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Showing posts from October, 2010

Sunday School: Phillies History Lesson 78

Larry "LC" Christenson was a pitcher with the Phillies from 1973-1983. The right-handed Washington State native spent his entire career pitching for Philadelphia after being drafted by the Phils as the 3rd overall pick in the 1972 amateur draft. In his Major League debut on April 13, 1973, at age 19, Christenson hurled a complete game against the Metropolitans and came within 1 out of a shutout, until he tossed a wild pitch that plated New York's only run of the game. The Phillies won 7-1, earning Christenson his first big league victory, but much to the surprise of everyone, it would be LC's only win of the season. Christenson started just 8 more games for the Phillies that in 1973, before he was demoted back to the minors by June. The following off-season, Christenson would have elbow surgery to repair a nagging injury. By 1975, Christenson worked his way back to the Phillies' starting rotation. That season he won 11 games and posted a 3.67 ERA. He hurled 2 sh

Happy Halloween From the Phillies Broadcasters

The Philadelphia Phillies broadcast team would like to take this opportunity to wish all phans a happy Halloween weekend. Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab! Check me out as I join Tyrone Johnson on 97.3 ESPN's Weekend Sports Guide on Saturday around 1:15PM. We'll be wrapping up the Phillies' season. Listen online by clicking here . ________________________________________________________________

Arizona Fall League is Launching Pad for Stars

The Arizona Fall League is a place for aspiring Major Leaguers to go to work on their baseball skills in the Autumn months. As the weather begins to cool elsewhere, the diamond stays hot and for many of baseball's most promising young talents in Arizona. Rosters in the AFL are a mixture of different organizations' prospects, with each Major League club sending 7 players that combine to fill up the 35-man rosters of the league's six teams. With many of the sport's top prospects playing in the league annually, the AFL has become a virtual launching pad to the big leagues. Several players from last year's AFL rosters made their MLB debuts in 2010. The likes of Ike Reese, Mike Leake, Domonic Brown, Starlin Castro, Stephen Strasburg and Buster Posey all made their names known in their respective organization's cities and around MLB this year. Certainly not all of this year's AFL players are gearing up to be playing on their sport's biggest stage within the

Yankees Fans Effect Team's Shot at Landing Lee?

In a report from USA Today , the wife of Texas Rangers ace pitcher Cliff Lee, Kristen, described many issues the Rangers' families had to deal with at Yankee Stadium during the American League Championship Series. Mrs. Lee stated that wives of Rangers players were taunted with vulgar language and had beer thrown their way while being spit at from above. "The fans did not do good things in my heart," Kristen Lee told USA Today. "When people are staring at you, and saying horrible things, it's hard not to take it personal." With free agency in Lee's near future and the Yankees widely considered a front runner to acquire any greatly desired elite MLB player on the market, the treatment of Lee's wife by some hardcore New Yorkers doesn't bode well for their team's chances. Cliff Lee told the NY Daily News , "There were some people that were spitting off the balcony on to the family section and stuff like that, which is kind of weak. What

A Reintroduction

Allow me to reintroduce myself. My name is Jay Floyd. For years I have written on this site under my nickname, Jay Ballz. During my time covering games at the ball parks I have always used my real name, since for some reason nicknames are not welcome or happily included on media credentials. The name switch was something I wanted to make happen over this off-season. It was urged forward, to sooner rather than later, when I was invited to join the crew of contributors at PhilliesNation.com . I figured there was no better time to make the change than at a time when I would be introduced to thousands of brand new readers at the other site. My work with PhilliesNation is not expected to change what I do on this site and should serve as a great way to reach new readers and a way to bond with other solid baseball writers and enthusiasts. To those not familiar with PhilliesNation, it is a solid place for Philadelphia baseball coverage brought to the phans by a collection of writers and le

Jayson Werth Press Conference Audio

At a press conference at Citizens Bank Park on Monday, Jayson Werth fielded dozens of questions and confirmed his commitment to testing the free agent market. Check out the media player below to listen to key excerpts from the press conference including his thoughts on the Philadelphia phans, the status of the famous Hulk hand that he sported during the World Championship celebration in 2008 and an exchange at the end where he makes fun of MLB.com Phillies reporter Todd Zolecki's ability to grow facial hair. Click HERE to read about Werth's unofficial goodbye to Philadelphia. _______________________________________________________ For updates, facts and stats, follow PhoulBallz.com on Twitter by clicking HERE .

