Philadelphia Phillies 2009 NL Baseball Championship Ring
The Philadelphia Phillies' 2009 season was the 127th season in the history of the franchise. The team, managed by Charlie Manuel, began their sixth season at Citizens Bank Park and defense of their 2008 World Series championship on April 5. After collecting a third straight Eastern Division championship, the Phillies won their second consecutive National League pennant for the first time in franchise history; they were defeated by the New York Yankees in the 2009 World Series.
The Phillies posted a second consecutive winning April to open the season with an 11–9 record, but the month was marred by the death of legendary broadcaster Harry Kalas. After opening the month of May against the rival New York Mets, the Phillies met President Barack Obama to celebrate their World Series victory the previous season, and had two rookie pitchers win consecutive starts for the first time since 2007. Starting pitcher Jamie Moyer earned his 250th career win during the month, while first baseman Ryan Howard and outfielder Raúl Ibáñez became the first Phillies teammates to hit 10 home runs in the same month. Echoing their strong run in the middle of the 2008 season, the Phillies compiled a 16–4 record in late May and early June, which was countered by weakness during interleague play in late June.
After the team's largest victory of the season (22–1 over the Cincinnati Reds) in early July, five Phillies—Howard, Ibáñez, second baseman Chase Utley, and outfielders Shane Victorino and Jayson Werth—were selected to the All-Star team. July was the team's best showing of the season, as they compiled their first 20-win month since the 2001 season. The Phillies traded for starting pitcher Cliff Lee at the end of the month to bolster their starting rotation, who won his first five starts with the team, and signed free-agent pitcher Pedro Martínez. In August, Eric Bruntlett turned the first game-ending unassisted triple play in National League history, and the second in team history. The following month, the team clinched its third consecutive division championship on September 30, becoming the first Phillies team to make a third straight playoff appearance since the 1976–1978 Phillies.
Philadelphia defeated the Colorado Rockies in the National League Division Series (NLDS), 3–1, and the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League Championship Series (NLCS) for the second consecutive year, 4–1. Howard was named the most valuable player of the NLCS. The Phillies were defeated by the Yankees in the World Series, four games to two.
Statistical leaders[A] in batting for the 2009 team included Victorino (batting average, .292), Howard (home runs, 45; runs batted in, 141), and Utley (runs scored, 112). For his season accomplishments, Utley won his fourth consecutive Silver Slugger Award. Pitching leaders included right-handed starting pitcher Joe Blanton (innings pitched, 195 1⁄3), left-handed starter J. A. Happ (win–loss record, 12–4), and relief pitcher Brad Lidge (saves, 31). Victorino and shortstop Jimmy Rollins also won Rawlings Gold Glove Awards for their play in the field.