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It's not 14, but Phils' reign will reach 5

Posted on: September 7, 2011 7:59 pm
Edited on: September 7, 2011 7:59 pm
 
PHILADELPHIA -- With the Tigers on the way to winning the American League Central, four of the five AL Central teams will have won the division within the last five years. With the Brewers on the way to winning the National League Central, the same holds true there.

More than half the teams in baseball -- 17 out of 30 -- will have won at least one division title since 2007. But only one team in the National League East is on that list.

Compared to the Braves, who won 14 straight division crowns, the Phillies' soon-to-be five-year reign may not seem like much. But in the 43-year history of division play, the Phillies will be just the fifth team with a streak that long.

The A's of the early 1970s won five straight. So did the Indians of the late 1990s. And the Joe Torre Yankees won nine years in a row.

But that's it.

"Everyone always assumes that when you're a good team, it's a foregone conclusion that you're going to win," Brad Lidge said Wednesday, before the Phillies tried to extend their lead to 10 1/2 games over the second-place Braves. "But a lot of teams get derailed by injuries, or the chemistry isn't right.

"We've had countless injuries, and it's still like a machine that keeps going. It's pretty cool to be here right now."

As Braves third baseman Chipper Jones said, "They play more consistently than anyone else, including us. Will they get to 14? That's a long way off."

So many teams don't get to two. Of the six teams that won division titles last year, only the Phillies and the Rangers have any real chance to repeat -- and the Rangers still need to hold off the Angels.

"It's hard," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "If you're not careful, when you start the season, there's an expectation that you've already won it."

Category: MLB
Tags: Braves, Phillies
 
Comments

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