Werth Gives Unofficial Farewell

PHILADELPHIA, PA- Speaking of his time in Philadelphia in the past tense at a press conference on Monday, it was clear that Phillies outfielder Jayson Werth feels that his days with the team are through. Although, he would not clearly state any intentions to leave or his potential doubts in the team's commitment to re-sign him, Werth's underlying thoughts bled through in a packed media room at Citizens Bank Park. Less than 48 hours after the Phillies unexpectedly exited the 2010 postseason, Werth answered dozens of questions regarding his future in baseball. "It's been quite a ride," Werth stated. "Those (fans) in right field, I'll probably never be in a situation again where it's something like that. I don't foresee that, that's for sure." Adding what sounded like a goodbye, Werth said, "I definitely had a good time playing here in Philadelphia." Werth is technically not a free agent until after the World Series is complet

Missed Opportunities Cost Phillies Their Season

Their phans had high hopes. And why wouldn't they? It's just about habit by now. Four straight division titles and what was supposed to be a third consecutive World Series berth are enough to spoil people and ensure that any result shy of another world title will be a disappointment. In game 6 of the National League Championship Series the Phillies had loads of opportunities to take control of the game and put the San Francisco Giants away to force Philadelphia's very first postseason game 7. Unfortunately, the Phils blew those chances and lost to a team that was widely considered inferior. In the 3rd inning, after the Giants had tied the game at 2, the Phillies' first two batters reached base when Placido Polanco walked and Chase Utley was hit by a pitch. On his way to first base, Utley tossed the ball back toward the pitchers mound, which resulted in some insults being fired from San Francisco starter Jonathan Sanchez. Tempers flaired, the benches cleared, but no p

This Guy Speaks For All of You

This individual, interviewed by FOX 29 on Friday as the Phillies arrived back at Citizens Bank Park, said it best. When asked how he felt regarding the Phillies, he told Steve Keeley that he was, "Stoked, baby!" The unidentified phanatic then proclaimed, "We are talking about the Fightins here, the Fightins! Said!" Check out the media player below, as the transcribed version certainly does not do this phireball of phandom justice. The Phillies forced game 6 of the National League Championship Series with a 4-2 victory over the Giants in San Francisco on Thursday night. Game 6 will feature Roy Oswalt vs. Jonathan Sanchez in a return pitching match up from game 2. First pitch is scheduled for 7:57 pm EST at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. Be sure to tune in on 97.3 ESPN's Weekend Sports Guide with Tyrone Johnson this afternoon around 1:15pm to hear me chatting about the Phillies! 97.3 is based in Atlantic City. You can listen live online HERE . _________

Bats Over Hoops for "Moose" Mattair

Travis "Moose" Mattair is headed back to baseball after experimenting in the world of Division I college basketball. Following a difficult 2010 spring training in minor league camp with the Phillies, Mattair made the decision to leave baseball and persue a dream of playing NCAA hoops. Mattair was a member of the Lakewood BlueClaws (Phillies single A affiliate) team that won the South Atlantic League Championship in 2009. Mattair was an absolute fan favorite in Lakewood. His followers would call themselves “Mooseketeers” in reference to Mattair’s childhood nickname. As a member of the BlueClaws in 2008 & 2009, Mattair posted a .245 batting average while smacking 7 homeruns and driving in 91 runs in 255 games. A two-time second team all-state (Washington) player, as a guard in high school, Mattair once dreamed of playing for Gonzaga University under head coach Leon Rice. After taking a leave of absence from baseball, Mattair, who stands 6-feet-5-inches tall, was technica

Resilient Phillies Bring NLCS Back Home

Doc Classic SAN FRANCISCO— Television cameras caught him trying to stay up and loose between innings. Roy Halladay rarely rested, as he spent time riding a stationary bike after pulling his groin in the 2nd inning of Thursday night's National League Championship Series Game 5. Halladay was tough, throwing 6 innings, to help the Philadelphia Phillies extend the NLCS and return home to wrap up the series this weekend. Halladay's teammates didn’t quite realize their starting hurler was pitching through pain in his game 1 rematch against San Francisco's reigning Cy Young Award winner, Tim Lincecum. Learning that Doc pitched while ailing impressed his teammates more than they typically are with a Halladay outing. Some found it difficult to describe Halladay's efforts. "I don't know what word you can put on him. Do you want to use 'Superhero?' That works," Shane Victorino told the media following the game. In his 6 innings of work, Halladay allowed

Phils Drop Game 4, Mismanagement to Blame?

