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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Game 158: Phillies win NL East for third straight year (92-66)

Well, the Phillies are headed to the postseason after tonight's 10-3 victory over Houston. Pedro Martinez pitched 4 innings, allowing 3 runs on 84 pitches, while Kyle Kendrick earned the victory with 3 scoreless innings.

The Phillies actually clinched the NL East title before their game was over tonight, due to the Braves 5-4 loss to Florida. Since St. Louis lost tonight, the Phils are 2 games up on the Cardinals for the right to play Colorado in the first round. Because the Phillies have the tiebreaker over the Cardinals, their magic number to clinch home-field (and the right to play the Rockies) in the first round is now 2. The Phillies will almost certainly play the Rockies in round 1.

The Phils are 1 game behind LA right now, and San Diego currently holds a 4-0 lead over the Dodgers. If that lead holds up, the Phils will have a chance tomorrow to tie the Dodgers in the standings due to LA's off-day. The Dodgers have the tiebreaker over the Phils.

I suppose Charlie Manuel will rest many of his starters over the next four games, but it is important to also try to catch the Dodgers. The Phillies were undefeated at home during last year's postseason, and it would be a shame to see Paul Hoover and Eric Bruntlett responsible for the Phils' failing to earn the top NL spot. Hopefully the manager can find a nice mix of competitiveness and rest.

Tomorrow at 7:05 the Phils look to win the series against Houston as LHP Cliff Lee faces RHP Felipe Paulino.

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