7 weeks ago the Phils were in serious trouble. They found themselves 7 games back of the Atlanta Braves with key players out of the lineup, and my Uncle from suburban “Hot”lanta thinking he heard the Fat Lady singin’!
Here we are on September 9th and the Phils are a 1/2 Game ahead of Atlanta in the NL East with their Opening Day starting lineup just about intake and their 3 Top Pitchers (Roy Holliday, Cole Hamels, Roy Oswalt) pitching extremely well. I’m NOT putting the Phils in the World Series just yet, but they are right where they want to be. History has shown that they know how to win this time of year.
Though the Phils have won 3 straight NL East Division titles and a World Series in 2008, I’d say this has been Charlie Manuel’s best year as a Manager. He’s had to alter his lineup countless times during the season, with stars Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, & Jimmy Rollins being out for significant stretches during the year. If I had a vote, he’d get my vote for Manager of the Year!
And what can you say about Carlos Ruiz?! Though I’d be stunned if he got even (1) vote for NL MVP, he has been the Phils’ MVP hands down! He got hot at the plate when the Phils needed him most and he’s done another tremendous job with the pitching staff. All while becoming one the of Phils most popular players.
21 games are left with all 7 series vs. NL East foes. 6 of those games will be with the Atlanta Braves, with the last 3 games of the season being played in Atlanta. I think it’s safe to say the “Playoffs” have already begun. The Phils need to finish strong if they want to have a shot to play in the World Series for a 3rd straight year seeking their 2nd Championship.
Let’s gear up for ANOTHER Red October!!!
Tom Glatz, Bucks County, PA
I’ve lived in the Greater Philadelphia Region my entire life and have been watching/following sports since I was 5 years old! I have grown to love all that is Philly sports – Phillies, Flyers, Sixers, Eagles, Big 5, Army-Navy, etc. I love talking and chatting sports with those who like or hate the Philly teams. I tell it like it is, whether in favor of our Phillies or in favor of those DAMN YANKEES! 😀