The acquisition of Roy Halladay seemed to Band-Aid the shocking trade of Cliff Lee for Seattle Mariners prospects, It still didn’t make sense, but wasn’t so bad as we looked forward to his much anticipated debut in red pinstripes.
With that, the Philadelphia Phillies’ 2010 season was ready to begin.
It was the 128th season in the history of the franchise. Coming off two consecutive World Series appearances,they sought out to accomplish a feat that no other NL team had accomplished.
They started the season off, defeating the Washington Nationals in their first game of the season, 11–1, behind seven innings from Roy Halladay and a grand slam from Plácido Polanco.
Ryan Howard moved into a tie for fifth place on the franchise’s all-time home run list by hitting his 223rd, matching Greg Luzinski’s career total.
The next day, Howard passed Luzinski with a two-run home run to center field off of Jason Marquis in Philadelphia’s 8–4 victory, completing the team’s first 2–0 start since the 2003 season.
Halladay’s first loss came in a foreshadowing loss to San Francisco Giants, at a score of 5–1, as the Phillies left 22 men on base.The offense wasn’t any better in the second game of the series. That loss marked the second straight series loss with a 6–2 defeat.
The loss dropped the Phillies out of first place for the first time all season, ending a streak of 135 consecutive games at the top of the division dating back to May 29, 2009.
Their time out of first place, however, didn’t last much longer. A three game series with the Mets, moving into May, won them first place again, as they defeated the, then, first place Mets 2-1.
By the end of May, unfortunately, they lost first place again, this time to the Atlanta Braves in a stretch that seemed like the longest stretch out of first place ever.
After it became apparent that the bats were silent this year, the Phils acquired, three-time all-star, Roy Oswalt, in a trade from the Houston Astros for J.A. Happ, to keep their chances of keeping the opposition’s runs to a minimum.
After acquiring starting pitcher Roy Oswalt, Wilson Valdez, in a monster fill-in job for nearly every Phillies’ infeilder, sealed Philadelphia’s eighth consecutive victory with an 11th-inning single to score Cody Ransom with one out on July 29, the night before Oswalt’s start.
The next night, Oswalt made his first start as a Phillie, but the Nationals defeated the Phillies to end their winning streak; Werth hit a solo home run to score the Phillies’ only run.
Still behind the Atlanta Braves, the buzz of a September showdown between the two was on the horizon, and the Braves looked scary. Mainly, because they seemed to have had that “it” factor, in the ability to pull through games late, even winning those games.
The summer was as roller-coaster as it could get. With Jimmy Rollins still on the injured list, and injuries to Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Placido Polanco, Shane Victorino, and even Carlos Ruiz, the bats weren’t clicking the way everyone was accustomed to.
Despite Jayson Werth preparing for the disatrous desicions he’d make in the upcoming offseason, by the time September came around, the Phightin’s were ready. The Phillies streaked into September winning their first four games. That streak would lead them to the second best month in franchise history.
After the Braves started to fade off, the Phils regained first place with an 8-7 victory over the Florida Marlins. The Braves continued to look forward to the six games ahead verses the Phils to gain ground in a head to head matchup.
With a three game lead, the Phils walked into the series in a manner that was highly reminiscent of a past season between the two. The Phils were hot as fire, while the Braves limped into the series, recovering from a slight setback.
The Phils and their solid pitching swept the Braves increasing their lead to six games. It began looking quite possible that the Phillies could possibly come out of this season with the best record in the MLB.
As these events started unfolding, there was a magical feeling about this season; this year, that seemed to scream ‘World Series victory’, as the Phils chased history doing things they’ve never done before. They’ve never ended the season with the best record in MLB, as they did in this year — 2010.
The Phils went into the season matched up in the NLDS vs. the Cincinatti Reds.
The two teams offensive power had promised a shootout until the finish, when to everyone’s surprise, Roy Halladay threw a no-hitter in game one.
That series ended up not being the shootout people had predicted. It ended in a 3-1 series victory for the Phils, as they moved on to face the San Francisco Giants.
In an absolute disappearance of the Phillies’ bats they lose in a difficult to watch fashion to the eventual World Series Champions.
Immediately, as soon as the offseason began, the front office game of chess began, starting a flurry of Jayson Werth rumors.
After much back and forth about him staying and going, Werth, finally left, surprising everyone by signing with the lowly, division rivals, for $126 million over a 7 year span.
What would happen after that, however, would make Philadelphia forget all about the departure of Werth.
Cliff Lee, former playoff hero, comes back to town looking to engage in some winning Philly baseball.
Now we sit and wait. April 1st.
April 1st is the day the Phils reopen the doors of Citizen’s Bank Park, and we’ll do it all over again.