I have just watched the Philadelphia Phillies clinch their fifth straight NL East title tonight with a 9-2 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals in front of their fans at Citizens Bank Park.
Don’t let the score fool you. The Phillies had a 3-2 lead going into the bottom of the eighth. Before you knew they had scored six runs capped on a grand slam homerun by Raul Ibanez.
What is amazing about this team is that they get better every year. In 2007, the Phillies won the NL East with 89 wins. In the intervening years their season win total has gone up to 92, 93, 97 and 98 wins so far in 2011. With a dozen games left this season, they have a chance to shatter their single season franchise record of 101 wins which they attained in both 1976 and 1977.
The Phillies have not only led the NL East from the get go but have the best record in MLB. They are heavily favored to reach the World Series. If they do, they will win their third NL championship in four years. In which case, the Phillies will have to be considered one of the greatest teams in National League history.