Now that Spring Training is just around the corner, get ready for your regular baseball reports here at MySportsToday. One of the most exciting divisions is sure to be the American League East. The Tampa Bay Rays won the AL East and topped the Boston Red Sox in the ALCS to get to the franchise’s first ever World Series. Although the Yankees did not make the playoffs in 2008, the Yankees were the most active team in the off-season, signing free agents C.C. Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Mark Teixeira. They also have steroids-using Alex Rodriguez and the ever-reliable Derek Jeter.
Our prediction – The Yankees win the division, but fall to the Red Six (your AL Wild Card team for the 2nd year in a row) in the 2009 ALCS. The Rays still have a great 88-win season, but fail to return to the playoffs.
Check out Jeff Passan’s AL East preview here. It is a good little cheat sheet for your 2009 AL East baseball season.
The Philadelphia Phillies defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 4-3 in Game 5 of the World Series to win the World Series Championship. Game 5 had been suspended on Monday, October 27th and the teams resumed play with the score tied at 2 in the bottom of the 6th inning. The Phillies took a quick 3-2 lead on an RBI single by Jayson Werth with 1 out in the bottom of the 6th inning. The Rays tied the game at 3 in the top of the 7th inning on a 1-out solo home run by Rocco Baldelli. But the Phillies answered right back in the bottom of the 7th inning with an RBI-single by Pedro Feliz. That put the Phillies back up for good with a 4-3 lead. Phillies reliever J.C. Romero worked 1 1/3 innings of relief to pick up his 2nd win of the World Series. Phillies Closer Brad Lidge pitched a stressful 9th inning in which he allowed a Rays runner to get to 2nd base with only 1 out. But Lidge kept his season-long perfect save streak alive and preserved the win by retiring the final 2 Rays hitters to give the Phillies their first World Series title in 28 years.
Phillies dominant starter Cole Hamels was named the World Series Most Valuable Player. He started 2 games for the Phillies, allowing only 4 total earned runs in 13 innings of work. He won Game 1 of the World Series and took a no decision in the decisive Game 5. Hamels was 4-0 in 5 post-season starts.
After being swept out of the playoffs by the wild card Colorado Rockies in the 2007 NLDS, the Phillies felt like they had something to prove in 2008. The Phillies clearly used that 2007 playoff experience to their advantage during the 2008 playoffs. The Phillies went a perfect 7-0 at home at Citizens Bank Ballpark, and lost only 1 game in each series, compiling an 11-3 record. The Phillies used solid starting pitching and a stifling bullpen to finish off their opponents when they got the lead. The city of Philadelphia had not experienced a championship team since the 1983 Philadelphia 76ers won the NBA World Championship, and they had not experienced a World Series title since the Mike Schmidt-led Phillies won the World Series in 1980. The long wait was worth it for Phillies fans. They will be celebrating this special World Series Championship for a long, long time. Broad Street will be rocking on Halloween on Friday, October 31st when the city plans to honor the 2008 World Series Champion Series with a long-anticipated victory parade.