What's Next For The Phillies?

The first part of the journey is done, with the winning of the NL East. Now, the Phillies face the task of avoiding last year's disappointment and moving through the post-season for a potential parade down Broad Street.

With the Phillies clinching party on Saturday, Sunday became a day of rest for most of the squad. A few regulars made cameos as pinch-hitters, with Ryan Howard beating the shift and Jayson Werth singling and stealing his 20th base of the season to put him in the 20/20 club (20 stolen bases and 20 home runs).

While there were smiles all around on Sunday, Monday becomes a day of reality. The Milwaukee Brewers are coming to town for the start of the NLDS on Wednesday and the Phillies will have to be ready. After all, last year, it was the "lowly" Colorado Rockies, who seemingly snuck into the post-season party, that swept the Phillies in three games. This fall, if there is any sweeping to be done, the Phillies want to be the ones doing the chore.

Milwaukee's 3-1 win over Chicago, combined with the Mets 4-2 loss to the Florida Marlins dumped the New Yorkers from the playoffs and put the brew crew into the post-season as the wild card. For the second season in a row, the Mets missed the post-season thanks to a loss on the last day of the season.

Saturday's clinching allowed Cole Hamels to take the day off on Sunday and put himself squarely in position to start Game One of the NLDS. While the rotation hasn't been officially announced, it figures to be Hamels, Myers, Moyer and Blanton (if necessary) against Milwaukee. The Brewers have also not announced who will pitch when, but they won't have CC Sabathia for Game One. The earliest that Sabathia is likely to start would be in Game Two if he were to go on three days rest. Pitching in Game Two would mean that Sabathia could return for Game Five, if necessary, on regular rest to face Hamels in the deciding game.

Sunday becomes a day of firsts

With a lineup suitable for a Triple-A game, the Phillies picked up a win on Sunday, providing some young players with some early milestones.

Lou Marson played in his first major league game and also cranked his first major league home run off Marco Estrada.

While he's not exactly a youngster, 31 year old Les Walrond picked up his first major league win in a relief appearance.

The division title also gives outfielder Geoff Jenkins his first shot at playing in the post-season, which turns out to be an ironic twist. Jenkins and the Phillies will face the Brewers, the team that Jenkins left as a free agent to find a baseball home that provided playoff potential. Jenkins played in Milwaukee for 10 seasons before coming to Philadelphia prior to this season.

Phillies/Brewers NLDS

Game One: Wednesday in Philadelphia (3:00 pm)
Game Two: Thursday in Philadelphia (6:00 pm)
Game Three: Saturday in Milwaukee (6:30 pm)
*Game Four: Sunday in Milwaukee (time unknown)
*Game Five: Tuesday in Philadelphia (time unknown)
* if necessary.

All games of the NLDS will be televised on TBS.

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