Philadelphia Phillies, N.L. East Champs: What's Next?
PHILADELPHIA- The Phillies experienced a celebration for the ages a year ago Sunday, as the clinched the National League Eastern Division Title, for the first time since 1993.
This came on the heels of New York's collapse for the ages. The celebration Saturday, after they clinched for the second-straight year was not nearly as intense as the one a year ago.
This year, the Phillies showed maturity and shared a sense around the clubhouse: "Our work is not done yet."
Last year, the red hot Milwaukee Brewers swept the Fightin's in the NLDS. That is something the Phillies promise will not happen again. "We will not go three and out this year," said Phillies pitcher Brett Myers, who is slated to pitch Thursday against CC Sabathia.
With Sabathia pitching in Game Two, I cannot stress the importance of winning Game One. Though no one in the clubhouse will admit it, you can just sense the feeling that if the Phils don't win Game One, their season for the second-straight year will conclude with an NLDS loss.
One person the numbers don't speak for is Brad Lidge. He is a phenomenal 41-for-41 in save opportunities; however, each one on these saves hasn't been perfect. If it were not for a baserunning mistake by the Nationals, and a tremendous diving double-play from Rollins to Utley to Howard, the Phillies could possibly be sitting at home right now after the first blown save of the year by Lidge. The whole month has been a roller coaster during the ninth inning.
As I perused the field after Saturday's clincher, I saw Brad Lidge sitting down on the Comcast SportsNet Post-Game Show panel with Michael Barkann and the Wild-Thing himself, Mitch Williams. Seeing the two next to each other made me think, "Oh no, could this postseason be Joe Carter all over again?"
Pat Burrell left batting practice early on Tuesday, and as David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News reports, gingerly walked off the field. I was not at Citizens Bank Park today, but according to numerous sources, Burrell will be evaluated tomorrow and will definitely be included on the Phillies postseason roster, which is due at 10 AM on Wednesday.
NL MVP: Albert Pujols
AL MVP: Dustin Pedroia
NL LVP: Adam Eaton (again)
AL LVP: Kenji Johjima
NL Cy Young: CC Sabathia (Though Webb has over 20 wins, and Santana and Lincecum were great, no one has made a bigger contribution to his team than Sabathia.)
AL Cy Young: Cliff Lee
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