Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Philadelphia Phillies' Sometimes Unlucky Seven Most Important Trades in Team History: No. 2—November 7, 2007

MLB: World Series 2008 - Game 5 - Phillies Win World Series

Part 6 of a 7 Part Series

No. 2—November 7, 2007

The Deal—Phillies received RHP Brad Lidge and INF Eric Bruntlett from the Houston Astros for OF Michael Bourn, RHP Geoff Geary and minor league 3B Mike Costanzo

When GM Ed Wade landed in Houston after being let go by the Phillies, he promptly continued to place his imprint on his former club. In one of his first acts in his new home, Wade struck a deal with Pat Gillick, the man who replaced him in Philly.

While the move provided the Astros with what appears to be their starting center fielder for many years to come, it paid immediate dividends in Philadelphia of historic proportions.

Brad Lidge was arguably the single most important player on the Phillies 2008 World Series Championship team. Without him, the team most likely would not have taken that magical November trip down Broad Street as Lidge put together one of the most remarkable performances in team history.

"Lights Out" Lidge took the ball 41 times in the regular season, and then seven times more in the postseason, in a save situation— converting on the opportunity each and every time. In closer terms, he was an unprecedented perfect 48-for-48, giving the Phillies a death grip on games that they led heading into the last inning.

Even the most optimistic fans would concede that the Phillies second World Championship would not have been possible if not for Lidge's spectacular season.

Adding to the impact of the deal, Eric Bruntlett etched his place in team annals by sliding home with the clinching run in the series. After a rough encore in 2009, it remains to be seen whether Lidge will be known as an "one hit wonder" in Philly, but there is little debate that those 2008 World Series rings have his finger prints all over them.

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