This will be like the post I made last year after the Phillies won the NL Championship. I could get used to doing this every year. I'm writing this on Tuesday night hoping, with a few edits, I can post it Wednesday night. Go Phillies!
Jimmy Rollins - Shortstop: I noted last year that Jimmy didn't have as good a year in 2008 as he did in his 2007 MVP season. I hate to report that 2009 wasn't as good as 2008. His BA dropped from .277 to .250 and his on-base percentage dropped from .344 to .296. Neither good trends for a lead-off hitter. In fact, he was dropped from the lead-off spot for part of the season. His home runs increased from 11 to 21, but you're not paying Rollins to hit home runs. Defensively he had a great year. But he was in the lead-off spot in all the games of the playoffs. And he had that huge hit in Game 4 of the NLCS to win the game.
Shane Victorino - Outfield: Shane had another fine regular season and another great post season. As usual he was in the thick of all the action.
Chase Utley - 2nd Base: Chase had a typical Chase Utley regular season, appearing in his 4th straight All-Star Game. In the NLDS, he hit .429. He did have costly errors in both series which factored into both games the Phillies lost. He's still the premier 2nd baseman in the National League.
Ryan Howard - 1st Base: I don't know what more can be said about Ryan Howard. His performance in this post-season has been phenomenal, with 2 HR, 14 RBIs and a .380 BA. He has surpassed Mike Schmidt for most RBIs by a Phillie in the post-season. If they named an MVP for the NLDS it would have to been him. And he was named the MVP of the NLCS!
Jayson Werth - Outfield: Jayson hit 36 home runs in the regular season, a career high for him, 12 more than he had in 2008. He had some big hits in the NLDS although he was pretty cool in the NLCS, except for 2 big home runs in Game 5.
Rual Ibanez - Outfield: Rual was a free agent signing by the Phillies to replace Pat Burrell. For the first part of the regular season he was terrific. He got hurt and didn't come back as strong but still finished the season with 34 home runs. The fans love him, shouting "Ruaaaaaaal" when he comes up to bat.
Pedro Feliz - 3rd base: Pedro is probably the least heralded Phillie. He had a solid year at 3rd base. He hasn't been outstanding in the post season, but hasn't embarrassed himself either. A big home run in Game 5.
Carlos Ruiz - Catcher: Carlos is the surprise favorite this post season. While he shared the starting catcher with others in the regular season he was the starter for every post season game. He calls a great game and really performs offensively in the post season.
Cole Hamels - Pitcher: Cole was the darling of the post season last year but had a pretty disappointing 2009, going only 10-11. He hasn't been much of a factor in the post season either.
Cliff Lee - Pitcher: The Phillies acquired Lee from the Indians on August 1 for 4 prospects. This acquisition made the Phillies virtually a lock for the post season. Lee, last year's AL Cy Young Award winner was 7-4 with the Phillies. He is 2-0 in the post season with an ERA of 0.74.
Pedro Martinez - Pitcher: The Phillies signed Pedro on July 15, for a million bucks. This was a few weeks before they signed Lee and I think folks were pretty disappointed that Martinez was the best they could get. "I might surprise you, I might not," Martinez said. "It's going to be really fun to go find out." And it has been fun. He was 5-1 for the Phillies down the stretch and pitched a great 7 innings in Game 2 of the NLCS. He didn't get the win (in fact the Phillies lost 2-1) but that wasn't his fault.
Jamie Moyer - Pitcher: After going 16-7 in 2008 (one of the best years of his career) he was only 12-10 in 2009. And he was hurt for part of the season. And he got demoted to the bullpen when the Phillies acquired Lee. And he hasn't been much of a factor in the post-season. But he's still everybody's favorite 46-year-old pitcher.
Ryan Madson - Relief Pitcher: Madson was 5-5 for the Phillies this year with 10 saves. He had more oppotunities for wins and saves this year because of Brad Lidge's troubles. He hasn't been real effective in the post season, giving up 3 earned runs in 5 innings of work.
Brad Lidge - Closer: Much has been made of Brad's troubles in 2009. After a perfect season in 2008, almost anything would have been a disappointment in 2009. He only had 31 saves compared to 41 in 2008. But even more alarming he blew something like 11 saves and had an ERA of 7.21. But in the post season he has 3 saves and 1 win. Here's hoping he can carry on through the World Series.
Charlie Manual - Manager: If Charlie can hang around with the Phillies for a few more years (and with this team he should) he will go down as the best Phillies manager ever. He has a 447-363 record in 5 years with the Phillies. He is 4th on the all time win list for Phillies managers. Only Gene Mauch (1960-1968), Harry Wright (1884-1993) and Danny Ozark (1973-1979) have more wins. Only Ozark had a team comparable to today's Phillies. Charlie's team has won 89.4 games a year with him as manager, while Ozark's teams won 84.8. He's been looking like a genius so far in the post season. 2009 Manager of the Year?