2008 Philadelphia Phillies season


2008 Philadelphia Phillies season

MLB yearly infobox
name = Philadelphia Phillies
season = 2008
misc = NL East division champions

current league = National League
y1 = 1883
division = Eastern Division
y2 = 1969
Uniform
ballpark = Citizens Bank Park
y4 = 2004
city = Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
y5 = 1883
owners = Bill Giles
managers = Charlie Manuel
television = Comcast Sports Net
CN8
WPSG-TV (CW 57)
KYW-TV (CBS 3)
radio = WPHT 1210 AM
WUBA 1480 AM (Spanish)|

The mlby|2008 Philadelphia Phillies won the National League Eastern Division and reserved a spot in the 2008 National League Division Series by winning on September 27, 2008, the second to last game in the 2008 season. The franchise played in the postseason for two consecutive years for the first time since 1981. Charlie Manuel managed the team after signing a two-year contract extension in October mlby|2007.

In honor of the franchise's 125th anniversary of playing in Philadelphia, the team wore an alternate home uniform based on their 1948 uniforms for all day home games this season. Their interleague cap, a red-crowned cap with a blue bill, has been retired. [cite web|url=http://philadelphia.phillies.mlb.com/news/press_releases/press_release.jsp?ymd=20071129&content_id=2313590&vkey=pr_phi&fext=.jsp&c_id=phi|title=Phillies unveil new alternate home uniforms|date=2007-11-29|publisher=Philadelphia Phillies|accessdate=2008-07-22] Tom McCarthy also returned to the telecast booth after two years as a radio announcer for the New York Mets. [cite web|url=http://philadelphia.phillies.mlb.com/news/press_releases/press_release.jsp?ymd=20071127&content_id=2312400&vkey=pr_phi&fext=.jsp&c_id=phi|title=Tom McCarthy rejoins Phillies broadcast team|date=2007-11-27|publisher=Philadelphia Phillies|accessdate=2008-07-22]

Offseason

Players and coaches

Retentions

Charlie Manuel signed an extension to manage the Phillies for two more years. [cite web|url=http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20071009&content_id=2259158&vkey=ps2007news&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb&partnered=rss_mlb|title=Phillies extend Manuel's contract|last=Mandel|first=Ken|date=2007-10-09|publisher=Major League Baseball|accessdate=2008-07-22] All of the coaches from the 2007 division championship season were also retained. [cite web|url=http://philadelphia.about.com/od/phillies/a/phillies_2007a.htm|title=Philadelphia Phillies 2007 Season Preview|last=Fischer|first=John|publisher=About.com|accessdate=2008-07-22] [cite web|url=http://philadelphia.phillies.mlb.com/team/coaches.jsp?c_id=phi|title=Manager and Coaches|publisher=Philadelphia Phillies|accessdate=2008-07-22] However, Davey Lopes underwent treatment for cancer and had to be replaced on an interim basis in the early part of the season. [cite web|url=http://www.philly.com/inquirer/sports/20080304_Phillies_Notes__Davey_Lopes_set_for_cancer_surgery.html|title=Davey Lopes set for cancer surgery|last=Zolecki|first=Todd|date=2008-04-04|work=Philadelphia Inquirer|accessdate=2008-07-22]

The Phillies re-signed J. C. Romero to a new two-year contract after a dominating 2007.

Departures and arrivals

OF Michael Bourn and P Geoff Geary were traded to Houston for players,cite web|url=http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/transactions/index.jsp?c_id=phi&year=2007&month=11|title=Phillies transactions Nov 2007|publisher=Philadelphia Phillies|accessdate=2008-07-22] while OF Chris Roberson was traded to Baltimore for cash. P Brad Lidge and INF Eric Bruntlett were received in that trade from the Astros, while 3B Pedro Feliz,cite web|url=http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/transactions/index.jsp?c_id=phi&year=2008&month=1|title=Phillies transactions Jan 08|publisher=Philadelphia Phillies|accessdate=2008-07-22] OF Geoff Jenkins,cite web|url=http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/transactions/index.jsp?c_id=phi&year=2007&month=12|title=Phillies transactions Dec 2007|publisher=Philadelphia Phillies|accessdate=2008-07-22] and OF So Taguchi arrived as free agents.

