The Phillies won the NL East Division crown with a convincing 6-1 victory over the Washington Nationals on the last day of the regular season as veteran lefthander Jamie Moyer pitched a clutch 5 1/3 innings giving up 1 run on 6 hits to win his 14th game of 2007. Amidst the chants of “MVP, MVP” which have reverberated throughout Citizens Bank Park for days, shortstop Jimmy Rollins went 2 for 3 with an RBI and his 20th triple which gave him 20 or over 20 in homers, doubles, triples and stolen bases, only the 4th player in MLB history to accomplish the feat.
Last year’s NL MVP Ryan Howard pounded his 47 homer of the season while going 3 for 4 with 3 RBIs to bring his league-leading total to 136 RBIs.
The Phillies bullpen trio of Tom Gordon, J.C. Romero and closer Brett Myers were once again air-tight and the Phils’ offense executed bunts, steals and sacrifices to perfection. The Phils were not to be denied in 2007.
Meanwhile, in New York, veteran lefthander Tom Glavine lasted but 1 out in the 1st inning giving up 7 runs in the first frame to Florida. Although the Mets scored a single run in their half of the 1st inning and Dontrelle Willis chased himself by walking 5 Mets, the Met’s offense never got untracked as the Marlins used six pitchers to nail down the 8-1 win and completing the Mets’ monumental late-season dive which leaves them out of the playoffs entirely.
The Phillies opposition in the first round of the playoffs is as yet undetermined as the Milwaukee Brewers defeated the NL wild card leading San Diego Padres by an 11-6 score. The Padres have slid into a tie for the wild card lead with the Colorado Rockies who defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks by a 4-3 score. The playoffs will likely start on Wednesday, October 3, 2007.
In the 3rd frame, Howard stepped up with the sacks jammed and smacked a two-run single to rightfield off of Bergmann to put the Phils up 3-0 after 3 innings.
In the meantime, Jamie Moyer retired 9 of the first 10 hiters he faced, only giving up a one out 1st inning double to 2nd baseman Ronnie Belliard.
Thing went a little awry for the Phillies as Belliard led off being
safe at first on third baseman Greg Dobbs’ hurried throwing error. 3rd baseman Ryan Zimmerman followed by striking out looking. 1st baseman Dmitri Young grounded out to third with Belliard advancing to 2nd base. Rightfielder Austin Kearns singled to leftfield scoring Belliard and advancing to second on leftfielder Pat Burrell’s throw home. Luckily, Moyer escaped further damage when leftfielder Wily Mo Pena struck out to retire the side.
Moyer handled the Nationals in the 5th inning, even though catcher Carlos Ruiz was hit by a pitch thrown from Nationals reliever Jonathan Albaladejo, thus causing a change in Moyer’s battery-mate to Chris Coste. But after Belliard and Dmitri Young both singled in the 6th inning with one out, Manuel lifted Moyer for Tom Gordon who got Kearn to ground into a second to first doubleplay to end the inning.
The Phillies added two insurance runs to their lead in the 6th inning
as Burrell led off with a walk off of Saul Rivera and was replaced by pinch runner, leftfielder Michael Bourn. Chris Coste was hit by a pitch. New 3rd baseman Abraham Nunez laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt along the 3rd base line which moved Bourn to 3rd base and Coste to 2nd base. Tadahito Iguchi, who the Phils acquired after Chase Utley went down and who performed brilliantly replacing Utley at 2nd base, then hit for Tom Gordon and lofted a sacrifice fly to right centerfield to score Bourn and move Coste to 3rd base. Then Rollins smacked his 20th triple to rightfield scoring Coste with the 5th Phillies run.
Howard’s 7th inning belt off of reliever Mike Bacsik was icing on the Phillies cake as J.C. Romero and Myers were awesome and the team was pumped seeing the Mets down by 8-1.
For the scores, boxscores and recaps on these and all of Sunday’s games, click here.