The Philly Way: NL East Champs!

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In words of Jimmy Rollins, they did it the Philly way. They did it, but it wasn't easy. Either way, the Phillies are the 2008 National League East Divison Champions.

It marked the second straight division title for the Phillies. It was the first times since 1981 the Phillies won back to back division titles.

It was deja vu all over for Jamie Moyer. He earned the win in the last game of the season in 2007 when the Phillies clinched, and again today when the Phillies clinched.

Moyer pitched 6 innings, allowed just one run on 6 hits, and one walk.

Two sacrifice flies by Pat Burrell and Carlos Ruiz accounted for the Phillies first two runs.

The Nationals moved to within a run when Anderson Hernandez doubled off Moyer. Jayson Werth also made a great catch, but dropped the ball as he banged into the fence.

Werth would get that run back on his next at-bat with a solo homerun that gave the Phillies a 3-1 lead.

In the 8th, Ryan Madson got into a jam. The first two runners reached base. Lastings Milledge hit a sacrifice fly which drove in the run. On the play, Jimmy Rollins made a terrific over the shoulder catch as he tripped over Shane Victorino who was coming in on the play. Victorino was down for a few minutes, but stayed in the game. As we later found out, it wasn't the best play of the game for JRoll, and Victorino seemed to be OK.

In the bottom half of the 8th inning, Victorino reached base on an infield single. Pedro Feliz followed with a gapper that scored Victorino from first base.

The extra run proved to be huge.

With Brad Lidge coming in for the 9th the game appeared to be over. But that was far off. At a perfect 40/40, Lidge almost blew his first save of the year.

Lidge started the inning with a strikeout to Emilio Bonafacio. Hernandez blooped a single with a runner on second to make it a 4-3 game. The bases would be loaded with just one out, and with Ryan Zimmerman due up.

Zimmerman grounded up the middle. The ball had eyes, but Rollins came up with a diving stop. He flipped the ball to Chase Utley, who finished off the double play by throwing it to Ryan Howard. Howard made the catch, raised his arms, a perfect 41/41, a heart attack, ballgame. National League East Division Champs.

The players rushed out to Jimmy Rollins to celebrate. Champagne and beer were poured over everybody. Unlike last year, the players wore goggles, learning from a rookie mistake.

Who the Phillies play in the NLDS is unknown. It will either be the Mets, Brewers or Dodgers. The Mets won today, and the Brewers loss, therefore the Wild Card is tied.

While the Mets and Brewers will have to use one of their best pitchers and position players, the Phillies can save some guys and allow some players to get an extra day of rest.

The celebration was quick. Players and fans were excited. However, it was not as intense as 2007. 2007 was the first time in 14 years the Phillies made the playoffs, therefore the celebration was absolutely nuts. In 2007, the players squirted fans with hoses, and used twice as much beer and champagne as this year.

The celebration was excited and intense by fans and players, but nothing matched the 2007 celebration. Corks were still popped, and beer was still poured over heads, and players rode police bikes around the stadium. The Phillies already had a taste of playoff experience, and know there is still unfinished business. The fans know it too. A World Series celebration would beat out both.


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