The NLCS schedule 2010 ended in Philadelphia last night. Of course, most thought that the NLCS schedule 2010 would end with the Phillies celebrating in Citizens Bank Park. Instead, if the Phillies were going to celebrate last night, it would have been because they staved off elimination, and forced a seventh game tonight. But although things were wide open for Philadelphia to stay alive, it just did not happen. As such, the NLCS has become the most disappointing ending to a Phillies season in three years, and may be the catalyst for some needed change.
The Phillies counted on Roy Oswalt to power them to victory, and figured that their offense would finally wake up. Both cases looked likely in the first inning, as they gave Oswalt a 2-0 lead by knocking around a wild Jonathan Sanchez.
But the dominant trends of the NLCS re-emerged quickly. Weird circumstances, errors and clutch hits got the Giants to tie the game in the third. Meanwhile, once Sanchez was taken out in the third, the Giants’ bullpen kept Philadelphia in check.
In more than half of the innings in Game 6, the Phillies had a chance to blow things open and take control. Yet at every turn, their bats came up short, as they had in the entire series. As it turned out, they had more luck hitting off of Tim Lincecum than they did against the Giants’ regular relievers.
Yet the series was all but over when Lincecum was relieved in the eighth, for the dominant Brian Wilson. Once Wilson came on, he got a line-out double play in the eighth, and got Ryan Howard looking with two men on in the ninth. Fittingly, a disappointing slugger closed out the Phillies’ National League reign on a strikeout.
With no World Series berth, in spite of a dominant collection of aces, the Phillies are left back at square one. Despite having Oswalt, Roy Halladay and Cole Hamels locked up for a few years, it will mean nothing without an offense. If they don’t have bats, then the Braves are bound to eventually overtake them in the NL East, as the Giants have overtaken them in the entire National League.
If anything, the failures may inspire some big moves from the Phillies. They have to do something to pacify the fans, who will be calling for some drastic action. But resigning Jason Werth might be out of the question as a start, so it may be time to entertain trade offers for their other cornerstones.
Trading some combination of Shane Victorino, Raul Ibanez, and even Jimmy Rollins might be the best move for Philadelphia. They need a new leadoff hitter, and may need to demote Howard from the cleanup position, if he isn’t as much of an RBI threat anymore.
Ruben Amaro Jr. got aggressive to fix the pitching rotation, after those starters fell apart last year. To correct the mistakes from this year’s NLCS schedule, radical changes to fix the batting lineup may need to happen next.
SI.com- “Phillies’ window may be closing”