Clutch doubles, an outfield assist, solid bullpen pitching, a big game from rookie phenom Buster Posey and questionable moves with the Phillies' pitching staff all added up to a win and a 3-1 series lead for the NL West champions when game 4 of the National League Championship Series was done. At San Francisco's AT&T Park on Wednesday evening, the Giants plugged away, scoring in 5 different innings. They got on the board in the 1st, when the 23-year-old Posey drove home Freddy Sanchez with a single to centerfield. Posey then slapped a double in the 3rd inning, to plate Aubrey Huff and put San Francisco up 2-0. The Phillies got some offense of their own rolling in the 5th inning when Ben Francisco and Carlos Ruiz got the team's first back-to-back hits of the series. Shane Victorino then stepped in and slapped a single to center that drove home Francisco, but Aaron Rowand gunned down Ruiz at home plate for an out. Chase Utley then singled. Placido Polanco stepped up an

Victorino Positive with Back Against the Wall

Shane Victorino, who went 1-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI in the Phillies' game 4 loss to the Giants on Wednesday night, spoke with the media following the game. Despite the team's pressing predicament, Victorino expressed his positive outlook going forward in the series. Check out the media player below to listen to his comments. Victorino has batted lead-off for the defending National League champions throughout this postseason. He has posted a low .214 batting average (6-for-28) in 7 playoff games thus far in 2010. In his last 13 postseason games, dating back to the start of last year's World Series, Victorino is 10-for-50 (.200 avg). The Phillies and Giants go back at it in game 5 of the NLCS on Thursday evening at 7:57 EST. _______________________________________________________________________ For updates, facts & stats, follow PhoulBallz.com on Twitter by clicking HERE .

NY Fans Quit, Nolan Ryan Laughs as Rangers Crush Yankees

Late in Tuesday night's ALCS game 4, Nelson Cruz hit a 2-run upperdeck blast that put the Rangers up by a score of 10-3. New York fans began to evacuate Yankee Stadium early for the second consecutive day and partial owner of the Rangers Nolan Ryan was loving every second of it. Check out the media player below to see footage. The Rangers now lead the Yankees 3-1 in the best-of-seven series. ___________________________________________________________________ For updates, facts & stats, follow PhoulBallz.com on Twitter by clicking HERE .

Cain Shuts Down Phillies Offense, Giants Lead Series

Matt Cain led the way for the Giants to take control of the best-of-seven series, grabbing a 2-1 lead over the Phillies on Tuesday afternoon at AT&T Park. The right-handed Cain held the defending National League champions to just 2 hits over 7 innings and the San Francisco offense was able to squeak 3 runs out of Phillies hurler Cole Hamels. The Giants got on the board against Hamels in the 4th inning, after he had been perfect through the first 3 innings. As he's done all postseason for the Giants, Cody Ross did some damage and broke the scoreless tie when he smacked a 2 out single to left field that drove home Edgar Renteria, who led off the inning with a base hit. Aubrey Huff then singled to right field, to plate Pat Burrell with the game's 2nd run. "He plays with no fear," Giants manager Bruce Bochy told the media after the game of Ross. "That’s what you like about the guy." Ross is now 8-for-23 (.348 avg) this postseason with the Giants, who cla

Story Time with JC Romero

Below, I've posted some never before heard audio of JC Romero speaking exclusively with PhoulBallz.com last season. I asked JC to talk about his most memorable baseball moment prior to becoming a professional ball player. JC spoke of a time he learned an important lesson as a hitter in college at the University of West Florida. The lesson was to not "hot dog" or show up the opposition on the baseball field. . To check out more exclusive PhoulBallz.com interviews with the likes of Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr., Carlos Ruiz, Joe Blanton, Mark Parent, prospect Jonathan Singleton and dozens more, click HERE .

