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Champions of the Baseball World
It was a season-long battle between the Phillies, Mets, and Marlins.The Fish dropped out of it with a poor August leaving the Mets and Phillies at the top; entering September, the Mets at 76-61, held a one-game lead over the Phillies at 75-62. By September 10, the Mets, at 82-63, had stretched their lead to 3 ½ games as the Phillies faltered to 79-67.
The Phillies were even worse off in the Wild Card race at this date, trailing the Milwaukee Brewers by four. But a trick of the schedule had put the Brewers in Philadelphia for a four-game series. It was a chance for somebody to shine, and in the end the whole team did; Moyer, Hamels, Blanton, and Myers, all pitched well, especially Myers in the crucial fourth game with a complete game two-hitter; none of the games were close and the Phillies won all four to pull even with the Brewers and gain two games on the Mets. Ryan Howard and Shane Victorino had big hits.
The Phillies won 13 of their final 16 games to overtake and pass the fading Mets and win their second consecutive Eastern Division Championship. Ryan Howard had 11 home runs and 32 RBIs in the Phillies’ September rush to the title. For the season, Howard had 48 home runs and 148 RBIs, not good enough to be voted MVP; that honor went to Albert Pujols of the St. Louis Cardinals who had 37 homeruns and 116 RBIs for a 4th place team.
In the post season, the Phillies beat Milwaukee three games to one in the League Divisional Series, then turned back the LA Dodgers four games to one in the League Championship Series as Cole Hamels won two games and was voted LCS MVP. Brad Lidge saved three of the four wins.The highlight of the series was Matt Stairs’ pinch-hit game-winning home run at Dodger Stadium in game four.
The Phillies faced the American League Champion Tampa Bay Rays in the World’s Series – beat ‘em, too. But that’s another story.
When the season ended, Pat Gillick resigned as general manager and was replaced by Ruben Amaro, Jr.By max blue