The Magic Number Is Three

phils 0927.jpgHad the Phillies lost today in Milwaukee, they still would have had a four-game lead in the National League East with seven games to play.

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.

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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.”

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Scott Eyre just wants the opportunity to pitch.

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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.

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11 Comments

As I said in a previous post: let’s hope the Phils can win 3 straight to clinch it and we can all breath a sign of relief.

The Phillies should be able to end any suspense quickly against the Astros. Oswalt is on the shelf and the pitching matchups are a joke.

phan: Funny, I thought it said Koufax, Drysdale, Osteen and Sutton but it’s Lopez, Bazardo, Moehler and Paulino. My mistake. Maybe they should let them pitch from 48 feet.

Well, with the Marlin and Braves beating each other up for a few days, Phase 1 should be over by Wednesday.
I think Chase needs some serious time off. They might have to hide his glove and bat to get him to sit, but he should sit.

phan52 … exactly what we thought against ‘Stros last time … fortunately that’s fresh in the team’s memory … if not (y)ours … we need more of what we’ve seen lately, early leads, then we need to hold them while we build on those leads, for a change – eh ?

Wrong phraserx, we faced Oswalt and Rodriguez the last time, their two best starters. This time we will only be facing one guy who started the season in their rotation, while we give them Hamels, Happ. Lee and Martinez. We get Wilton Lopez and Yorman Bazardo.
Unless the Phillies are really off their game, it should be batting practice.

And we’ll see which version of Cliff Lee shows up this week. It will be his final start of the regular season. Just like when you’re eating grapes, you don’t want the last one you ate to be the sour one, so you go back until you get a sweet one to finish on. He’s had a few sour grapes lately.

The Phillies KEY players ( Rollins, Howard, Utley and Hamels ) have proven that they KNOW how to win- see 2007 and 2008 .

In addition, Rollins ( the team leader ) is heating up – see yesterday’s game. They will close it out , in relatively short order. However, with THIS Bullpen. none of the games will be easy victories.

Phils making another bad pitcher – Bazardo with his 8.5 era – look like Cy Young.

phan52, Phils are REALLY off their game. Batting practice indeed…against Phils pitching. Hope they are playing next week, I guess.

If the Phils end up losing this thing, Lidge and Charlie will live in infamy for the next 50 years. All of those blown saves really took a toll on this team. To beat another team soundly for 8 innings, only to see Lidge come in and implode, time after time after time, had to be really draining, especially since just about all of the blown saves were on the road and we had to watch the other team celebrate like they had just won the World Series. It was obvious very early on this season that Lidge didn’t have it and that he was messed up in the head. Amaro’s failure to get insurance, and Charlie’s refusal to take the closers job away were colossal mistakes. This thing should be wrapped up by now.

Nice follow through from last year guys. Awesome to watch a team limp, trip, stumble into the playoffs, maybe. Anybody else see a quick 3 and out with 2 blown saves and one huge blowout, IF they get there? I do. Is that what we watched this team all year for? Really? The Astros? Really?

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