- Associated Press - Thursday, September 29, 2011

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - No team enters this postseason under more pressure than the Philadelphia Phillies.

Expectations are so high in the City of Brotherly Love that anything less than a World Series title will be considered a failure by fans, players and management.

Yes, it’s boom or bust for these Phillies, who are a long way removed from being known for losing more games than any franchise in professional sports.

“Our main goal is to get to the World Series and win it,” pitcher Roy Oswalt said.

Their road begins Saturday against the wild-card St. Louis Cardinals at Citizens Bank Park.

Led by their Four Aces, the Phillies cruised to their fifth straight NL East title and led the majors in wins _ 102 _ for the second straight season.

They set a franchise record for wins in a season, and achieved several accomplishments along the way. None of that matters.

All they care about is having a victory parade down Broad Street for the second time in four years.

“Our ultimate goal is to win the World Series,” starter Cliff Lee said. “We still have a lot of business to take care of.”

Lee’s arrival in Philadelphia raised expectations to all-or-nothing proportions. The All-Star lefty stunned the baseball world last winter when he spurned the New York Yankees and Texas Rangers and took less money to return to the Phillies, who traded him away in December 2009.

Lee joined reigning NL Cy Young Award winner Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels and Oswalt to form one of the best starting rotations in recent history.

They didn’t disappoint.

Lee was 17-8 with a 2.40 ERA and a major-league leading six shutouts, twice falling one out shy of another shutout. Halladay went 19-6 with a 2.35 ERA and a majors-best eight complete games.

Hamels was 14-9 with a 2.79 ERA. Oswalt started and finished strong, but struggled in between mainly because of back problems. He had his first losing season, 9-10, and his 3.69 ERA was his second-worst. But he was impressive down the stretch, and has always pitched well in the playoffs.

It is said that strong pitching wins championships, which is why the Phillies are strong favorites to go all the way.

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