Dynasty In The Making: H2O Leads Phillies to 4th Straight Division Title

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Dynasty In The Making: H2O Leads Phillies to 4th Straight Division Title
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

They trailed the Atlanta Braves by as many as seven games after the All-Star break. They had an extremely mediocre record of 48-46 on July 21.

Their hitting was terrible, their pitchers were struggling, and they couldn't stay healthy.

Despite three consecutive National League Eastern Division titles, two World Series appearances, and a world championship, the Phillies appeared to be done.

Think again.

Following 46 wins in their next 63 games, the Phillies captured their fourth consecutive National League East title.

Although they trailed the Braves by three games at the start of September, they won 20 of their next 23 games, including an 11-game winning streak, their longest in nearly 20 years.

Our starting three of Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels, and Roy Oswalt, known as H2O, have been practically unbeatable. In fact, they won 12 straight decisions to begin the month of September.

Halladay became the first Phillies pitcher to win 20 games since Steve Carlton in 1982.

His complete game shutout to clinch the division has likely locked up his second Cy Young award, which would make him the sixth pitcher to win the award in both leagues.

Cole Hamels turned in a consecutive scoreless innings streak that reached 25, while lowering his ERA from 4.05 on July 26 to 2.93 by Sept. 20.

Despite receiving extremely poor run support, Hamels (12-11) has regained the form which made him a dominant pitcher in the 2008 postseason.

Remember how good CC Sabathia was after the Milwaukee Brewers acquired him in the summer of 2008? That's almost how good Roy Oswalt has been.

After a loss in his Phillies debut, Oswalt has won his last seven decisions. His ERA? 1.76. Oswalt has a combined record of 13-13 this season, with a solid 2.80 ERA.

Heading into the postseason, the last thing I want to do is appear overconfident. But let's just say that the past few years, as well as the past few months, have made me extremely confident.

We went 7-2 against the National League in both the 2008 and the 2009 postseason. That's a combined record of 14-4 against the best the National League had to offer. We never trailed in any of the four series. Quite simply, we dominated.

I expect the same this season. Halladay has waited his whole life to pitch in the postseason. Hamels is a former NLCS and World Series Most Valuable Player. And Oswalt is undefeated in seven career postseason starts.

Pitching wins championships, and our Big Three is the best trio in franchise history. They're one of the best trios in the history of major league baseball. And they'll get their chance to show the world in October.  

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