We all hoped for a repeat of last year, when the Phillies went all the way to win the second World Series Championship in 125 years of the existence of the Philadelphia Phillies baseball team. This year’s team in 2009 pushed the Series to a Game 6 in a World Series game for the first time in 6 years but they came up just short of winning it all. There had been other World Championships in Philadelphia by the long forgotten, Philadelphia A’s baseball team. The Philadelphia Athletics won the World Series many times, 5 to be exact, from 1905 to 1932. The old Athletics had been in 8 World Series during that same time. So the city of Philadelphia did have championship teams just not the Phillies baseball team until 1980 and again last year in 2008.
The Phillies first had to make it into the postseason this year to have a chance at the World Championship again. They did that, after 162 games the team finished in first place with a record of 93-69. The regular season saw a lot of pitching problems, the starting staff was often near the bottom of the National League in several categories. The team had a core 5 man rotation started out in the 2009 season of Joe Blanton, Cole Hamels, Brett Myers, Jamie Moyer, and Chan Ho Park. As the season progressed, we saw some starts by Antonio Bastardo and then Rodrigo Lopez and then J.A. Happ, after it became apparent that Brett Myers who was injured and Chan Ho Park weren’t getting the job done and by May 19th, Chan Ho had lost his starters spot. In seven starts on the season Park was 1-1 with a 7.29 era.
The 2009 starts by Phillies pitchers:
|7||RP||Chan Ho Park||3||3||.500||4.43||45||7||83.1||84||43||41||5||33||73|
|Rank in 16 NL teams||2||15||4||12||6||6||15||2||9|
It was surprising to many that Chan Ho even made the starters spot out of Spring Training. He did have a good Spring though, and that sealed his spot in the rotation as the coaches and GM Ruben Amaro thought that he had the stuff to be a quality starter. His role over the last few years prior to coming to the Phillies was as a reliever though in 54 game appearances for the LA Dodgers, he only started 5 games in 2008 for them. Park then moved to the Phillies bullpen after being relieved of his duties as a starter and seemed to be much more effective for the team. Other Phillies pitchers had their own problems as well during the season and at the trade deadline, the Phillies added some pitching firepower to the lineup in the form of Cliff Lee and to much surprise, Pedro Martinez. Prior to these pitching acquisitions in late July, the Phillies postseason chances looked grim into the end of June as the team went on to have one of the worst months ever losing many games in interleague play. The Phillies were 11-15 for June in 2009, they had scored 124 runs against their opponents, and the opponents scored 124 runs against them but somehow the Phillies ended up on the losing end of June really badly. To their credit, they turned it all around and had a 20-7 July this year. July has to be the month that solidified their chances to finish first in the division and go into the postseason.
Here’s the Phillies record month by month in 2009
The Phillies record in Interleague Play in 2009
|Record||Runs Scored / Runs Against/ WP|
|6-12||84 / 99 / .333|
This year the Phillies also lost one of the most loved people that travelled with and was a member of the Phillies family. Harry Kalas passed away early into the season and the players never forgot him, as it was mentioned in the World Series telecasts that the team even brought along Harry’s light blue blazer and white leathers loafers with the team on every game of the season. The picture of this on television was a living tribute still to the man who everyone on the team respected as ‘one of their own.’ The patch that the Phillies wore on their uniforms spelled “HK” and the team wanted to win it all for Harry again.
Part 2 continues during this coming week ....