeks of the season, the Mets received solid efforts from their three best players.  Although he struggled during the season's second half, Jose Reyes batted .280, scored 119 runs, and stole a league-leading 78 bases.  Carlos Beltran led the team with 33 home runs and 112 runs batted in.  David Wright earned a fourth-place finish in the N.L. MVP balloting by hitting 30 homers, knocking in 107 runs, scoring 113 others, stealing 34 bases, and batting .325.  

The Phillies captured their first division title in 14 years even though they finished just 13th in the league with a team ERA of 4.73.  Cole Hamels was the club’s only reliable starter, going 15-5 with a 3.39 ERA.  The Phillies’ key to success was their potent offense, which finished first in the league with 892 runs scored and placed second in the loop with 213 home runs.  Leftfielder Pat Burrell hit 30 home runs and drove in 97 runs.  Centerfielder Aaron Rowand had the finest season of his career, batting .309 and establishing new career highs with 27 home runs, 89 runs batted in, 105 runs scored, 189 hits, and 45 doubles.  Although an injury forced second baseman Chase Utley to miss a month of the season, he still managed to hit 22 homers, drive in 103 runs, score another 104, and finish among the league leaders with a .332 batting average.  Defending N.L. MVP Ryan Howard struck out 199 times and batted only .268, but he finished second in the league with 47 home runs and 136 runs batted in.  Shortstop Jimmy Rollins edged out Matt Holliday in the MVP balloting by hitting 30 homers, driving in 94 runs, batting .296, stealing 41 bases, collecting 212 hits, and topping the circuit with 139 runs scored and 20 triples.  By hitting 30 homers, stealing 41 bases, and amassing 20 triples and 38 doubles, Rollins became one of just four players in major league history to surpass the 20-mark in all four categories in the same season.   

The Phillies entered the postseason with momentum clearly on their side, fully expecting to advance to the World Series.  However, they ran into a buzz-saw in the form of the Colorado Rockies, who continued their amazing run by sweeping Philadelphia in three straight games in the Division Series.  The Arizona Diamondbacks similarly swept the Cubs in their first-round matchup, but they, in turn, were swept by red-hot Colorado in the NLCS.  The Rockies’ seven consecutive postseason victories extended their overall winning streak to an incredible 16 games.

Nevertheless, the Rockies’ magical run ended in the World Series when they themselves were swept by the Boston Red Sox in four straight games.  Two of the four contests were competitive, with Boston posting one-run victories in Games Two and Four.  But the Red Sox simply overpowered the Rockies in the other two contests, defeating them by scores of 13-1 and 10-5.

Other outstanding performers, notable events, and points of interest from around the league follow:

• June 6 – In the San Diego Padres' 5–2 win over the Dodgers, closer Trevor Hoffman became the first pitcher to record 500 career saves.

• August 4 - Barry Bonds tied Hank Aaron for first place on the all-time home run list by connecting for his 755th round-tripper against San Diego's Clay Hensley.

• August 5 – New York’s Tom Glavine became the 23rd pitcher to earn 300 career wins by defeating the Chicago Cubs 8–3 at Wrigley Field.

• August 7 – Barry Bonds surpassed Hank Aaron's record of 755 career home runs with a fifth-inning shot off Washington's Mike Bacsik.

• September 25 - Prince Fielder, at age 23, became the youngest player ever to hit 50 home runs in a season by connecting twice in the Brewers' 9–1 victory over the Cardinals.  He also became part of the first father-son duo to hit 50 home runs in one season (his father, Cecil, hit 51 homers for Detroit in 1990).

• San Diego’s Greg Maddux became the first pitcher in history to record at least 10 wins in 20 consecutive seasons by defeating the Philadelphia Phillies by a score of 14-3.

• Florida Marlins third baseman Miguel Cabrera hit 34 home runs, knocked in 119 runs, and batted .320.

• Marlins shortstop Hanley Ramirez hit 29 homers, scored 125 runs, batted .332, and amassed 212 hits, 48 doubles, and 51 stolen bases.

• Atlanta’s Chipper Jones hit 29 home runs, knocked in 102 runs, scored 108 others, and batted .337.