Controversy with the Mets

On February 16, 2008, Mets center fielder Carlos Beltran made a statement regarding the upcoming 2008 season. He stated that, "Without Santana, we felt, as a team, that we had a chance to win in our division. With him now, I have no doubt that we're going to win in our division. I have no doubt in that. We've got what it takes. To Jimmy Rollins: We are the team to beat." Some Phillies made comments about Beltran's prediction although Rollins was surprised that Beltran would say such a thing because of Beltran's relative soft-spokenness.

Regular season

Monthly summaries

March/April

The Phillies opened the season against the Washington Nationals at home on March 31. Though they dropped their first three series 1–2 to the Nationals, the Cincinnati Reds and the New York Mets, the Phillies won their next two series against the Chicago Cubs and the Houston Astros.cite web|url=http://www.baseball-reference.com/pi/tgl.cgi?t=b&team=PHI&year=2008|title=PHI 2008 Batting Gamelogs|publisher=Baseball Reference|accessdate=2008-07-22] After dropping a second series to the Mets, the Phillies finished the month with 15 wins and 12 losses. They did not achieve a three-game sweep against any team in the opening month, nor were they swept. By winning at least one game in each series, the Phillies were able to achieve their first winning April in several seasons, and only their fourth since their last World Series appearance in by|1993.

With a batting average of .360 and his MLB-leading 11 home runs, Chase Utley paced the team's offense,cite web|url=http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/players/7072/splits;_ylt=Amw0Ga73r85mWsvTfPJ9LZ2FCLcF|title=Chase Utley - Philadelphia Phillies - Split Stats|publisher=Yahoo! Sports|accessdate=2008-07-22] followed closely by a resurgent Pat Burrell and his 25 runs batted in.cite web|url=http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/players/6375/splits;_ylt=Amw0Ga73r85mWsvTfPJ9LZ2FCLcF|title=Pat Burrell - Philadelphia Phillies - Split Stats|publisher=Yahoo!Sports|accessdate=2008-07-22] Though team speed was hampered by the loss of Shane Victorino and Jimmy Rollins to the disabled list,cite web|url=http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080429&content_id=2608774&vkey=news_phi&fext=.jsp&c_id=phi|title=Victorino activated from disabled list|last=Jasner|first=Andy|date=2008-04-29|publisher=Major League Baseball|accessdate=2008-07-22] cite web|url=http://philadelphia.phillies.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080420&content_id=2560595&vkey=news_phi&fext=.jsp&c_id=phi|title=Rollins placed on disabled list|last=Jasner|first=Andy|date=2008-04-20|publisher=Philadelphia Phillies|accessdate=2008-07-22] the latter for the first time in his career, the Phillies still pushed forward to a 15–13 record. The pitching rotation was led by ace Cole Hamels, who led the team in wins (3), ERA (2.70), and innings pitched (43⅓).cite web|url=http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/players/7509/splits;_ylt=Amw0Ga73r85mWsvTfPJ9LZ2FCLcF|title=Cole Hamels - Philadelphia Phillies - Split Statistics|publisher=Yahoo! Sports|accessdate=2008-07-22] Reliever J. C. Romero and new closer Brad Lidge both went the entire month without sacrificing a single run, over 12⅓ and 11 innings respectively. [cite web|url=http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/players/6363/splits;_ylt=Amw0Ga73r85mWsvTfPJ9LZ2FCLcF|title=J. C. Romero - Philadelphia Phillies - Split Statistics|publisher=Yahoo! Sports|accessdate=2008-07-22] [cite web|url=http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/players/6913/splits;_ylt=Amw0Ga73r85mWsvTfPJ9LZ2FCLcF|title=Brad Lidge - Philadelphia Phillies - Split Statistics|publisher=Yahoo! Sports|accessdate=2008-07-22]

May

The Phillies did not achieve their first three-game series sweep until almost the end of May, taking two from the San Francisco Giants, the Arizona Diamondbacks (splitting the series 2–2), the Atlanta Braves, and the Nationals, and dropping two to the Giants, the Toronto Blue Jays, and the Astros. However, the Phillies' first sweep was achieved in dramatic fashion, as the offense broke out for 60 runs in 5 games, including a 20–5 win over the Colorado Rockies.