Oswalt and Rollins Shine as Phils Pull Even

PHILADELPHIA- Productive outs were something the Phillies lacked in the National League Championship Series opener against the Giants on Saturday night. With strike outs in key spots, the Phillies came up short by a run and San Francisco took a 1-0 series lead. Game 2 was not the same case, as moving runners over and the underrated baseball aspect known as the sacrifice fly came into play, and helped the Phillies tie the series against the Giants at 1 game each. The Phillies got the scoring started in the bottom of the opening frame against Giants starting pitcher Jonathan Sanchez, in support of their own starter Roy Oswalt, when Chase Utley scored on a bases loaded walk to Jimmy Rollins. Philadelphia led 1-0 until the top of the 5th, when San Francisco's game 1 hero Cody Ross smashed another solo homerun to left field. Ross hit 2 solo shots off Roy Halladay in game 1. Ross has had tremendous success at Philadelphia's Citizens Bank Park in his career. In 35 games played at

Ryan Howard Appears on Eagles TV Broadcast

Ryan Howard on the Lincoln Financial Field sidelines with Phillies representative Scott Palmer Just 14 hours, or so, after his Phillies fell behind the Giants 1-0 in the best-of-seven National League Championship Series, first baseman Ryan Howard took in the Eagles/Falcons game and appeared as a sideline guest of FOX analyst Tony Siragusa on Sunday. Internet phan buzz criticized Howard's presence across the street from the home of the Phillies, Citizens Bank Park. Much critique seemed to take on the same notions of, "Shouldn't he be watching film on Giants' pitcher?" or "He could be using this time to take some extra batting practice." However, not many will argue that if the Phillies had won Saturday night's NLCS opener that many folks would have had a sweeter taste on their tongues and very likely would not have greeted the situation with such an abrupt disapproval. Falling behind in a postseason series is not something the Phillies phaithful a

Ross an Unlikely Hero as Giants Take Game 1

The much anticipated pitching match up in game 1 of the National League Championship Series ended with the younger of the two aces earning a victory, and the veteran came out of the contest already focused on redemption, but it was a late season addition from the waiver wire who became the star of the game for the Giants. Cody Ross shined, slugging 2 solo homeruns off of Roy Halladay, who was fresh off throwing the second no-hitter in MLB postseason history last week against the Reds. Ross was cut loose by the Florida Marlins and scooped up off waivers by the Giants, reportedly as a preventive measure, so that he would not end up with the rival Padres. As a Marlin earlier in the season, Ross was on the down side of Halladay's other big outing this season, his perfect game on May 29th. With one out in the 3rd inning, Ross ended Halladay's postseason hitless streak, delivering San Francisco's first hit and first run of the game, by smashing a solo homer to left field. Th

NLCS Preview: Phillies vs. Giants

For the third straight season, the Phillies will be battling it out for a chance to move on to the World Series with a team from California. This year the Dodgers sit at home, while a new contender, the San Francisco Giants, has stepped up. As the Phillies look to become the first National League team to win 3 straight National League Championship Series, the Giants will seek to surprise many around baseball, as they are widely considered the underdog. The focus in this series will be on the pitchers and each team will send its ace to the mound for game 1. For the Giants, it will be Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum, who tossed a complete game shut out against Atlanta in his postseason debut last week. For the Phillies, it will be Cy Young Award winner Roy Halladay, who hurled a no-hitter against Cincinnati in his postseason debut last week. Neither pitcher expects a repeat of their gems from his last time out, but that doesn't mean both men won't be trying. Offense is expec

Ryan Howard's Late Show Top 10

Here is Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard's appearance on CBS's The Late Show with David Letterman. Howard delivered Letterman's famous Top 10 list on Thursday night's episode. The subject matter was Top 10 reasons to watch the baseball playoffs. ____________________________________________________________ For unique updates and stats, follow PhoulBallz.com on Twitter by clicking HERE .

Shameful Giants Playoff Anthem

Okay...not only are the lyrics embarrassing, but so are the vocals. This new San Francisco Giants rally song, a take off of Journey's Don't Stop Believing , has somehow boosted pride around the Bay area. Meanwhile, the rest of us can watch and giggle at this pile of horrible display of fandom. Did this guy really try to make a rock song and offer shout outs to people? That's simply not right. We all are familiar with San Francisco's silly Kung Fu Panda nickname for Pablo Sanoval...but do they really refer to Aubrey Huff as "Huff Daddy"? I guess anything is better than his female-rific first name. It's the worst name since Buster Posey. No matter what Giants fans say, no one fears Brian Wilson's Mr T.-impersonating hair growth. I pity the fool who thinks he's in the A-Team, and has to face the Phillies' lineup that includes 7 All-stars and 2 league MVP's. The vocalist of this track, known as Ashkon, is some sort of rapper who likes to

