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.
Rollins won't take 'hometown discount' to stay
PHILADELPHIA -- If this is Jimmy Rollins' final season in Philadelphia, he seems prepared for it.
Rollins has been with the Phillies since they selected him in the second round of the 1996 First-Year Player Draft, but he will become a free agent for the first time following the season. He has said while he has enjoyed his time in Philadelphia, he will not take the proverbial "hometown discount" to remain in red pinstripes.
So this postseason would seem like an excellent opportunity to raise his free-agent profile.
"If that happens, that happens," Rollins said Sunday before Game 2 of the National League Division Series at Citizens Bank Park. "I mean, it can help some, but I am who I am, postseason, regular season, regardless. When free agency comes about, people are going to pay you for what your numbers reflect, not just for a three-week snapshot."
Rollins hit .268 with 22 doubles, two triples, 16 home runs, 63 RBIs, 30 stolen bases and 87 runs scored in 142 games. His .736 on-base-plus-slugging percentage was 25 points below his career average, although it was his best since 2008 (.786). He also ranked 11th out of 20 qualifying shortstops in the big leagues in OPS. But there is no question he remains a consistent force in the lineup and field, and it would be a risk to let him walk.
Rollins said he would like a five-year contract, although it seems unlikely the Phillies would offer him that.
Rollins said he never felt pressure to produce this season, knowing a big year could make him millions.
"It was never really an issue," he said.
If this is it for Rollins, what does he think about his legacy? He is third in franchise history in doubles (388); fourth in hits (1,866), runs (1,080) and stolen bases (373); fifth in games (1,636); 13th in homers (170) and 14th in RBIs (725). He won the 2007 NL Most Valuable Player Award. Many regard him as the greatest shortstop in franchise history.
"As far as my legacy here in Philadelphia?" he said. "It's pretty solid."
Stutes hopes to get chance at redemption
PHILADELPHIA -- The best Mike Stutes can say is he got that one out of the way.
The rookie reliever allowed three hits and three runs in one-third of an inning in the ninth Saturday in Game 1 of the National League Division Series at Citizens Bank Park. It didn't cost the Phils much because they had an 11-3 lead entering the inning, but they did have to use closer Ryan Madson to finish the game.
"I'm not happy with the way it went," Stutes said. "I had [Allen Craig] 0-2 and instead of going after him like I had in the past few outings, I tried to get him to chase something. That's something I obviously can't do.
"Hopefully I can get back in there again and prove myself a little better. It wasn't nerves or anything like that. They've battled me pretty tough all year. They're obviously seeing me well. They're singling me to death."
J-Roll revels in 49ers' victory over Eagles
PHILADELPHIA -- Just a few hours before the Phillies battled the Cardinals in Game 2 of the National League Division Series at Citizens Bank Park, the Eagles coughed up a second-half lead and lost to the 49ers across the street at Lincoln Financial Field.
While Philadelphia sports fans were filing out of the stadium disappointed, Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins was ecstatic. A native of Oakland, Calif., Rollins grew up cheering for the 49ers.
"The results were great," he said.
The Raiders were playing in Los Angeles while Rollins was a kid and he became a fan of the 49ers across the bay. Rollins was asked if he thought Philly fans were going to be looking to him to help alleviate the pain of the Eagles' loss.
"Whether the Eagles won or not, we were planning on coming out to win and take a 2-0 lead in the series," he said. "So that doesn't change our plans either way."
Game times announced for rest of NLDS
PHILADELPHIA -- Game times for the remainder of the Phillies-Cardinals National League Division Series have been announced.
Following Game 2 on Sunday night, the best-of-five series shifts to Busch Stadium in St. Louis. Game 3 will be on Tuesday at 5:07 p.m. ET. Game 4, if necessary, will start at 6:07 p.m. on Wednesday. If a decisive Game 5 is needed, that will start at 8:37 p.m. on Friday at Citizens Bank Park.
If the Brewers sweep the D-backs in the other NLDS, Games 4 and 5 of the Phils-Cards series will shift to 8:07 p.m.
The Phillies entered Sunday night's Game 2 leading the series, 1-0, after Saturday's 11-6 victory.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Brian McTaggart is reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. Nate Mink is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.