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GLoux BS: MLB playoffs are about to begin!! (87* d) RE: BS: MLB playoffs are about to begin!! 08 Oct 07


From the Associated Press:

Season Comes To Quick End After Bats Go Silent

DENVER -- Philadelphia's first trip to the playoffs in 14 years ended in a power outage.

The NL's highest-scoring team in the regular season sputtered once the playoffs started, leading to a quick and dismal sweep at the hands of the Colorado Rockies in the NL division series.

Led by MVP candidate Jimmy Rollins and All-Stars Ryan Howard and Chase Utley, the Phillies overcame a rough start to the season to track down the New York Mets, winning 13 of their final 17 games to take the NL East crown on the final day of the season.

But just when it looked like Philadelphia might have a chance to end its tortured quest for a championship, the Phillies' bats went silent at the worst possible time -- in two of baseball's most hitter-friendly parks, no less -- leading to their first postseason sweep since the 1983 NL championship series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

After scoring 292 runs (5.5 per game) during the regular season, Philadelphia managed just eight against Colorado's young pitching staff. They didn't come close to their .274 average during the season, either, going 16-for-93 (.172) with 26 strikeouts during the series.

The worst of it came in Game 3, when the lights went out at Coors Field and on Philadelphia's season. After a brief surge in Game 2, the Phillies were flat in the finale, managing a run and three hits, putting just two runners in scoring position.

It was a surprising conclusion for a team with so many stars.

Rollins never really got going at the plate or on the bases, going 2-for-11 with one stolen base. Howard, last year's MVP, hit a homer in Game 2, but had two hits in his 11 other at-bats and struck out seven times. Utley also struck out seven times, going 2-for-11 in the series.

And when the Phillies needed them the most, the trio couldn't come through, combining for one hit in nine at-bats, each striking out twice in Game 3 at Coors Field, typically one of the easiest places to hit.

"We were a little tight," manager Charlie Manuel said. "We were chasing balls out of the strike zone early in the game."

By the time it was over, the Rockies were in their clubhouse spraying champagne while the Phillies walked off in disgust, extending a sports-mad city's misery for yet another year.


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