I'll be honest: I'm not 100% sure that this is a fair point to make regarding the 2011 Phillies. But it's one that I'm going to make anyway. Interested in the Beerleaguer feedback.
Are the Phillies coming up small in the killer instinct department? I'm not talking about individual games and their ability to put teams away with insurance runs and late-inning relief. I'm talking more big picture, looking at their ability to close out sweeps this season.
So far in 2011, the Phillies have had 18 games where they've entered a series finale with an opportunity to sweep their opponent in the series (a two-game set, 13 three-game sets and four four-game sets). To this point, they are 7-11 in those games, including a 4-10 record in their last 14 opportunities to sweep an opponent. Charlie Manuel's team has yet to sweep a good team this year, as their broom resume includes the Astros, Padres (4), Nationals, Marlins (4), Pirates, Rockies and Dodgers. They have had several opportunities to sweep winning teams, but they came up short in finales against the Rangers, Cardinals, Red Sox, Blue Jays and Giants (4).
For a comparison, the Red Sox so far this season have swept a series from a winning team six times, compared to the Phillies zero, including road series sweeps in Anaheim (4), Detroit, Toronto and twice at Yankee Stadium. Much ado about nothing?