How Dave Dombrowski Led the Phillies to the World Series
It seemed fitting that the most successful team in baseball won its first world series since 2004, when the New York Yankees won the Fall Classic against the Red Sox. The Phillies were the underdogs, and as much as they had to fight throughout the season they were still considered the underdogs. Still, they made their play for the championship on the road in Baltimore and then Pittsburgh. They came out on top in both series, but this time they did it in extra innings.
In 2010, the Phillies were one of the best teams in the National League, finishing in second place with 102 wins on the season. But a lot of that success was because they had the best offense in baseball. With the most wins in baseball, they finished second to the Dodgers, who had 103, but their success was mostly fueled by their offense. The Phillies were also the second-best team in baseball in pitching, with the most wins, and were second in ERA to the Mets, who had 102. So despite the success, the Phillies had the most pressure on their shoulders.
And yet, they still came out on top in their two games against the Pirates in the NL Division Series. Now back on top of the NL East standings, they were on course for a repeat of the Phillies’ 2006 run.
The season began in early June when the Phillies and Nationals met in the opening game after the teams’ seasons overlapped for three weeks in the first month. The Phillies had split their first two games before winning the opener.
On June 3, the Nationals were playing for their first world series appearance in five years, while the Phillies had lost the first two games of their season but had won two in a row. They were ahead 5-2 and their bullpen was holding the Braves scoreless in the eighth inning. Then the Braves answered, and it looked like the game was over until the ninth inning, when the Phillies loaded the bases with none out and reliever Brad Lidge struck out Adam LaRoche for the final out. But the Phillies got one run back when Ryan Howard hit a tying home run.
Then the Braves scored in the bottom of the tenth on a wild pitch, pushing the lead to six, and the Phillies were on their way to their first division series since 2005.
In the next four games the Phillies would go back-and-forth, winning two,