Monday, September 19, 2005

How tough is this task?

Please don't confuse this post as being anti-Phillies. That is not the case. It meant to be a reality check.

I mentioned this in passing the last couple of days, but it is worth pointing out again, now that the Phillies have a day off.

After going 7-3 in their last three series against the Braves and Marlins, the Phillies have picked up exactly one game. They have played .700 ball and have moved from 2 1/2 games out of the wild-card lead to 1 1/2 games behind the Astros. A lot of good work for not a lot of reward. The schedule does not lighten up with three more road game against the Braves.

Houston begins a series with Pittsburgh tonight with Roger Clemens on the mound and the Marlins are headed to New York to play the Mets beginning tomorrow. You would have to figure that the Phillies will begin play tomorrow night two games behind Houston with 12 to play.

Philling Station points out the same thing and says the Phillies fate is in their own hands.

Taking 2/3 in Florida is still a worthwhile feat, but the Astros swept a weekend series with the Brewers and ended Sunday a game-and-a-half up in the Wild Card race. Tonight they begin a four game series in Pittsburgh, then head to the Cubs for three, St. Louis for two, and close with a weekend series at home against the Cubs.

The Phils have the night off before going to Atlanta for three games. Most experts are pointing to the schedule and favoring the Astros, but to a large degree the Phils still control their own fate.

The Phillies Fan Union is just as confident:

So, in spite of questionable managerial strategizing, the Phillies players seem to have taken matters into their own hands, which is exactly what we said they would have to do to see post-season play. There are still the Mets, Braves, Marlins, and Nationals to deal with, and Cincinnati, at this stage of the season, will not be a push-over. But this team seems to have realized that if they are going to get into the post season, they will be doing it on their own. So it is a matter of taking matters into their own hands, of rising to the occasion and not letting the managerial deficits continue to haunt them. To a man, the Phillies are showing that they can be a team to be reckoned with. Just two more weeks. The rest of the division is waiting in the closest race in all of baseball. It doesn't get any better.


At 9:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's going to be tough for Philly to catch Houston, but it's really anyone's race at this point.

Unfortunately for Philly, Atlanta has not locked up the division yet and so will have something to play for in this series, which means a much tougher time for Philly. This series is critical for Atlanta in fact. If they sweep they lock the division and can begin setting up for the playoffs (resting players, adjusting the rotations, etc.). If they lose 2 of 3 they might not even make the playoffs. This sets up well for my Marlins. If Atlanta sweeps then they play rookies against the Marlins.

At 9:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wrong again, big Jim! The Phillies are only one game out this morning after the Pirates destroyed Clemens and the Astros last night. Baseball is not the type of game that you can sit back and predict for the next two weeks. It depends on pitching match-ups, hitting streaks, great defensive plays (as the Yankees proved in their recent 1-0 win over the Blue Jays), travel schedules and sheer luck. I'm a huge Yankees fan living in the Philadelphia area and think that the "Fightins" have a good shot. If only they had some good leaders that would get vocal with the team and raise their playing level a tad!!!

At 10:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of the other factors that a lot of people have overlooked is that not only do the Astros have a loding record against all of the teams they still have left to play, they also have a much worse record on the road, where they will be for eight of their final 12. It would not be unheard of for Houton to collapse in the next week.


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