Before I even begin writing this, WOOOOOOOOHHOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! 5 STRAIGHT BABY!
Ok so now to the actual article, what the Phillies accomplished last night is something that about 8 years ago we would have never saw coming. The Phils clinched their 5th straight division title by winning 9-2 over the St Louis Cardinals. Raul Ibanez broke the game open in the bottom of the 8th with a grand slam that sent CBP into an absolute frenzy. That blast sealed the division for the Phils and the champagne was soon brought into the clubhouse and the plastic cover that we've grown so accustomed to seeing every September. The ending was perfect, a slow chopper and none other than Chase Utley, who the fans have showed so much support for over the years and especially this year, barehands the ball and throws it to Ryan Howard for the final out. The win was extra special for our beloved fan favorite right fielder Hunter Pence. After being with Houston, a team that had no hopes of making it to a post season whatsoever, he's traded to Philly, and now he'll be playing in the post season for the first time in his career. The Phils waited till Hunter got down to the clubhouse to start the party and you could tell Pence was enjoying every minute of it.
Now that the division is wrapped up, some players can get some much needed rest. AKA Ryan Howard who is expected to recieve a cortisone shot for the bursitis in his ankle/foot. The bullpen guys like Antonio Bastardo, Ryan Madson, and maybe Michael Stutes could also use some rest. The bullpen has unfortunately become a concern for the Phils lately as Bastardo doesn't look like the same pitcher he was earlier this year. The thing the Phils are gonna have to do though is, make sure players do get some rest, but they also don't take them out of their rhythm. Guys like Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins would probably benefit actually from playing most of the games down the stretch. Carlos Ruiz will also obviously not start as much with him being the catcher. But the Phils have time to make sure everybody gets some rest and make sure they don't get rusty.
Who would have thunk it eh? Phils fans, take a moment to remember the late 90's, I know, why would you want to remember those dreadful times, but just for a second. Look at how much this team has changed over the past decade and few years. It's amazing at how they turned it around, and as he would want, Jimmy Rollins is right in the middle of it. J-Roll and those 2001 Phillies pretty much started this run, that team gave some hope to the city that hey, maybe in a few years we can make it to the playoffs and fight for a World Series. Well 7 years later, after many new players had come over and come up through the minors, it happened. Now, just 3 years after the team's first World Series in 28 years, this Phillies team has all the pieces to win a title. More players have come over, the fans are selling out the park every game, there's a waiting list for Phils season tickets! We've come a long way from the late 90's. This, like the Phils players have said, is only the first step. They know this is a great accomplishment, but they also know the ultimate goal is to bring another title to Philly. Congrats to the greatest Phils teams in the history of the franchise. LET'S GO PHILS!