Phillies 10, Astros 3
The Philadelphia Phillies are the 2009 National League East Champions!
Moments before Ryan Howard fielded Lance Berkman's grounder and stepped on first to end the game, the Marlins defeated the Braves to clinch the pennant for the Phils. The Citizens Bank Park out of town scoreboard remained frozen, electing to hold off on the "F" by the Marlins-Braves game until after the team mobbed Ryan by first base. The Phillies celebrated on the field, champagne was sprayed in the clubhouse and a recording of the late, great Harry Kalas singing his signature song, "High Hopes" played throughout the ballpark. Hard to believe.
For the third year in a row, the Phillies are heading into the Postseason. The franchise secured three pennants in a row back in 1976, 1977 and 1978, a few years before I was cognizant of baseball and the Phils. One of these days, I'll tell Doug the story of the night the Phillies won the 2009 NL East pennant while he slept soundly upstairs.
The Game: Kyle Kendrick pitched three scoreless innings of relief for the win, following the departure of Pedro Martinez after four innings of work. The two through eight spots in the line-up each had at least one run batted in, with Raul Ibañez leading the way with three RBI. In a somewhat symbolic gesture, Charlie Manuel made a pitching change with two outs in the bottom of ninth, bringing in Brad Lidge to get the final out of the game.