The Philadelphia Phillies put so much energy into winning the National League East Championship that they were not ready to compete in the actual playoffs. The three-game sweep by the Colorado Rockies spoiled Philadelphia’s post-season celebration.
Few expected a championship win from the Phils especially after injuries and losses that piled up during the regular season but it was much anticipated since the last NL East title in 1993. Although, it was the failure of the New York Mets that ultimately took Philadelphia to the playoffs.
According to ESPN.com, the Mets became the first team in Major League history to blow a seven-game lead. This allowed the Phillies to finish one game ahead in the standings, leading them to the playoffs instead of the Mets.
A party on the field after the final game at Citizen’s Bank Park was soon followed by a pep rally in downtown Philadelphia the next day. The celebration looked as if they had won the World Series.
The first championship in 14 years was a big accomplishment for the Phillies, however it all went downhill from there, as the Rockies’ pitching staff seemed unbeatable.
“We’re obviously all disappointed that we couldn’t make the season a little longer, but we’ve got to hold our heads high,” All-star Chase Utley said according to ESPN.com. “We battled through so much this year, we overcame a lot. We’re disappointed but we’ve got to put this behind.”
Looking ahead, the Phillies expect to be big competition for next year and do not wish to settle for just making it to the playoffs.
“I would hope that we have a lot more chances,” Howard said. “I would hope that everybody in here would expect to make it to the playoffs and not only have it as a team goal to make the playoffs, but to go on and win a World Series.”