MLB History: Cole Hamels and Others Shine in the 2008 World Series

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13 years ago, the Philadelphia Phillies etched their names in MLB history when they won the World Series in 2008. Throughout the entirety of the 2008 campaign, so many players were so important to bring the World Series title to the City of Brotherly Love. For the second time in MLB history, the Phillies have crowned champions of baseball. The playoff run that the Phillies had in 2008 will always be remembered by the fans of the team.

MLB History: Cole Hamels‘ stellar playoff run

Cole Hamels was one of the shining stars during the Phillies 2008 run. He made a total of five postseason starts during the 2008 postseason run. In those five starts, Hamels dominated the opposition. He finished the 2008 postseason with a 1.80 ERA. Opposing batters simply could not hit whatever Hamels threw at them. His arsenal of pitches was flawless and untouchable.

He showed how truly dominant he was while facing great talent such as the Milwaukee Brewers, Los Angeles Dodgers and, the eventual American League Champions at the time, Tampa Bay Rays. He was a huge reason why the Phillies won those series in the first place. And that is also why he won the NLCS MVP award and the World Series MVP for that year.

Jimmy Rollins walked the walk

Jimmy Rollins’ 2008 campaign was one to remember, being one of the premier shortstops at the time, Rollins was implying that the Phillies were confident and could go far in the playoffs in that 2008 season. The reigning MVP had high hopes for the Phillies that season and he wanted to show that out on the diamond. He batted .277, with 11 home runs, 59 RBI’s, and a total of 47 stolen bases.

Rollins was battling injuries during this season, so his numbers weren’t up to par with the numbers he put up in the past. However, he did solidify his elite defensive prowess as he won a Gold Glove that year. Rollins’ great play at the plate and in the field were big contributors to the Phillies title run.

Utley’s near MVP season

Following two straight seasons where a Philadelphia Phillie won the MVP award, second baseman Chase Utley attempted to make it 3 in a row. Utley surged in the first few games of the season and by June 2nd, Chase Utley had 21 home runs. He had a .292 batting average, 33 home runs, and 104 RBI’s. Utley would contend for the MVP, however, he wouldn’t win due to St. Louis Cardinals’ first baseman, Albert Pujols, putting up monster numbers in 2008.

Utley did win a Silver Slugger award and had a few memorable plays in the playoffs. One of them is leading off the World Series with a home run and saving a run in game 5 of the World Series. This 2008 campaign solidified Utley as one of the best second basemen at the time and it showed when he helped propel Philadelphia to a World Series.

Ryan Howard’s Power Surge

The 2006 MVP was known for his immense power. In 2006, Ryan Howard hit a total of 58 home runs and 149 RBI’s, while joining the list of one of the greatest home run hitting seasons in MLB History. In 2007, Howard hit 47 home runs and 136 RBI’s. The immense power never stopped there for Howard, he solidified himself as one of the best home run hitters during this time.

In 2008, Howard .251, with 48 home runs and 146 RBI’s. Howard’s star-struck power took the league by storm and put fear into the hearts of opponents. Few players could hit the ball as far as Ryan Howard at the time. Howard also had many clutch home runs that would propel the Phillies to victories throughout the 2008 playoffs and the World Series.

Brad Lidge Remained Perfect

Brad Lidge was the definition of consistency in the Phillies bullpen. During the 2008 season, whenever there was a tight game, Brad Lidge was the guy who got the call. Even though he had a smaller pitching arsenal, which only consisted of a fastball and a slider, he was always Mr. Reliable. Lidge was perfect in the save department during that season and postseason. He combined for a perfect 48 saves out of 48 save opportunities.

During the 2008 season, he posted a 1.95 ERA which proved how dominant of a closer he was during this time. His most memorable moment from that season was the 9th inning of game 5 of the World Series, where he saved a one-run game and struck out Eric Hinske to win the World Series. Lidge’s consistent efforts from the bullpen made him one of the best closers in the league that season and he is a big reason why the Phillies won the World Series.

MLB History: Wrap Up

There were so many instances of great play from other 2008 Philadelphia Phillies. Players such as Shane Victorino, who hit the grand slam against Brewers pitcher, C.C. Sabathia in the NLDS, and with his great defense kept the Phillies in a lot of ball games. Then there was the emergence of Jason Werth, a good young talent who had a great arm and a big bat who roamed right field. He was one of the most consistent bats in the Phillies lineup. He put up some of the best numbers of his career at the time. Then there was the power bat of Patt Burrell, especially in the playoffs he had a lot of clutch hits as well.

There were so many key pieces for the Phillies when they were on their way to make MLB History. Becoming the second team in Phillies history to take home a World Series Trophy. It was the whole team, the players I listed were just a small number of the players that had such an impact on the title run that took place in Philadelphia. And they all etched their names in Phillies history and MLB history.

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