Phils Pitchers Look to Stay Hot

With confirmation coming from Phillies manager Charlie Manuel that the Phillies' pitching rotation in the next round of the playoffs will remain the same as is was in the Division Series against Cincinnati, a famous exclamation from TV character Homer Simpson may be what the Giants will be saying once the National League Championship Series begins. The Phillies' big trio of pitchers- D oc, O swalt and H amels will set out to continue their dominance that they've displayed since Oswalt joined the Phillies in late July. Since the Phillies acquired Oswalt from Houston on July 29th, the "D'oh!" inducing trio have troubled their opponents, posting a combined 23-7 record with a 2.23 ERA, 248 strike outs and 48 walks in 262 innings pitched (39 games). Combined in 21 career postseason games, "Doc" Halladay, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels have posted an 11-3 record with a 3.31 ERA. In those games, they've struck out 106 batters while walking just 38 in 130

MLB's Final Four All Set

With the Texas Rangers' first ever postseason series victory on Tuesday night, both League Championship Series schedules are set. The Rangers, led by Cliff Lee's 11 strike out complete game effort and Ian Kinsler's 3rd homerun of the series, beat the Tampa Bay Rays 5-1 in the series' 5th game. Texas moves on to play the New York Yankees in the best-of-seven American League Championship series that begins on Friday. Cliff Lee, of course, was a member of the Philadelphia Phillies team that reached the World Series against the Yankees last year. Lee won both of his starts against New York in that series. With his outstanding effort in the ALDS, Lee has improved to 6-0 with a 1.44 ERA and a .185 batting average against in 7 career postseason starts. The Senior Circuit will feature the San Francisco Giants and the Phillies battling it out for the pennant. The big talk surrounding the National League Championship Series is the match up of exceptional pitching staffs. The P

Blanton Ready, Oswalt Impersonates Charlie & More

The Phillies played a simulated game on Tuesday, in which Joe Blanton started. Blanton threw roughly 60 pitches against the Phillies regular lineup. The fact that Blanton saw a considerable amount of action on the mound could be telling that the team wishes for him to be ready to start game 4 of the National League Championship Series in San Francisco. However, the series results could decide Blanton's status. If the Phillies trail after 3 games, it could be deemed necessary to use presumed game 1 starter Roy Halladay on short rest in game 4. Manager Charlie Manuel announced on Tuesday that the team would be off on Wednesday, then return to Citizens Bank Park for a workout on Thursday at 1pm. A schedule has not been announced for Friday as of yet, as both the Giants and Phillies will work out at CBP that day. Placido Polanco was seen at practice on Tuesday using a unique method to hide Raul Ibanez's mitt. What else does he have in there? Roy Oswalt was spotted doing his bes

Phillies Advance to Third Straight NLCS

The series that pitted the widely feared trio of Phillies starting pitchers against the National League's top offensive lineup, the Cincinnati Reds, ended in quick fashion. The pitchers, who had posted a 13-1 record with a 2.13 ERA since the start of September came out and shut down the offense that led the league in batting average (.272), homeruns (188) and RBI (761) over the full regular season. On Sunday night, Cole Hamels threw an impressive 5-hit complete game shut out, in which he struck out 9 Reds, leading the Phillies to a sweep in the best-of-five divisional round of the MLB playoffs, in Cincinnati. Hamels improved to 7-0 with a 0.90 ERA in 8 career starts against the Reds. After the series clincher that locked Philadelphia into their franchise record third consecutive National League Championship Series, the Phillies had a bit of a reserved celebration. There were no dog piles on the field, only some tame champagne spraying in the clubhouse, as the Phillies are aware

Sunday School: Phillies History Lesson- Eppa Rixey

Eppa Rixey signed as a free agent with the Phillies in 1912. The lefty hurler was a graduate of the University of Virginia. In 1916, Rixey had a break-out season, to bounce back from taking the loss in the deciding game of the 1915 World Series against the Red Sox. Rixey won 22 games for the Phillies and had an ERA of 1.85. He also threw an impressive 20 complete games that year. The following season, Eppa Rixey's record was 16-21. His high loss total was mainly due to a lack of run support. There was a stretch in the 1917 season when Rixey lost 5 straight starts, during which the Phillies offense could amass just 3 total runs. Rixey threw a career high 4 shutouts that season. Rixey served in the military in 1918, missing the entire baseball season, and served in the chemical warfare division of the United States army in World War 1. Upon his return to baseball in mid-1919 he struggled and posted a 6-12 record. In 1920, Eppa led the National League with 22 losses, despite comple

