You Cant Lose Em All: The Year the Phillies Finally Won the World Series

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And really, that's the frustrating thing with this sport, isn't it? You grind for games, and then everything resets to best of fives and sevens. Only twice since the year has the team with the best overall record ended up winning the World Series. When you really got down to it, the Phillies' chances of winning it all were only marginally better than those of the Cardinals, or the Rays, Diamondbacks, Yankees or any other team in the post-season.

But because of the pre-season hype, and the fact that the Phils' regular season actually lived up to it, they were dubbed prohibitive post-season favorites in a sport where such a concept barely even exists, and certainly didn't apply here. You can't fault them for that. One thing some might say you can fault them for, though, is allowing the Cards to edge their way into the playoff picture at all, when by merely dropping a game or two to the Braves at the end of the season, they could have assured themselves a more favorable first-round matchup against the Diamondbacks.

And that, I really don't want to hear at all. Maybe the D'backs would have been easier—though since they pushed the Brewers to extra innings in a game five, you can't exactly expect that they'd have been pushovers—but in my opinion, faulting a team for trying to win ballgames is never OK. Besides, losing to a team whose back-door playoff access you enabled is embarrassing, sure, but if they'd let the Braves creep in and then lost to them down the line, that would be downright shameful. Of all the things the Phils may end up kicking themselves for over the course of the off-season, I sincerely hope that eliminating the Braves from playoff contention is not one of them.

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And personally, I hope the Phils rest easy this winter in general. This is disappointing end to the season—crushingly so, some would justifiably argue—but it was a hell of a season just the same.

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The arrival of Hunter Pence. The emergence of John Mayberry Jr. The career year for Shane Victorino. The inning of scoreless relief from Wilson Valdez. The 30 innings of scoreless pitching in a row from Cliff Lee—twice! And the winning. My god, the winning. I loved it. I never wanted it to stop. At times it seemed like it never would stop. Even after nine shutout innings from Chris Carpenter stopped the winning for good tonight, the memories still make me smile.

There's a lot of questions to be asked in the off-season, and a lot of hard decisions that are going to have to be made—starting, of course, with what to do about Ryan Madson, Roy Oswalt and Jimmy Rollins, all of whom conceivably could have just played their last game in a Phillies uniform.

Tonight, though, let's just try to be glad that that game five is done with. The outcome certainly wasn't what we wanted, and a lot of us won't be able to even think about baseball again for weeks or months, but part of me is definitely elated that I don't have to feel that dread anymore. I'll miss it soon enough, but at least I'm safe from walking into traffic to avoid having to watch baseball games for the time being.

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Must have unrestricted authorization to work in the US 8. Must have sophomore standing or above 9. Must have a 3. About NBC internships. When the Phillies acquired Bruce from Seattle on June 2, it was to be a platoon outfielder and extra bench bat, a player who could come off the pine, pop one and change the game. Bruce did what no other Phillie has done this season: delivered a walk-off win. His line shot off Stephen Nogosek in the 10th inning Wednesday sailed over the head of centerfielder Juan Lagares who was playing much shallower than you'd expect and sent the Phillies' dugout into a frenzy with a win see observations.

Rookie Edgar Garcia, the winning pitcher, rushed to dump the Gatorade jug over Bruce's head. The party was on. Make that three straight nights the Phillies have come back to beat the plummeting Mets.

You Can't Lose 'em All: The Year the Phillies Finally Won the World Series

They overcame a two-run deficit Monday, a three-run deficit Tuesday and a four-run deficit Wednesday. It's probably best they don't continue the pattern. You guys have seen how many big hits he's gotten for us and how clutch he's been.

I thought maybe it might be a good time to get him off his feet. It wasn't a push or anything. It was an open conversation between two grown-ups. He said, 'I'm in there.

Jayson Stark: Philadelphia finally gets another title

Not only am I in there, but I give the Phillies the best chance to win a baseball game. He's proven that to be true. That he can hit left-handed pitching. I'll never doubt another word that Jay Bruce says. As a Phillie, Bruce has hit. He has seven home runs, four doubles and 20 RBI in 19 games. Keep in mind, his arrival coincided with the season-ending injury to Andrew McCutchen, Odubel Herrera's arrest, and the beginning of cold spells for Jean Segura and Cesar Hernandez. Bruce's bat has, in many ways, kept the Phillies afloat and prevented further disaster in the month of June.

He brings energy to the field every day, he's happy, he competes," said Nick Pivetta, who had a rough outing. He's really helping us do a lot of great things. It's been a pleasure to watch him play. Bruce is no stranger to walk-off hits. This was the 12th of his career. In the span of 19 games, he has been the key hitter in at least five and probably six of the Phillies' 10 wins. Metrics like Win Probability Added and Wins Above Replacement are more complicated than just accounting for game-winning or game-breaking hits, but Bruce has literally added a few more wins to the Phillies' total than they'd otherwise have.

He has shown how much added value an acquisition can bring when it's completed far ahead of the trade deadline.

Frank Fitzpatrick is a veteran sports reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and a lifelong Phillies fan. Visit Seller's Storefront.

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Stock Image. New Condition: New Hardcover. Save for Later. About this Item Language: English. Brand new Book. A franchise over a century old, the Philadelphia Phillies still own only one world championship-the glorious, long-overdue Series of