For the fourth consecutive year the Philadelphia Phillies have clinched the National League East pennant. This comes after trailing by seven games earlier in the season.
In a season plagued with injuries where every starting position player went on the disabled list, it seemed improbable that the Phillies were a championship-contending team; however, the mid-season call-ups and bech players stepped up and filled the roles nearly to perfection.
Wilson Valdez stepped up nicely while both Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins were injured this season. Not only did Valdez deliver a solid defense but he also brought the lumber. While batting .257, Valdez gained 84 hits bringing in 33 runs.
Greg Dobbs, Ben Fransisco, Cody Ransom, Brian Schneider, Paul Hoover, and Mike Sweeney. These are all names that you would think of first when thinking of Phillies players. Nonetheless, all of these players contributed to the team's success by coming off of the bench or filling in for an injured starter.,
Another contributor to the late success of the Phillies is Dominic Brown, Once named the top prospect in all of baseball, Brown finally got his call to the big leagues due to an injury to centerfielder, Shane Victorino. In Brown's 31 games he racked up an average of .211 while belting two monsterous home runs.
But despite having the number one prospect in all of baseball playing in the organization, the big story for the Phils this year was pitching. The offseason addition of pitcher Roy Halladay was the greatest acquisiton in baseball.
Not only did Halladay toss a complete game shutout to clinch the division, but he also became the first Phillies pitcher to win 20 games in a season since Steve Carlton accomplished the feat 24 years ago. To top off this amazing season, the southpaw also threw nine complete games, three of which were shutouts, as well as a no-hitter.
It would seem that behind solid pitching of Halladay, Cole Hamels and Roy Oswalt that the Phillies could be an unstopable force in the playoffs. As long as everyone stays heathy and continues playing the way they have been lately, there could be a repeat trip to the World Series.