Don't do this to yourself. Indeed, the Phillies are playing as well as anyone in the National League, but with playoff odds under 1 percent, time is not on their side.
Beerleaguer: And so continues this crazy Monday morning cycle of alternating funeral and revival. Last Monday, we lamented what some argued as the worst loss of the season, a walk-off defeat to Chipper and the Braves, a loss that surely hammered the nail into the coffin once and for all. That came a week after sweeping the Nationals, which had readers wondering “what if?” And so on.
All along, the Phils have been not quite dead. Winners of eight of their last 10 and 15 of their last 21, they can reach their first “marker” and claw back to .500 by winning the next two games against the ruffled Marlins. In all, they have six games with the Fish, three with the Mets, four with Houston, three critical games with the Braves and six with Washington to close out the 2012 campaign. They’ll need to blitz them all, while the Cardinals, Pirates and Dodgers need to become unhinged.
Although their playoff odds are set at exactly 0.7 percent, strange endings seem to occur 100 percent of the time in baseball.
They’re winning games late, in vintage style, beating the teams they’re supposed to beat (Rockies) while passing a big test against the Braves and Reds on their recent road trip, Chipper walk-off aside. If one seeks a specific reason for the revival, one can start with a better bullpen, one that earned the win in all three games of the sweep and held the Rockies scoreless in Sunday’s double-header.
Did I mention I like Phillippe Aumont a lot?
Granted, the Phils still have issues. But so does everyone. They’re really no better or worse than anyone else in the National League. With 22 remaining, the cream is slowing rising to the top.
Only too slowly.