More Wins, More Complete Games … and More
Three important numbers for you (if the math is correct):
- Magic number is 4 to clinch a playoff berth.
- Magic number is 11 to clinch the National League East.
- Magic number is 11 to clinch the best record in the National League.
Cole Hamels threw his third complete game of the season in last night’s 7-2 victory over Milwaukee. It was the Phillies’ 17th complete game of the season. It is the most in the majors since the Orioles threw 17 complete games in 1999.
It turns out this series between the Phillies and Brewers is relatively historic. Elias Sports Bureau said it is the first four-game series between NL teams leading their respective divisions by at least eight games since Cincinnati won 3 of 4 from the Phillies at Riverfront Stadium in the final week of August 1976.
The Reds swept the Phillies in the best-of-five NLCS six weeks later.
Jimmy Rollins got a kick out of the fact last night was the first meaningful game since Sept. 12, 2004, the Phillies were without Rollins, Chase Utley or Ryan Howard in the lineup. (Stat courtesy of Philled In’s David Hale.) We say meaningful because none of them were in the lineup in the final games of the 2008 and 2009 seasons, but those games were meaningless because the Phillies had clinched the division at that point.
“We’ve always had somebody in the lineup,” Rollins said. “Actually, knowing that before the game, I was like, ‘Wow, what is going to happen tonight, knowing that none of the regulars that you normally see aren’t in there?’ But guys are getting a chance to play, which down the road is going to be very big. It was fun. They did a heck of a job.”