Though several fill-in players, including Brad Harman and T.J. Bohn, substituted during Victorino's and Rollins' absence, none was more valuable to the team during May than Jayson Werth. Expected to be primarily a platoon player coming into the season, Werth showed positive form. While Utley slowed down, Werth had a game with three home runs [cite web|url=http://articles.latimes.com/2008/may/17/sports/sp-ilroundup17|title=Jayson Werth hits three home runs in Phillies’ 10-3 win over Blue Jays|date=2008-05-17|publisher=Los Angeles Times|accessdate=2008-09-06] and stole four bases in the month.cite web|url=http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/players/6423/splits;_ylt=Amw0Ga73r85mWsvTfPJ9LZ2FCLcF|title=Jayson Werth - Philadelphia Phillies - Split Statistics|publisher=Yahoo! Sports|accessdate=2008-07-22] However, as Rollins and Victorino returned, Werth was lost to the disabled list. [cite web|url=http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/wire?section=mlb&id=3411095|title=Werth placed on disabled list|date=2008-05-24|work=ESPN|publisher=Associated Press|accessdate=2008-07-22] Ryan Howard broke out of his early-season slump, hitting .245 in May, nearly an 80 point increase from his average in April, and slugging ten home runs.cite web|url=http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/players/7437/splits;_ylt=Amw0Ga73r85mWsvTfPJ9LZ2FCLcF|title=Ryan Howard - Philadelphia Phillies - Split Statistics|publisher=Yahoo! Sports|accessdate=2008-07-22] Hometown pitcher Jamie Moyer also became the sixth pitcher in Major League Baseball history to defeat all 30 teams in the league on May 26 in a 20–5 Phillies win over Colorado. [ [http://mlb.mlb.com/news/gameday_recap.jsp?ymd=20080526&content_id=2776620&vkey=recap&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb The Official Site of Major League Baseball: News: Major League Baseball News ] ]

June

June was a tale of two halves for the Phillies,as they started June with a strong combination of offense and pitching. From May 26 to June 13, the team posted a 14–4 record, starting their run with a 15–6 win over the Astros and ended with a 20–2 win over the Cardinals, as their record reached a first-half high of 13 games over .500 at 41–28. However, the offense took a downturn as the Phillies pitchers began to sacrifice more runs in the latter part of the month. The Phillies went 3–11 over the remainder of June, with the pitchers allowing an average of 4.79 runs per game, to the offense's 3.36 runs scored per game. This was punctuated by a season-high 6-game losing streak. The poor records coincided with the Phillies' stretch of interleague play for 2008, as they were swept by the Angels, and lost their series with the Red Sox, A's, and Rangers, in addition to dropping two NL series against the Cardinals and Marlins. While Hamels and Kyle Kendrick each managed to post a 3–1 record in the rotation,cite web|url=http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/players/8053/splits;_ylt=Amw0Ga73r85mWsvTfPJ9LZ2FCLcF|title=Kyle Kendrick - Philadelphia Phillies - Split Statistics|publisher=Yahoo! Sports|accessdate=2008-07-22] the other starters (Moyer, Adam Eaton, and Brett Myers) were not so lucky.cite web|url=http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/players/3932/splits;_ylt=Amw0Ga73r85mWsvTfPJ9LZ2FCLcF|title=Jamie Moyer - Philadelphia Phillies - Split Statistics|publisher=Yahoo! Sports|accessdate=2008-07-22] cite web|url=http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/players/6484/splits;_ylt=Amw0Ga73r85mWsvTfPJ9LZ2FCLcF|title=Adam Eaton - Philadelphia Phillies - Split Statistics|publisher=Yahoo! Sports|accessdate=2008-07-22] cite web|url=http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/players/6864/splits;_ylt=Amw0Ga73r85mWsvTfPJ9LZ2FCLcF|title=Brett Myers - Philadelphia Phillies - Split Statistics|publisher=Yahoo! Sports|accessdate=2008-07-22] Myers' poor performance received arguably the most scrutiny, based on management's decision to move him back to the rotation from the bullpen after the 2007 season. [cite web|url=http://philadelphia.phillies.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080629&content_id=3031406&vkey=news_phi&fext=.jsp&c_id=phi|title=No decision from Phils on Myers' status|last=Mandel|first=Ken|date=2008-06-29|publisher=Philadelphia Phillies|accessdate=2008-06-30] Myers would eventually accept an option to Triple-A to work on his mechanical issues and confidence.cite web|url=http://philadelphia.phillies.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080701&content_id=3041318&fext=.jsp&c_id=phi&vkey=news_phi|title=Phils option scuffling Myers to Triple-A|last=Lavner|first=Ryan|date=2008-07-01|publisher=Philadelphia Phillies|accessdate=2008-07-22]

