Magic Number: 2
So here’s the deal:
The Phillies can clinch the NL East championship tonight, if they beat the Cardinals and the Mets beat the Braves.
I say, why wait?
Elias Sports Bureau passed along some pretty good stats and such from yesterday’s doubleheader:
- Cliff Lee has allowed only four earned runs in 64 2/3 innings in his last eight starts. His 0.56 ERA during that stretch is the lowest ERA by a pitcher over any eight-start span in one season in Phillies history and the lowest by a pitcher on any team since 2002, when Pedro Martinez had a 0.47 ERA for the Red Sox over eight starts from July 1-Aug. 10.
- Ryan Howard ended a 0-for-16 slump with a walk-off double in the 10th inning in Game 2. Howard’s 0-for-16 was the second-longest slump of his career. He went hitless in 23 consecutive at-bats May 14-20.
- Kyle Kendrick allowed only one run and two hits while striking six batters and issuing no walks in five innings to pick up the win in Game 1. Kendrick has five wins as a starting pitcher this season (one in May, June, July, August and September) and in those five wins he’s given up only three runs and 19 hits in 32 innings, with no more than one run allowed in any one of those wins.
Cliff, we felt your pain last night when you served up that solo homer to Jose Lopez with two strikes, two outs and nobody on the top of the ninth inning in Game 2. We especially felt it in in the pressbox, where the writers had some pretty sweet game stories almost finished. But we’re not mad at you. You’ve kept game times under 3 hours for most of the season, and we’re deeply grateful for that.
As an aside, there was a pretty incredible rainbow that popped up behind the ballpark in between games of the doubleheader. This is a great photo above, but it doesn’t really do it justice. There actually was a bit of a double rainbow for a few minutes, which had me wondering how Double Rainbow Guy is doing.