Well, the regular season is over. A hint of fall is in the air, and this city is ready for it’s third straight dose of October baseball. Here are some notes regarding the postseason that I have gathered over the last week:
The Dodgers clinched the division last night with a 5-0 win over the Rockies. This means the Rockies will be the NL’s Wild Card entrant and play the Phillies in the NLDS.
The Phillies’ playoff schedule:
UPDATE: Times are as follows: Games 1 and 2: 2:37 p.m. Game 3: 9:37 p.m. Games 4 and 5 (if necessary): TBD.
J.C Romero will not be pitching in the NLDS or any of the playoffs for that matter. After seeking a medical second opinion, he has been shut down for the 2009 season/postseason. Said manager Charlie Manuel: “I’ve kind of known it all along [that Romero eventually would be shut down]. He’s been hurt. It seems like he always gets set back, set back whenever he pitches or tries to pitch. I knew there was going to come a day when it was one way or the other. I guess we got the other.”
Chan Ho Park will more than likely not pitch in the NLDS. There is still a possibility that he would pitch in the latter rounds of the postseason, if necessary. Said Park: “I’m still waiting for [Dr. Ciccotti, Phillies team physician]. I did an MRI in the morning [Friday]. It’s too bad. I had damn good stuff. I felt so good, my arm felt really strong.”
Kyle Kendrick, who a week ago seemed to be a long shot to make the postseason roster now looks like a likely possibility. Pitching coach Rich Dubee and Manuel continue to keep their lips sealed on who might make that 25-man roster, but Kendrick’s performance coupled with the loss of Jamie Moyer to torn tendons in his groin and abdomen likely mean he will make the roster.
The Rockies are having issues with the flu. They currently have multiple ill players. They also may have lost pitcher Jorge DeRosa to a groin injury last night.
Chase Utley looks dead out there. The Phillies all-star second baseman has had a rough September hitting just .193 (22-for-114) with only nine RBIs. He is hitless in his last 17 at-bats and is hitting .083 (3-for-36) with two RBIs in his last 10 games.
A detailed look at the Phils’ season series against Colorado:
Here’s a look at the season series (4-2 Phillies):April 10, at Colorado: Rockies 10, Phillies 3 (W- Jason Marquis; L- Cole Hamels) April 11, at Colorado: Phillies 8, Rockies 4 (W- Brett Myers; L- Jorge De La Rosa) April 12, at Colorado: Phillies 7, Rockies 5 (W- Ryan Madson; L- Street) Aug. 4, at Philadelphia: Rockies 8, Phillies 3 (W- Jason Hammel; L- Jamie Moyer) Aug. 5, at Philadelphia: Phillies 7, Rockies 0 (W- Happ; L- De La Rosa) Aug. 6, at Philadelphia: Phillies 3, Rockies 1 (W- Lee; L- Aaron Cook)
Four Phillies are hitting above .300 against Colorado this year: Chase Utley (.421, 8-for-19, 1 HR, 4 RBI); Jayson Werth (.391, 9-for-23, 2 HR, 8 RBI); Raul Ibanez (.304, 7-for-23, 1 HR, 2 RBI); Pedro Feliz (.350, 7-for-20, 1 HR, 5 RBI)
Three Rockies are hitting above .300 against the Phillies this season: Dexter Fowler (.429, 9-for-21, 1 HR, 3 RBI); Ryan Spillborghs (.348, 8-for-23, 0 HR, 3 RBI); Garrett Atkins (.304, 7-for-23, 3 HR, 8 RBI)
Manager Charlie Manuel:
On Chase Utley: “He gets worn down physically and mentally. He needs some rest.”
On Chan Ho Park: “Chan Ho, I don’t think, is going to make this first round — unless we get a miracle.”
On his closer in the playoffs: “”I’ve heard people talk. I’ve heard people say instead of using Brad use somebody else. But who else out there would you want on the mound if you were going to win or lose a game? Who would you want? Take your pick. I always get back to [Brad] Lidge. I’ve got [Ryan] Madson and Lidge in there. Madson probably would be the guy I would go to today to win the game. But there’s going to come a point where Lidge is going to have to pitch and do the job.”
On the bullpen: “I think Scott Eyre definitely could pitch on lefties. I think Brett Myers has all the experience in the world. If he can go, I think he can help us in the bullpen because he’s done that.”
On facing the Rockies: “I know on our team we think we kind of owe them something. And also [Rockies’ general manager] Danny O’Dowd , he was my former boss and he’s a good friend of mine, but man, I’d like to beat his [butt]. … I think we’ll be prepared. But I also think they’ll be prepared. They’ve got a lot of energy and they like to play. That’s why they’re where they at. That’s why they have the record they have since the first month of the season. They play like they love to play baseball, and they go out there to beat you.”
General Manager Ruben Amaro, Jr.:
On Chan Ho Park: “Right now it’s day-to-day. We’ll see how it goes. I can’t say whether I’m optimistic or pessimistic because you never know how he’ll heal over the next couple days. But I do know it’s unfortunate because he was throwing the ball real well. We’d love to have him.”
Hall of Fame closer Dennis Eckersley:
On Lidge and what he sees in his mechanics: “It’s not so much the violent delivery, but it’s the wildness of it all. It’s incredible that he had that run [last year] to begin with. It’s almost like it caught up with him. What’s been good for him is killing him right now. Everybody knows it. I’ve never really seen one year to the next like this. It’s been incredible. Is he capable of getting it back all of a sudden? Yeah, probably. But if I had been watching it all year long, I’d be scared to death.”
Rockies’ Manager Jim Tracy:
On playing the Phillies: “Going to Philadelphia, you know you are going to have to beat one of the best teams. Our guys are excited about that.”
The last time the Phillies were in Denver, Harry Kalas broadcast what would be his final game (April 12). He died the next day in Washington. The Phillies will return to Denver on Saturday.
The Dodgers will host the Cardinals in NLDS ‘B’. It will be interesting to see who TBS decides to give the prime-time games to.
The 25-man postseason roster is due Wednesday morning.
The Phillies have not announced their playoff broadcast schedule as of yet, but if last year was any indication, expect the duos of Tom McCarthy and Chris Wheeler/Scott Franzke and Larry Andersen to split time in the broadcast booth, with Gary Matthews to join Jim Jackson on the post-game program.
Jayson Werth fell one RBI short of 100 for the season. According to a clause in his contract, if Werth were to reach 100 RBIs the Phillies would owe him a $500,000 bonus. He was intentionally walked with a runner in scoring position by Fredi Gonzalez’s Marlins in the 10th inning of Sunday’s game.
Brad Lidge changed his intro music, dropping Drowning Pool’s Soldiers for Linkin Park’s No More Sorrow. “You know what?” said Lidge, “It’s probably time for a change. So I’ve got a new song and I had a good outing, so we’ll see.” He has been perfect since the change.
I will feature interviews with John R. Finger, Phillies beat writer for CSNPhilly.com and likely one other local media member. We will also host a round table featuring Tug Haines (TheFightins.com), Amanda Orr (Swing and a Long Drive), GM-Carson (We Should Be GMs), and Enrico Campitelli (The700Level.com)
Special thanks to the local beat writers- David Murphy, Todd Zolecki, Scott Lauber, Ryan Lawrence, Andy Martino, and John Finger or their outstanding coverage this season. Thanks also for the use of quotes through this piece and the entire season.