The Phillies Are Your 2011 NL East Champs Behind Oswalt's Gem

The Phillies Are Your 2011 NL East Champs Behind Oswalt's Gem
September 17, 2011, 6:11 pm

Now we can officially add Chase Utley's bare-handed grab and put out of Rafael Furcal to that wonderful list.

Although it was Raul Ibanez's grand slam in the eighth inning that we'll all likely remember from this special night. Boy, did that Raul blast feel good.

The National League East Champions reside once again in Philadelphia.

The Phillies defeated the Cardinals 9-2 on Saturday night to lock up their fifth-straight NL East crown. It's only one step in this team's quest for a World Series Championship, but it's an accomplishment that the team doesn't take for granted. Yes, the core guys like Jimmy, Chase, Ryan, Cole, Chooch, Madson and Shane have had the pleasure of celebrating a handful of these together, but as Charlie Manuel said on Friday, it gets better every time.

And then there's the new guys like Hunter Pence, John Mayberry Jr, and Vance Worley who get to unwind and pop a bottle for the first time as members of the Phillies.

They did it tonight behind a great performance from Roy Oswalt who blanked the Cards for seven innings, giving up only 5 hits while striking out 7 and walking none. He consistently hit 93 with his fastball. There's no doubt in my mind who your fourth playoff starter is.

Stutes stumbled in the eighth, but the Cards could only plate two.

The offense finally got over their 3-runs-or-less funk, and eventually let the flood gates open in the eighth.

Hunter Pence got them on the board early in the game and Shane Victorino added to that by working a bases-loaded walk in the fourth, depositing a homer into the bullpen in the sixth, and knocking in his 3rd RBI in the eighth.

Jimmy Rollins and his four-hit night are certainly worth mentioning as well. You know what they say about the Phillies when J-Roll is hot.

Hunter Pence legged out an infield single for another RBI in the eighth and that, of course, set up Raul's beautiful grand slam.

There are plenty of things to worry about heading into the postseason, but not tonight.

Tonight is a night to let loose a little, throw back a couple of your beverage of choice, and appreciate that your favorite baseball team has won their division five years running.

we hope to have more from the team's celebration later tonight...

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