PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies' remarkable success in recent years -- a run that has seen them win five consecutive National League East titles -- has been accomplished with the same core of position players, which is difficult to do in this era of free agency.
In fact, Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins, Carlos Ruiz, Chase Utley and Shane Victorino started their 41st consecutive postseason game together in Sunday's Game 2 of the NL Division Series. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that's the longest such streak of consecutive starts for one team by five players in Major League Baseball history.
"No one has really had a chance to walk away," Rollins said. "That's the way it should be. We have a core of guys, a group of guys that have come up together and won together, that do what it takes to keep them together.
"They never really let anybody get to a point where they have to be a free agent early in their career. They usually take care of guys right after maybe their first round of arbitration, they throw you a couple years to keep the team together until it gets to a point, where me in my situation, where free agency is just around the corner."
The streak started on Oct. 6, 2007, in Game 3 of the NLDS at Coors Field.