July

July began with the announcement that Chase Utley and Brad Lidge would represent the team at the 2008 Major League Baseball All-Star Game, [cite web|url=http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/events/all_star/y2008/roster_league.jsp|title=2008 All-Star Game: Rosters by League|publisher=Major League Baseball|accessdate=2008-07-15] with Utley garnering the most votes of all National League players. [cite web|url=http://www.sportsline.com/mlb/allstar/voting|title=MLB Baseball - CBSSports.com (All-Star Game)|publisher=CBS|accessdate=2008-07-15] Pat Burrell was also selected as a "Final Vote" candidate, [cite web|url=http://mlb.mlb.com/news/press_releases/press_release.jsp?ymd=20080707&content_id=3085604&vkey=pr_mlbcom&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb|title=Monster 2008 All-Star Game Final Vote underway only on MLB.com|publisher=Major League Baseball|accessdate=2008-07-15] but lost out on the opportunity for his first All-Star appearance to Milwaukee outfielder Corey Hart. [cite web|url=http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/mets/2008/07/10/2008-07-10_david_wright_finishes_second_to_corey_ha.html|title=David Wright finishes second to Corey Hart in All-Star Game Final Vote tally|last=Ackert|first=Kristie|date=2008-07-10|work=New York Daily News|accessdate=2008-07-15] The Phillies went 8–5 in July before the All-Star break, compiling a four-game win streak, a four-game losing streak, and winning four of their last five. The team posted a sweep of the Braves, a series loss to the Mets, and series wins over the Cardinals and the Diamondbacks.cite web|url=http://philadelphia.phillies.mlb.com/schedule/index.jsp?c_id=phi|title=2008 Phillies Schedule|publisher=Philadelphia Phillies|accessdate=2008-07-15]

In a move to bolster their starting rotation in preparation for the pennant race, the Phillies traded three minor league players, including second baseman Adrian Cardenas, pitcher Josh Outman, and outfielder Matthew Spencer to the Athletics for starting pitcher Joe Blanton on July 17. [cite web|url=http://philadelphia.phillies.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080717&content_id=3145193&vkey=news_phi&fext=.jsp&c_id=phi|title=Phillies land workshorse Blanton|publisher=Philadelphia Phillies|accessdate=2008-07-18] The move would prove necessary, as Blanton's start was the only game of their next series against the Mets that the Phillies would win, with the bullpen earning the victory (Chad Durbin) or suffering the loss (Ryan Madson and Romero) in each game of the series. [cite web|url=http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2008_07_22_phimlb_nynmlb_1&mode=gameday|title=Gameday|date=2008-07-22|publisher=Major League Baseball|accessdate=2008-07-24] [cite web|url=http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2008_07_23_phimlb_nynmlb_1&mode=gameday|title=Gameday|date=2008-07-23|publisher=Major League Baseball|accessdate=2008-07-24] [cite web|url=http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2008_07_24_phimlb_nynmlb_1&mode=gameday|title=Gameday|date=2008-07-24|publisher=Major League Baseball|accessdate=2008-07-24] The Phillies managed to go 7–5 after the All-Star break within their own division, dropping series to the Marlins and Mets, but besting the Braves and sweeping the Nationals. Brad Lidge posted a save in six straight Phillies wins, and the team ended the month on a five-game winning streak, with a final record of 15–10.cite web|url=http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/PHI/2008_sched.shtml|title=2008 Philadelphia Phillies Schedule, Box Scores and Splits|publisher=Baseball Reference|accessdate=2008-08-01]

