Pop that champagne, Philadelphia.
Roy Oswalt fanned seven batters and scattered five hits over seven dominant innings Saturday night at Citizens Bank Park as the Phillies topped St. Louis 9-2 and locked up their fifth consecutive National League East title in front of a sold-out home crowd.
Jimmy Rollins went 4-for-5 with two runs scored, Shane Victorino tallied three RBI, and Raul Ibanez hit a grand slam as the Phillies cruised past a Cardinals club that has been trying to fight its way into the Wild Card mix. The Cardinals still face an uphill battle. For the Phillies, it’s time to celebrate.
The division title is the 11th in franchise history, and this 2011 team is up to 98 wins with 12 games to play.
If the season were to end tonight, Philadelphia would be facing an NLDS matchup with the Diamondbacks.
With Giancarlo Stanton and Marcell Ozuna gone, the next logical step for the Marlins would be to trade away Christian Yelich. He’s be an amazingly attractive trade candidate given that he is under team control through 2022, and is owed a very reasonable $58 million or so. He just turned 26 last week and has hit .290/.369/.432 in his five year career. That’s the kind of player and contract that could bring back a mess of prospects.
Except the Marlins, it seems, don’t want to do that. Multiple reports have come out in the last hour saying that the Marlins intend to hold on to Yelich and to build around him.
That could be a negotiating ploy, of course. They’ll no doubt listen to offers and, if the right one comes along, they’d certainly give strong consideration to trading him. A good deal is a good deal.
The only question, in light of the events of the last week, is whether the Marlins would know a good deal if they saw one.