PHILADELPHIA — The Phillies had so much to play for.
But now they're not playing anymore.
Technically, the Phillies were seeking to become the first National League team to play in three consecutive World Series in more than 60 years, since the 1942-44 Cardinals.
Theoretically, they were seeking to establish themselves as a dynastic team similar to the Yankees of the late 1990s, figuring they could add this season's championship to the one they won in 2008 over the Rays, with last year's World Series loss to the Yankees in the middle.
But that's not going to happen now.
The Phillies instead will have to live with the disappointment of being eliminated by the underdog Giants, as well as the label of being underachievers after winning a major-league-most 97 games during the season, and going into the playoffs armed with a potentially dominating rotation of Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels.
"Our ultimate goal, of course, was to go to the World Series and win," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "And we did not get there. I just left our clubhouse and you could tell without a doubt I know every guy in there they were disappointed."
Before the start of the NLCS, there was talk about how the Phillies were at the least becoming known as the Yankees of the National League.
"The other clubs have that sense, the type of team they have here and the way the ownership here wants to win," said Oswalt, who was acquired in July from Houston. "They do whatever it takes to go out and get a player to push them over the edge."
LINING UP: SS Jimmy Rollins moved back into the leadoff spot for the first time since the opening game of the division series. Manuel said he felt Rollins, who had been limited by hamstring issues, had been moving better the last few games. "He's got more legs underneath him; his foundation at the plate has been better," Manuel said. "The other day … he showed me he could run." … CF Shane Victorino, who had been filling in at the top, went into the No. 6 hole. … The Giants also made a change, starting Edgar Renteria at short and Juan Uribe at third to improve their defense, with Pablo Sandoval on the bench.
MISCELLANY: Halladay, who pitched through a groin strain on Thursday, told manager Charlie Manuel he felt well enough to make his start had the Phillies advanced to the World Series. … Former Phillies star Darren Daulton threw out the ceremonial first pitch. … Kane Kalas, son of late Phillies radio man Harry Kalas and brother of Rays TV man Todd Kalas, sang God Bless America during the seventh-inning stretch.