Phillies Lead NLDS 2-0 Over Reds

A year to the day after they lost game 2 of the NLDS against the Rockies, the Phillies ended their losing streak in postseason series game 2's at 4. Thanks to some lucky calls, and some Reds miscues, the Phillies were able to walk away with a 7-4 victory on Friday night. In the 6th inning, with the Reds leading the Phillies by 2 runs, a pair of hit batters and a bases loaded walk to Shane Victorino closed the gap to 1. Then in the 7th inning, things really just fell apart for the Central Division champion Reds. With rookie phenom Aroldis Chapman and his 100+mph fastball on the mound, a high an inside pitch was sold by Chase Utley, as he immediately put his head down and took off for 1st base, and ruled a hit by pitch by the home plate umpire Bruce Dreckman. Ryan Howard followed Utley and struck out. Jayson Werth then batted, lacing a chopper toward Reds third baseman Scott Rolen, who chose to attempt the more difficult play to get Utley out at 2nd base. Utley was ruled safe by

MLB Jeopardy Part 12

For $1,000 in the category of Questionable Pro Athlete Photo Shoots, the answer is, "The former NL batting champ who appears in the latest edition of ESPN the Magazine naked and freshly manscaped, while coming off fruitier than Toucan Sam's favorite breakfast cereal (not that there's anything wrong with that)." Question: "Who is Hanley Ramirez? CORRECT! The Florida Marlins shortstop, Ramirez, is featured in ESPN's annual Body Issue, out this week, in a hairless, unclothed state, while ironing. Watch out for that steam setting, Hanley! The caption features a quote from Ramirez's agent, Andy Mota..."Sometimes Hanley tells me that he amazes himself- the even he can't believe the stuff his body can do." Neither can I. Who would have guessed Hanley moonlights as a naked maid in the offseason? This Hanley photo is the most suspect thing to pop up in the NL East since Ryan Madson was photographed out on the town in late 2008. ___________

Halladay an Inspiration to Young Prospects

Nick Hernandez CLEARWATER, FL- For most Phillies minor leaguers, the season ended weeks ago. For a few dozen of them, this month is set aside for additional training and work. One of those players is 22-year-old lefty pitching prospect Nick Hernandez, who was sidelined for much of this season with a shoulder injury. As a result, Hernandez, a South Atlantic League All-star with the Lakewood BlueClaws this year, is putting in extra time in Clearwater Florida, to increase his 2010 innings total. After Wednesday's instructional league exhibition game, Hernandez and ten teammates, including Jarred Cosart, Jacob Diekman, Derrick Loop, Mike McGuire and Jake Borup, went out to a local Florida establishment to view the Phillies playoff opener against the Reds, on television. Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay went on to make history in game 1 of the National League Division Series. Making his very first career postseason appearance, Halladay shut down the Cincinnati Reds, hurling a no-hit, n

Halladay Untouchable in Playoff Opener

In the opening game of the 2010 National League Division Series, Phillies ace Roy Halladay threw the second no-hitter in MLB post-season history, to lead his club past the Cincinnati Reds, 4-0. Way back on October 8th, 1956, the Yankees' Don Larsen threw a perfect game in the World series against the Dodgers. On Wednesday, Halladay threw 9 hitless innings, striking out 8 batters, with 104 pitches...79 of which were strikes, against the National League's most potent offense. As a team, Cincinnati led the league in batting average (.272), HR (188) and RBI (761) during the regular season. It was the second time Halladay held a team hitless this year, as he hurled a perfect game against the Marlins in Florida on May 29th. Halladay even contributed to the Phillies' victory with his bat, driving in a run with an RBI single in the 2nd inning, off of Reds starting pitcher Edinson Volquez. The excitement level for Halladay's tremendous effort spread beyond the Delaware Vall

NLDS Series Preview: Phillies vs. Reds

No one is really giving the Reds a chance in the National League Division Series. Their own poor track record at Citizens Bank Park (losing the last 6 games there, dropping 10 of 12 there over the past 3 seasons) combined with the trio of starting pitchers and the potent lineup they'll have to face, plenty of baseball analysts and observers virtually have placed the Phillies into the League Championship Series already. Cincinnati manager Dusty Baker will send right-hander Edinson Volquez to the mound, hoping to prove the doubters wrong. Philadelphia will counter with NL Cy Young Award contender Roy Halladay, who will be achieving a life-long goal by making his first career postseason appearance. Halladay, widely considered an elite pitcher in Major League Baseball, has watched the playoffs on television for his entire career, until this year. Halladay wanted to pitch for a title contender so badly that he passed up the opportunity to test free agency, and instead signed a contr