Phillies Going to the World Series

picture by: Yong Kim (philly.com)

The Philadelphia Phillies are going to the World Series.

I will repeat since it sounds so surreal….. THE PHILLIES ARE GOING TO THE WORLD SERIES!!!!! The Phillies beat the Dodgers 4 games to 1 in the NLCS to advance to the Fall Classic for the first time since 1993.

Kotite’s Corner would like to extend a congratulations to all the players,and managers of the 2008 Phillies, and to us, the fans, for helping this team all year, and being the best fans of any city in the world.
The Phillies are a true team, and are getting contributions from everyone on the team. The players really seem to like each other, and are excited to see someone come through and get the big hit, no matter who it is.

Jimmy Rollins got the team going with a lead-off home run in Game 5, the same way he hit a lead-off home run in Game 4 of the Milwaukee series. He really is a great catalyst when he is playing well. Shane Victorino has been great in this postseason, making every play in the outfield, and coming up with clutch hits. Victorino already has the Phillies record for RBI’s in a postseason, and he still has more games to play. Chase Utley has been solid all-around, especially against the Dodgers. A lot of questions surrounded Utley, as he struggled in the playoffs last season,and against the Brewers. However, he has come through against the Dodgers,and made two unbelievable diving plays in the field in Games 4 and 5. Ryan Howard, who really struggled in the first three games against the Dodgers,came on big in Games 4 and 5, and had five hits in those two games, and drive in a couple big runs. Pat Burrell has also been solid, with three home runs this postseason, and a very good batting average in both series’thus far. Jayson Werth has played well, and had a big homer in the clinching game against Milwaukee. He is a threat whether he is batting 2nd or 6th. Pedro Feliz has been solid at 3rd base, and made a big play to retire Manny Ramirez in Game 5. Carlos Ruiz is always solid behind the plate, but really picked up his offense against the Dodgers. Ruiz calls great game, and Lidge loves pitching to him in the 9th.

The pitching staff has been amazing and really gotten the Phils here. NLCS MVP Cole Hamels is 3-0 this postseason and has looked like a true ace.Brett Myers is 2-0 and has done a great job in the 2nd spot in the rotation this postseason. He has even shown the ability at the plate. Jamie Moyer has struggled, but most certainly will be counted on in the World Series,and being the veteran that he is, I am confident he will be able to bounce back and contribute however he is asked. Joe Blanton has been solid as the#4 starter, and has still yet to lose as a Phillie, in the regular season,or playoffs.

Just like the starting pitching, the bullpen has been great. Ryan Madson has looked better than he ever has in this postseason, hitting 97 MPH on the radar gun. J.C. Romero, Chad Durbin, and Scott Eyre have also done a good job proving a “bridge to Lidge.” Once Brad Lidge enters the game in the 9th (or 8th) it has been Lights Out. Lidge has yet to blow a save all season, and has continued that in the postseason. He even got his first 4out save of the season in Game 4 against the Dodgers.

The bench has been a solid part of this team, and will need to come up in the World Series if asked upon. Greg Dobbs, who gets a lot of starts at3rd, is the best pinch hitter in the game. He is a great asset to have offensively whether he starts at 3rd, or comes off the bench. We all know what Matt Stairs did in Game 4 against the Dodgers, a huge home run, the first postseason home run of his career could not have come at a bettertime. Eric Bruntlett has come in to replace Pat Burrell defensively, and always does well in left field when asked. Geoff Jenkins is a true teammate, always one of the first to congratulate everybody else, and is a veteran who deserves every moment of this. He will be asked to come through in the World Series with some pinch hits.

The managing has been solid. Charlie Manuel continues to keep the players loose, and the players seem to love playing for Manuel. You may argue that it doesn’t take too much to manage a baseball team, but give credit where credit is due. Manuel has made all the right moves in this postseason whether it be pinch hitting, or relief pitching or double switching.

Lots of credit again goes to the Phillies players, managers, and the fans.We are all in this together, enjoying every moment of it. We, as fans,want a championship so badly, and the fans around my age, who have never seen one, are championship starved. This Phillies team is a very likeable team, and extremely fun to watch. The World Series should be exciting.

Congratulations to the 2008 NL Champion Philadelphia Phillies!!!!!

The World Series will start Wednesday, October 22, against either the Rays or the Red Sox.

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