Seasons of the National League

1876 · 1877 · 1878 · 1879 · 1880 · 1881 · 1882 · 1883 · 1884 · 1885 · 1886 · 1887 · 1888 · 1889 · 1890 · 1891 · 1892 · 1893 · 1894 · 1895 · 1896 · 1897 · 1898 · 1899 · 1900 · 1901 · 1902 · 1903 · 1904 · 1905 · 1906 · 1907 · 1908 · 1909 · 1910 · 1911 · 1912 · 1913 · 1914 · 1915 · 1916 · 1917 · 1918 · 1919 · 1920 · 1921 · 1922 · 1923 · 1924 · 1925 · 1926 · 1927 · 1928 · 1929 · 1930 · 1931 · 1932 · 1933 · 1934 · 1935 · 1936 · 1937 · 1938 · 1939 · 1940 · 1941 · 1942 · 1943 · 1944 · 1945 · 1946 · 1947 · 1948 · 1949 · 1950 · 1951 · 1952 · 1953 · 1954 · 1955 · 1956 · 1957 · 1958 · 1959 · 1960 · 1961 · 1962 · 1963 · 1964 · 1965 · 1966 · 1967 · 1968 · 1969 · 1970 · 1971 · 1972 · 1973 · 1974 · 1975 · 1976 · 1977 · 1978 · 1979 · 1980 · 1981 · 1982 · 1983 · 1984 · 1985 · 1986 · 1987 · 1988 · 1989 · 1990 · 1991 · 1992 · 1993 · 1994 · 1995 · 1996 · 1997 · 1998 · 1999 · 2000 · 2001 · 2002 · 2003 · 2004 · 2005 · 2006 · 2007 · 2008 · 2009 · 2010  

Batting

TM G AB R H RBI AVG 2B 3B HR SB CS TB OBP SLG OPSLG GIDP SF SH
ARI 2305 5398 712 1350 687 .189 286 40 171 109 24 2229 .299 .285 .622 121 58 55
ATL 2398 5689 810 1562 781 .198 328 27 176 64 30 2472 .308 .291 .636 137 47 55
CHN 2379 5643 752 1530 711 .172 340 28 151 86 33 2379 .333 .262 .661 127 37 48
CIN 2383 5607 783 1496 747 .187 293 23 204 97 31 2447 .304 .295 .652 140 46 73
COL 2407 5691 860 1591 823 .204 313 36 171 100 31 2489 .399 .274 .749 140 44 83
FLO 2423 5627 790 1504 749 .149 340 38 201 105 34 2523 .296 .225 .612 107 42 72
HOU 2409 5605 723 1457 700 .207 293 30 167 65 33 2311 .331 .304 .678 142 40 77
LAN 2417 5613 735 1544 706 .213 276 35 129 137 50 2277 .303 .329 .652 116 55 58
MIL 2330 5554 801 1455 774 .230 310 37 231 96 32 2532 .327 .364 .733 112 47 60
NYN 2335 5605 804 1543 761 .197 294 27 177 200 46 2422 .322 .284 .657 114 58 77
PHI 2446 5688 892 1558 850 .184 326 41 213 138 19 2605 .344 .283 .698 125 52 65
PIT 2304 5569 724 1463 694 .217 322 31 148 68 30 2291 .341 .308 .708 130 51 60
SDN 2334 5612 741 1408 704 .191 322 31 171 55 24 2305 .335 .281 .682 113 44 64
SFN 2371 5538 683 1407 641 .196 267 37 131 119 33 2141 .294 .282 .610 142 36 67
SLN 2440 5529 725 1513 690 .202 279 13 141 56 33 2241 .330 .271 .660 154 54 68
WAS 2528 5520 673 1415 646 .157 309 31 123 69 23 2155 .314 .231 .595 143 41 63

