The Magic Number Is Three
But they really needed to beat the Brewers at Miller Park. Like I wrote earlier today, it would be to their benefit to get hot before the postseason.
“I would say as bad as we played, we played .500 (on the 10-game road trip) didn’t we?” Charlie Manuel said. “As bad as we played … is that accepted? It will have to be, I guess.”
The Phillies will not say the NL East is won, but they need to win just three more games to clinch. Even if they finish 2-5, the Braves would need to go 7-0 to force a one-game playoff, which would be played at Turner Field. A five-game lead with seven to play is almost insurmountable.
Consider the following in two of the greatest collapses in baseball history:
- The Phillies trailed the New York Mets by just 1 ½ games with seven games to play in 2007. They finished 4-3 and the Mets finished 2-6 as the Phillies won their first National League East championship since 1993.
- The St. Louis Cardinals trailed the Phillies by 1 ½ games with seven games to play in 1964. They finished 5-2 while the Phillies finished 2-4 as the Phillies blew a 6 ½ game lead with 12 games to play.
Ryan Madson is 5-5 with a 3.27 ERA and nine saves in 15 opportunities. Because Brad Lidge is 0-8 with a 7.51 ERA and a Major League-leading 11 saves and because Madson looked very good today, I would expect him to continue to close.
“Lidge will get back to where he was. I’m a firm believer in that,” Manuel said. “I don’t want to shoot Lidge. I think he’ll be back to where he was at really. Seriously. But I think right now just from a mental aspect and everything – physical and mental – he needs a little break.”
Scott Eyre just wants the opportunity to pitch.
It was rookie hazing day Sunday. John Mayberry Jr. and Sergio Escalona wore lady pilot costumes, while J.A. Happ wore a Superwoman contume. No, I don’t have any pictures. I think they would have wrestled me to the ground and stomped on my cell phone had I taken one.