August

The Phillies opened August by taking two of three from the Cardinals, though they followed that by dropping a series to the Marlins. On August 7, the Phillies acquired left-handed reliever Scott Eyre from the Cubs. [cite web|url=http://philadelphia.phillies.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080807&content_id=3269502&vkey=news_phi&fext=.jsp&c_id=phi|title=Phillies acquire reliever Eyre from Cubs|last=Mandel|first=Ken|date=2008-08-07|publisher=Philadelphia Phillies|accessdate=2008-08-07] After taking two of three from the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Phillies went west for their first trip to Dodger Stadium, dropping three consecutive games to the Los Angeles Dodgers. The first game saw the team sacrifice a 7-run lead that they could not overcome, and the second two of the series were both blown by the bullpen. The Dodgers' sweep in Los Angeles was completed as the Phillies dropped the last game of the series, leaving them out of first place in the division. However, the Phillies struck back, taking two of three from both the Padres and the Nationals, and completing a revenge sweep of the Dodgers at Citizens Bank Park. The following evening, the Phillies saw starter Jamie Moyer give up seven runs over the first three innings of their game against the Mets, only to make up that deficit, scoring the tying run in the ninth; catcher Chris Coste capped the comeback by going four-for-four coming off of the bench and driving in the winning run with a bases-loaded single to deep center in the bottom of the 13th inning. They ended up splitting the short series with the Mets and the next four-game series against the Cubs to close out the "dog days" of summer.

eptember

With a nearly-full slate of division rivals in the final month, the Phillies opened poorly, dropping series to the Nationals and Marlins, with a 2–1 series win over division leaders New York between the two losses.cite web|url=http://philadelphia.phillies.mlb.com/schedule/index.jsp?c_id=phi&m=9&y=2008|title=2008 Phillies Schedule|publisher=Philadelphia Phillies|accessdate=2008-09-15] They roared back into contention, however, on the back of strong pitching, sweeping the Brewers over a four-game set while allowing only eight runs. Brett Myers' return to the rotation in late July bolstered the strength of the Phillies' starters toward the end of the season; he carried a 7–2 record and a 1.80 ERA into the beginning of September. Taking their winning ways south to Atlanta, the Phillies completed a series sweep of the Braves; the Phillies also swept the Braves at Turner Field for the season and handed the Braves franchise its first 9-game home losing streak against a single team since 1909. [cite news |first=Todd |last=Zolecki |title=Burrell homers as Phillies sweep |url=http://www.philly.com/inquirer/sports/28642739.html |work=Philadelphia Inquirer |date=2008-09-19 |accessdate=2008-09-23 ] With an 8–4 win over the Washington Nationals on September 26, the Phillies secured their first 90-win season since 1993. [cite news |first= Ken|last= Mandel|title= Phils trim NL East magic number to one|url= http://philadelphia.phillies.mlb.com/news/gameday_recap.jsp?ymd=20080926&content_id=3553733&vkey=recap&fext=.jsp&c_id=phi|publisher= Philadelphia Phillies|date= 2008-09-27|accessdate=2008-09-27] The next day, the Phillies clinched the NL East Division title for the second consecutive season, beating the Nationals by a score of 4–3. [cite news |first= Gene|last= Cherry|coauthors= Ed Osmond|title= Phillies claim NL East but wildcard spot up for grabs|url= http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSTRE48R09620080928?sp=true|publisher= Reuters|date= 2008-09-28|accessdate=2008-09-28] Jamie Moyer contributed a one-run, six-hit performance over six innings and Jayson Werth led off the fifth inning with a home run. They won the division title as Brad Lidge earned his 41st consecutive save on a game-ending double play. [cite news |first= Ken|last= Mandel|title= Phillies repeat as NL East champions|url= http://mlb.mlb.com/news/gameday_recap.jsp?ymd=20080927&content_id=3560062&vkey=recap&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb|publisher= MLB.com|date= 2008-09-27|accessdate=2008-09-27] Having gone an entire season without losing a save opportunity, Lidge was rewarded as 2008's National League Comeback Player of the Year. [cite web|url=http://philadelphia.phillies.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080930&content_id=3574728&vkey=news_phi&fext=.jsp&c_id=phi|title=Lidge nabs NL Comeback honors|last=Mandel|first=Ken|date=2008-09-30|work=MLB.com|publisher=Major League Baseball|accessdate=2008-09-30]


=Season standings [cite web|url=http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/standings/index.jsp|title=Regular Season Standings|publisher=Major League Baseball|accessdate=2008-07-22] =

Record vs. opponents


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