2008 Philadelphia Phillies Season
The Philadelphia Phillies' 2008 season was the 126th in the history of the franchise. The team finished with a regular season record of 92–70, first in the National League East. In the post-season, the Phillies won the World Series; this was the first major sports championship for Philadelphia since the 76ers swept the 1983 NBA Finals. During the season, they were managed by Charlie Manuel.
The Phillies opened the season by posting their first winning April since 2003. They also scored 60 runs over 5 games in late May in a sweep over the Colorado Rockies and accrued a 14–4 record over 18 games entering the month of June. The Phillies' performance declined in late June, but they improved after the All-Star break, going 9–6 immediately following the midseason hiatus. Closer Brad Lidge earned eight saves in those games, and did not blow a save throughout the season and the postseason. Philadelphia traded sweeps with the Los Angeles Dodgers in August and went 13–3 in their last 16 games, taking advantage of a late swoon by the New York Mets for the second year in a row to capture the division crown. The team won its position in the playoffs after its second consecutive East Division title. The Phillies also posted the best road record in the National League, at 44–37.
Philadelphia defeated the Milwaukee Brewers in the National League Division Series (NLDS), 3–1, and the Dodgers in the National League Championship Series (NLCS), 4–1, to book their place in the final round of the playoffs. In the World Series, the Phillies defeated the Tampa Bay Rays, 4–1, to win their first championship in 28 years, ending the Curse of Billy Penn. Phillies starting pitcher Cole Hamels was named the most valuable player of the NLCS and the World Series.
Statistical leaders in batting for the 2008 team included center fielder Shane Victorino (batting average, .293), first baseman Ryan Howard (home runs, 48; runs batted in, 146), and second baseman Chase Utley (runs scored, 113). For their accomplishments, Howard won the Josh Gibson Award for the National League, and Utley won his third consecutive Silver Slugger Award. Pitching leaders included left-handed starting pitcher Hamels (innings pitched, 2271⁄3), left-hander starter Jamie Moyer (wins, 16), and right-handed relief pitcher Lidge (saves, 41). Lidge won the DHL Delivery Man of the Year and the Major League Baseball Comeback Player of the Year awards for his performance during the season. Victorino and shortstop Jimmy Rollins also won Gold Glove awards for their play in the field.
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