Oct 242010
Phillies RHP Roy Oswalt

Phillies RHP Roy Oswalt

October 24:

Philadelphia Phillies news and stories from the web…

Phillies may have been the better team but they failed in the clutch

October 24 Philadelphia Inquirer columnist John Gonzalez:

“In April 1906, a powerful earthquake devastated the Bay Area, reducing much of San Francisco to rubble. The fires that broke out as a result might have been even more devastating. The inferno raged for days and burned through huge sections of the city. When it was over, the town was a charred, smoldering mess – a blackened patch of scorched earth that left the survivors shocked and shattered as they tried to figure out what happened and how to move forward.

More than a century later, the Phillies and their fans are experiencing their own unexpected disaster. The plans for a third straight trip to the World Series, along with the hope of hosting another Broad Street parade, abruptly went up in flames on Saturday night. Philadelphia’s dreams were torched and turned to ashes when, once more, the Phillies failed to extinguish the inexplicably hot Giants. Philadelphia lost Game 6, 3-2, thanks in large part to Juan Uribe, who hit a soul-crushing eighth-inning home run into the right field stands to secure the National League Championship for the Giants.

There will be no celebration in Philadelphia this year. No talk of dynasty, either. That is the stark reality – one Phillies fans will have to live with for quite some time. You have to wonder how long the disappointment will linger.

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Curtains for Werth in Philly?

October 24 Wilmington News Journal:

 “As fate would have it, Jayson Werth’s last swing as a Phillie may have come in the on-deck circle, seconds before Ryan Howard was called out on strikes to end the Phils’ season.

If that borderline pitch were even a hair lower, Werth would have stepped to the plate with the game on the line and the bases loaded.

We’ll never know what Werth might have done, but soon enough we’ll know if he’s played his final game as a Phillie.

“He definitely likes playing here,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said after the excruciating 3-2 loss Saturday night at Citizens Bank Park. “He’s got a ton of talent.”

“I hope he stays because I love the way he plays,” said Delran, N.J., 13-year-old Zack Shontz, who wore his No. 28 Werth jersey to Saturday night’s game. “But I think it’s going to take big money.”

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Phils squander their chances

October 24 Camden Courier-Post:

“Really, it shouldn’t have been a surprise.

The Phillies kept squandering opportunities to score, never able to take over the game despite having every opportunity.

You knew it would come back to haunt them.

And sure enough, Juan Uribe hit the first pitch with two outs and no one on in the eighth inning, barely clearing the fence in right field.

That was all the Giants needed to end the Phillies’ season, sending them to a 3-2 loss Saturday night in Game 6 of the NLCS.

The offense couldn’t produce when it mattered most.

It was like this through much of the season, of course. But the Phillies’ pitching staff was good enough to pull out many of those games.

It wasn’t enough against a team that pitched just as well as the Phillies did, if not better.”

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Rollins flashes old form

October 24 Camden Courier-Post:

“Before the postseason began, Jimmy Rollins offered a warning. His hamstring had been sore for weeks, and he was certain he wouldn’t be 100 percent again until spring training.

If his work in Game 5 of the National League Championship Series is any indication, however, he might be a bit ahead of schedule.

After a single in the top of the seventh, Rollins swiped second base on a 1-1 count, then two pitches later stole third.

After that, manager Charlie Manuel knew his shortstop was feeling better.

“When he took off, the two bases that Jimmy stole showed me that he thinks that he is well and he can run,” Manuel said.

Manuel was convinced enough to return Rollins to the leadoff spot in the order for Saturday’s Game 6 — a position he hadn’t held since the opener of the division series.

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High hopes turn to frustration

October 24 Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Phil Sheridan:

“The four champagne bottles, Sharpie-scribbled relics from Korbel celebrations past, sat on the floor of the Phillies’ silent clubhouse. Across the way, the World Series-bound San Francisco Giants sprayed and guzzled and laughed and wore swim goggles to keep their eyes from burning.

It was the Phillies, though, who felt the real sting. The team with the best record in baseball and with the best pitching and the mightiest lineup had been eliminated by a pack of castoffs and characters. The Giants’ stunning, 3-2 win in Game 6 of the National League Championship Series Saturday night at Citizens Bank Park slammed a remarkable window of opportunity shut.

“We had the team to do it,” Phillies pitcher Roy Oswalt said. “We just fell short.”

It turns out Goliath hurts when he falls. And the Phillies, like it or not, are now Goliath. That is, along with their enormous payroll, the price the Phillies must pay for their new status as one of Major League Baseball’s most conspicuous Haves.

They reached the final four of their sport for the third consecutive year, and the overwhelming feeling is not satisfaction about one of the better seasons in franchise history. It is disappointment. It is disbelief.

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Oswalt was an escape artist in losing effort

October 24 Philadelphia Inquirer:

“That wasn’t a pitching rubber beneath Roy Oswalt’s feet.

That was a high wire.

It was a night of living dangerously for the Phillies’ starting pitcher in Game 6 of the National League Championship Series. The righthander seemed to teeter on the edge of disaster in nearly every inning, but he never lost his balance.

Oswalt worked six innings. He allowed two runs, one earned, on nine hits with no walks and five strikeouts.

It wasn’t a dominating performance like Oswalt’s work in Game 2, when he pitched eight innings and allowed just three hits with nine strikeouts.

Oswalt was more escape artist in Game 6. He pitched just one 1-2-3 inning, but he consistently managed to avoid big trouble.

Oswalt left the game with the score tied, 2-2. He didn’t shut down the Giants, but he put the Phillies in prime position to win and force Game 7.

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An imperfect ending to the Phillies’ season

October 24 Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Bob Ford:

“If you have to say goodbye to baseball for another year, and it appears you do, then bidding farewell at the end of a wonderful, wild and weird game is the way to go.

There’s nothing easy about giving up on the idea of a third straight World Series, or a second championship in that stretch, but the Phillies didn’t give up easily on their end of it, either.

At the end against the Giants on Saturday night, as they tried to survive in order to merely face another possible elimination the following day, the Phils were doing what they always do. They were trying to win and hating to lose, even though the trying wasn’t enough and the losing finally overtook them. It would be nice to add that they went down swinging, but that wasn’t quite the case.

So, that’s how it came to a sudden stop, even as this week’s forecast for the opening of the World Series sounded so perfect for October in Philadelphia. The Giants won the game, 3-2, and won the league championship series in six games, advancing to play against the Texas Rangers in a World Series that will be largely ignored by the viewing public.

It will certainly not hold much luster here.

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For Doc, losing worse than pitching in pain

October 23 Wilmington News Journal:

“Roy Halladay has spent too many Octobers away from the field. He wasn’t interested in going home early again this year.

Halladay pitched six innings and picked up the win in Game 5 in San Francisco on Thursday, pushing the National League Championship Series back to Philadelphia and keeping the Phillies alive for at least one more game.

And he did it all with a strained right groin that took life off his fastball and forced him to change his mechanics, but couldn’t force him from the game.

“He fought, and he battled, and he got us right to a pretty good place in the game,” manager Charlie Manuel said. “That definitely shows what type of person he is. He came here to win.”

The win was essential for the Phillies, but the effort may have cost Halladay any chance of making an appearance in a potential Game 7, should the Phillies need him out of the bullpen.

Manuel said Halladay was confident that in five days, he would be ready for Game 1 of the World Series. Before then, however, the Phillies will simply monitor Halladay’s progress.”

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