Phillies Set Win Record but End Season Early

Posted on October 27, 2011 by

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On Wednesday, 8 September, the Philadelphia Phillies set a franchise record for regular season wins with a four to three extra-inning victory over the slumping Atlanta Braves.

The Phillies, who seemed almost certain to surpass the previous mark of 101 wins early in the season, suffered an eight game losing streak on the heels of clinching the National League East title before sweeping the Braves in a three-game series to reach the 102 win mark.

The previous franchise record of 101 wins in a season was set in 1976 and matched again in 1977. These years also marked the first two 100-win seasons for the Phillies, an organization that has more recently made history by becoming the first in American professional sports to lose 10,000 games. Both the 1976 and 1977 teams were led by the likes of Steve Carlton and Mike Schmidt, players who are now revered as heroes by Phillies fans young and old.

This year’s record-setting Phillies organization, however, has brought a new look and feel to the Philadelphia sports scene. Not only does the 2011 roster include long-time Phils like Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Howard, but it also features a payroll stacked higher than City Hall with Cy Young and MVP winning pitchers.

Expectations have been through the roof since the Phillies seemingly snatched Cliff Lee from the clutches of the New York Yankees last offseason. This stunning acquisition dropped another future Hall of Famer into the already potent Phillies rotation–a rotation that already included the likes of Roy Halladay and Cole Hamels, all of whom form what some experts have dubbed the best starting rotation in Major League Baseball History.

Add to the equation a dynamic, experienced batting order and the result is expectations tall enough to eclipse even the brightest of superstars.

“I think the expectations are so high this year that enthusiasm has actually declined some,” said FAHS principal and die-hard Phillie Fanatic Michael DeAntonio. “It worries me that expectations are so high because I’d hate to see them leave people disappointed.”

Despite the overwhelming fan support and expectations for a strong playoff success, the Phillies made an early exit from October baseball, losing the National League Division Series to the Saint Louis Cardinals in five games.

“Honestly, I don’t care where you go–there is no team where you’re guaranteed to win anything,” Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay said after losing game five.

Though the Phillies failed to meet the lofty expectations set even before the first pitches of the season were thrown, Philadelphia fans can find consolation in the fact that the 2011 Philadelphia Phillies have, at the very least, made their mark on franchise history.

It may not have been the year that many “Phans” were seeking, but it is certain that both the players and their avid supporters will be back next year with more hunger than ever for a World Series.

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