Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley had to feel good about their chances against the New York Mets in the NLDS with Clayton Kershaw and Zach Grienke able to pitch four out of the five games. The Cy Young Award winners did just that but the Dodgers failed to beat the Mets.
When Cole Hamels exited game 5 of the ALDS with a lead against the Toronto Blue Jays in the seventh inning, it appeared that the Rangers were a good bet for the ALCS but it all went awry thanks to some incredibly bad fielding.
The former Phillies stars are heading to the golf course now, just like their ex teammates as the playoffs slip into another gear.
However, there are some Phillies, who are hoping to reach baseball’s biggest stage, the World Series. Ben Revere and Torontoare facing Ryan Madson and the Kansas City Royals in the ALCS.
Revere, 27, hit .319 with a .734 OPS, both career highs, in his half-season with the Jays. Revere has also played an outstanding leftfield for Toronto.
“Revere is a guy that can excel as a cog in the wheel,” an AL executive said. “He’s not going to be the straw that stirs the drink but he’s a good little player, who helped Toronto win the AL East. He’s a heck of a player.”
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And then there is Madson, who appeared finished after Tommy John surgery and other arm ailments over recent years. Prior to the 2015 season, Madson threw his last major league pitch during the 2011 NLDS when the Phillies lost to the St. Louis Cardinals. But Mad Dog persevered and made it back. Not only did he post a sterling 2.13 ERA and a .963 WHIP for the Royals this season, there was Madson pitching in a familiar spot, in the eighth inning of game one of the ALCS. Madson, 35, is once again hitting 95 on the radar gun and enjoying success.
“Madson is a great story,” an AL scout said. “Who would have ever thought that he would come back?”
If it weren’t for Alex Rodriguez, perhaps Madson would win the AL Comeback of the Year award. But Madson is playing for something more significant, another World Series ring.
There’s nothing like meaningful October baseball. Rollins’ 2015 run with the Dodgers has come to an end but he still looks back fondly at when Citizens Bank Park rocked when the leaves turned gold.
“It was amazing,” Rollins said. “There was nothing like it. I’ll never forget the fan’s support and just how loud they got. I have a lot of incredible memories. It was unlike anything I ever experienced. But looking at the Phillies and the young players they have, maybe they’ll be back in the playoffs sooner than later. I know the fans would love that. They know how to bring it during the playoffs. That’s for sure.”