Pitching

Team G W L IP SO BB BF H HR ERA ER R GC SH SV WP BK
ARI 631 90 72 1441 1088 546 6216 1446 169 236.710 662 732 7 4 51 48 9
ATL 690 84 78 1457 1106 537 6263 1442 172 138.530 665 733 1 1 36 48 5
CHN 640 85 77 1445 1211 573 6186 1340 165 97.220 650 690 2 1 39 42 3
CIN 684 72 90 1451 1068 482 6354 1605 198 152.140 798 853 6 2 34 54 5
COL 692 90 73 1471 967 504 6293 1497 164 210.380 706 758 4 1 39 35 8
FLO 722 71 91 1443 1142 661 6544 1617 176 197.320 795 891 0 0 40 67 9
HOU 638 73 89 1466 1109 510 6417 1566 206 105.090 765 813 2 1 38 40 3
LAN 645 82 80 1451 1184 518 6196 1443 146 120.770 677 727 4 0 43 44 5
MIL 654 83 79 1443 1174 507 6285 1513 161 107.370 713 776 3 0 49 57 2
NYN 661 88 74 1452 1134 570 6293 1415 165 148.420 689 750 2 2 39 36 3
PHI 660 89 73 1458 1050 558 6385 1555 198 159.800 772 821 5 2 42 46 3
PIT 657 68 94 1448 997 518 6374 1627 174 173.890 795 846 4 2 32 45 3
SDN 648 89 74 1485 1136 474 6254 1406 119 95.250 614 666 1 0 45 42 6
SFN 658 71 91 1454 1057 593 6298 1442 133 109.630 678 720 5 0 37 49 4
SLN 678 78 84 1436 945 509 6283 1514 168 139.180 745 829 2 0 34 39 6
WAS 750 73 89 1445 931 580 6333 1502 187 134.210 736 783 0 0 46 52 4

Fielding

Team ID G TC PO A E Fld% InOuts SB CS CS% PB
ARI 2694 7218 5417 1663 127 .953 17291 88 42 1.00 15
ATL 2718 7252 5446 1687 119 .972 17475 98 30 2.00 10
CHN 2835 7074 5396 1570 108 .976 17357 116 24 0 16
CIN 2770 7169 5506 1545 118 .962 17399 88 31 0 14
COL 2786 7392 5442 1867 83 .981 17662 96 25 0 9
FLO 2766 7131 5433 1544 163 .933 17293 94 33 1.00 19
HOU 2827 7311 5470 1719 122 .973 17580 84 28 1.00 6
LAN 2790 7134 5333 1671 130 .958 17403 96 46 0 5
MIL 2721 7142 5457 1556 129 .975 17329 99 24 0 6
NYN 2663 7143 5484 1541 118 .976 17427 105 29 1.00 5
PHI 2879 7307 5437 1762 108 .976 17504 84 39 0 8
PIT 2681 7255 5403 1752 100 .987 17377 110 35 0 13
SDN 2660 7401 5504 1789 108 .970 17813 189 20 0 9
SFN 2793 7238 5450 1685 103 .977 17441 77 33 0 21
SLN 2887 7201 5359 1695 147 .975 17228 58 34 1.00 10
WAS 2872 7270 5568 1584 118 .976 17358 80 37 0 9

West

team W L Att Rk SOP
Colorado Rockies 90 73 2376250 2 967
Arizona Diamondbacks 90 72 2325249 1 1088
San Diego Padres 89 74 2790074 3 1136
Los Angeles Dodgers 82 80 3857036 4 1184
San Francisco Giants 71 91 3223215 5 1057

Central

team W L Att Rk SOP
Chicago Cubs 85 77 3252462 1 1211
Milwaukee Brewers 83 79 2869144 2 1174
St. Louis Cardinals 78 84 3552180 3 945
Houston Astros 73 89 3020405 4 1109
Cincinnati Reds 72 90 2058593 5 1068
Pittsburg Pirates 68 94 1749142 6 997

East

team W L Att Rk SOP
Philadelphia Philies 89 73 3108325 1 1050
New York Mets 88 74 3853955 2 1134
Atlanta Braves 84 78 2745207 3 1106
Washington Nationals 73 89 1943812 4 931
Florida Marlins 71 91 1370511 5 1142

Awards

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Tagged:
2007 NLCS, 2007 NLDS1, 2007 NLDS2, 2007 World Series, Aaron Rowand, Albert Pujols, Alfonso Soriano, Aramis Ramirez, Barry Bonds, Brad Hawpe, Brandon Webb, Brian Fuentes, Carlos Beltran, Carlos Zambrano, Chase Utley, Chipper Jones, Chris Carpenter, Cole Hamels, Colorado Rockies, David Wright, Derrek Lee, Eric Byrnes, Garrett Atkins, Greg Maddux, Hanley Ramirez, Jake Peavy, Jeff Francis, Jim Edmonds, Jimmy Rollins, Jose Reyes, Jose Valverde, Manuel Corpas, Mark Mulder, Matt Holliday, Miguel Cabrera, Pat Burrell, Philadelphia Phillies, Prince Fielder, Ryan Braun, Ryan Howard, Scott Rolen, Ted Lilly, Todd Helton, Tom Glavine, Trevor Hoffman, Troy Tulowitzki

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