Season Preview: The Bullpen

When you think of the great baseball players, rarely does anyone ever mention a relief pitcher.  Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, Cy Young, Nolan Ryan, the list of all-time greats goes on and on.  But if you asked almost anyone, it would take a long, long time before a reliever is mentioned as one of the best players ever.  However, there may not be a more important, or underrated part of a team than the guys that come out of the bullpen.  Without them, everything that the starting pitchers and position players do is meaningless and as Phillies fans know, a good reliever can make all the difference in the world for a team, but a bad do some serious damage (see Lidge, Brad 2008 and 2009).  The Phillies seem to have realized this and, despite a strong performance from their relievers last year, went out and got some new players to assure that if a game is lost late this year, chances are it won’t be because of the bullpen. Continue reading

Phillies Clinch Fifth Straight NL East Title With the Help of a Raul Ibanez Grand Slam

Winning a division in Major League Baseball is not an easy feat.  Repeating as a division champion is even tougher, fending off teams that are hungry to get back to the post-season.  Threepeat?  With injuries, transactions and retirement, it’s nearly impossible.  Four championships?  Stop kidding yourself.  But to win five straight division championships is an absolutely insane thought, and something that’s even harder to put into effect.  It would take a core of incredible, young players, a bold general manager willing to improve the team, and an incredible pitching staff.  Luckily, the Phillies had all of those ingredients, and tonight they beat the Cardinals, clinching their fifth straight NL East title, just the first step in their quest for a world championship. Continue reading

Despite Questionable Managing Choices, Phillies Beat Mets 9-4

Sometimes, things are too good to be true.  Take the lottery as an example, though you may “win” hundreds of millions of dollars, the chance of you winning the lottery are slim to none, and even if you manage to win, more than half the winnings will be taken in taxes.  Though Tuesday’s Phillies game wasn’t nearly as drastic as winning the lottery, the 9-4 win had it’s flaws, some that could have been seriously harmful, and others that were easily avoidable. Continue reading

7th Inning Home Runs Boost Philles Over Padres for Fourth Straight Win

Coming into this weekend’s series with the San Diego Padres, nearly every analyst in the Philadelphia area said that if the Phillies wanted to win, they would need to do it early, because the Padres bullpen is absolutely unstoppable.  Though the Phillies found that to be true yesterday, today, the Padres bullpen was their Achilles Heel, allowing the Phillies to pull ahead in the 7th inning against reliever Chad Qualls. Continue reading

After Rocky Start, Phillies Comeback in the 8th and 9th to Beat the Cubs

In baseball, it seems like when it rains, it pours, and after yesterday’s five run loss today was a nearly perfect setup for everything to go wrong for the Phillies.  It wouldn’t be easy for the Cubs to beat the Phillies again, especially with Cliff Lee on the mound, but Lee had given up six runs in three starts coming into the game, so certainly anything was possible. Continue reading