Thursday, August 20, 2009

Phillies corral Diamondbacks with sweep – postseason plans mailed!

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Season ticket holders are getting their postseason packages mailed to them this week. No better a time than this week really, as the Phillies have earned another sweep. The Diamondbacks are the owners of this sweep, and even though the team is made up of a lot of players that may not be household names, they are still a team that the Phillies have to go out there on the field and beat to gain their way into the playoffs and staying on top of the NL East.

The Phillies got win # 69 tonight, and how sweet it is, with the 53rd sellout at home this year, which is a new record. In fact, every game that the Philles sellout towards the end of this season will set the new record for sellouts in a season. Figure the math, there are 81 home games, the Phillies could end up selling out 70 games or so this year. After tonight’s sweep of the Dbacks, the Philles only have 20 remaining home games in the regular season left to play.

It was hot and humid out there at the stadium tonight, there were constant panning of the crowd on tv showing them trying to fan themselves trying to get some air moving. Phillies radio announcer, Larry Anderson, said “I am sticking to myself, it’s so sticky out here”. This heavy air bode well for Phillies bats, as they unleashed their offensive juggernaut after only scoring one run with leaving the bases loaded at one point during the game. The hit parade started with who else but one of the hottest players in the past two weeks, Jason Werth, who hit a two run homer in the 5th inning. Ryan Howard has been heating up as well, he hit a homer which is his 32nd homer on the season with two men on base in the 6th inning.

The 12-3 win tonight brought the Phillies the home sweep, and now they head out onto the road to New York with 4 games against the Mets. This upcoming series with the Mets may have been a decisive series had the Mets been threatening for a playoff spot, but it looks as if the Mets may miss the postseason again. The Phillies still need to keep their focus on winning ballgames though, even in the next series that will be in Pittsburgh.

One thing the series with Arizona has done is limit the need for Brad Lidge to come out and save a game. The Phillies haven’t needed to much from Lidge for the past few games and that’s good, as he has been going through a really tough time for a closer. Lidge’s troubles have been pushed aside by Charlie Manuel but we all know it’s much deeper than that. Lidge has had troubles all year long, and he should be evaluated more objectively on the basis of his performance so far rather than just staying with him for any other reason.

Let’s see how the team does now that they will be on the road. It’s Cole Hamels turn again in the rotation, let’s hope the Phils still have that offense to give Hamels a much needed cushion for his next outing.

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