Sunday, September 26, 2010

Hamels Implodes, Clinching NL East Must Happen On Road

Cincinnati Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips (4) slaps hands with teammate Ryan Hanigan (29) after hitting a 2-run home run against the San Diego Padres in the 6th inning during their MLB National League baseball game in San Diego, California September 26, 2010.    REUTERS/Mike Blake  (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)
 

Cincinnati Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips (4) slaps hands with teammate Ryan Hanigan (29) after hitting a 2-run home run against the San Diego Padres in the 6th inning during their MLB National League baseball game in San Diego, California September 26, 2010.    REUTERS/Mike Blake  (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)


Phillies Clinch 'Playoff' Spot Thanks To Reds



The champagne will still be cold. The party will still go on. It won't happen at Citizens Bank Park though, as the Phillies couldn't beat the Mets on Sunday in front of their hometown crowd. You could see that the Phils just didn't have it in them early on in the game.

 Cole Hamels looked rushed on the mound. He pitched dangerously, appeared angry and got caught. This was not the Cole Hamels that we've seen for the last half of the summer. It was like the pitcher who we saw in his last five starts didn't show up on Sunday in Philadelphia. Yes, the umpire seemed to be calling a terrible game for pitches. This wasn't good and Hamels ended up giving up 9 hits in just 4 innings pitched. Cole also sprinkled in 3 BB's and gave up 2 HR.

 From the 4th inning on wasn't too much better for the Phils. Chase Utley came through with a 3 run home run to right field to bring the Phillies close, but it just wasn't meant to be for the Phils to win this game for their last regular season home game. The magic of the winning streak has vanished, and this game appeared like many others that we've seen from this team, of not being able to overcome a deficit.

 The crowd didn't have that pop right from the first pitch either. There needed to be two things to happen today for the Phillies to clinch: the Braves had to lose to the Nationals and the Phillies had to win. When the score was flashed when the Braves had the lead, a cautious crowd clapped enthusiastically but that was brief. A few times during the game, the home town sellout crowd erupted into ferocious applause, but it didn't seem like the crowd that was there in 2007 when the Phillies won the NL East at home on the last day of the season.

 On Sunday night, it was determined that the Phillies will be in the playoffs. This was insured with a Reds win over the Padres. The Phillies will be no worse than the Wild Card. Of course if they lose this division that would not be good, although the odds are so against that happening.

 That's great news that the Phillies will be in the playoffs officially. Many fans have already thought that this was already decided anyway, but now it is official.

 The final games of the season are coming up. Six more games stand in the way of the postseason for the Phillies. Three games with the pesky Nationals, and three with the Braves. The weather may force a doubleheader with the Nats, as Monday appears to call for rain.

 

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