Four Back, 20 to Play

Roy Halladay recently changed his warmup music from Led Zeppelin’s Moby Dick/Good Times Bad Times to Tears for Fears’ Mad World.

Mad World seems fitting because the Phillies woke up this morning four games behind the St. Louis Cardinals for the second National League Wild Card with 20 games to play. Remember when the Phillies were 14 games under .500 on July 13? Remember when they traded Shane Victorino, Hunter Pence and Joe Blanton? Crazy how quickly things change. Now, that said, the Phillies still face incredibly long odds to make the postseason. They need to keep up their torrid pace — their 14-4 record since Aug. 22 is tied with the A’s for the best record in baseball — and they need the Cardinals, Dodgers, Pirates and Brewers to continue to lose.

But a postseason berth looks a little more realistic with every Phillies victory and every Cardinals loss. I mean, the Phillies were eight games behind St. Louis just last Wednesday.

Now let’s say the the second Wild Card gets in with 85 victories. Here is how the Wild Card contenders need to finish to reach that mark:

  • Cardinals: 10-10.
  • Dodgers: 11-9.
  • Pirates: 13-8.
  • Brewers: 14-6.
  • Phillies: 14-6.

The Cardinals finish their three-game series in San Diego this afternoon before opening a big four-game series this weekend against the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. I guess the best thing for the Phillies is those teams split, while the Phillies take care of business in their four-game series this weekend in Houston. The Phillies play their next eight games against the Marlins, Astros and Mets. You have to think they need to go at least 6-2 to have a shot going into the final 12 games of the season because the Phillies play nine of their final 12 against the Braves (three at home) and Nationals (three at home, three on the road). If the Phillies go 6-2 over this upcoming stretch they would need to finish 8-4 to finish with 85 wins. And that means they could not lose a series the rest of the way, unless they work in another sweep somewhere.

Once the Cardinals finish their series against the Dodgers, they play their next nine games against the Astros and Cubs, who are the two worst teams in baseball. So these next eight games are where the Phillies can really take a run and put some pressure on the Cardinals and the other teams in front of them.

There’s not any wiggle room for the Phillies, but there wasn’t any last week either. And they’ve responded. Can they keep it up?

31 Comments

I also felt it was a “mad, mad, mad, mad world” in the NL Wild Card Race… http://www.carrotleaguebaseballtoday.com/2012/09/nl-wild-card-night-at-movies-edition.html

Miricles happen. Ya gotta believe

isn’t that the mets’ slogan ;)

maybe, but what do they believe in?

Keeping in mind that the Nationals series may see a lot of reserve players from Washingtons end, with everything they need likely clinched by then. Could help

That’s probably what the Braves thought when the Phils came to Atlanta for the last 3 games last year.

I never give up on the Phillies — 2007 and 2008 taught me that.

I’m going to go ahead and keep my expectations low for the playoffs and just enjoy the run the Phillies are on. It’s too bad that the race is getting tighter. I would have loved to see Ruf play a game. I wonder if Charlie would give Ryan Howard a rest day and let Ruf play 1st.

Todd, enough already with your prognostications. Quite frankly, you suck at it. The bottom line is the Phillies just need to keep on winning. The number of teams ahead of the Phillies is just not as daunting as the LeapFroggers/ChickenLittles would have us believe considering the more teams there are the more they have to play each other. This is especially true when 3 of 4 teams involved are in the Central Division. But for the Braves recent history of folding, it almost makes one want to root for the Braves tonight against the Brewers. Considering the epic collapse it would take by the Braves for the Phillies to get that #1 Wild Card spot, I’ll root for the Braves for at least this one game.

Its his job to weigh the possibilities. You complained, then followed up with your own analysis. Keep it up Todd!

Really? He has a job?

Wow dude, calm down. He’s not predicting anything, he’s telling you what the Phils would need to do to get a WC spot. And why bring up a Braves collapse for the Phils to take the 1st spot in the WC? We don’t need the first spot, just the second. You do know the first and second WC place teams would play each other in a 1 game playoff for the final playoff spot, right? Because it sounds like you don’t.

good to know this guy is just as much an ass to his own fans as he is to us over on our site…

How are the El Foidos doing, Shit Lips?

Currenly, 6.5 games up on the nearest wildcard contender, and 6.5 games down on the first place Nats. I’m not here to predict how anyone will finish, but CURRENLTY, you are in a position of “talking shit without results” with 4 teams ahead of you for the second WC spot, and I am in the position of actually being in contention. As much as you want to say “we just have to win, yipee!!,” you’re playing those teams up ahead of you, and they’re playing each other. So unless you think the phils are going to win 20 straight (they’re not), the math matters. But, might as well keep things simple for your simple mind.

For those of you who wonder why I’m here, twinkle toes enjoys posting on our blog, so I followed him here.

7.5 games down on the nats..

yeah but the # 1 spot would have homefield so it does matter Tom

I didn’t say it doesn’t matter, I’m just saying that’s not our goal. Our goal is to get that second WC spot, aiming for the first spot is too much at this point.

At the risk of jinxing the Phillies – they know how to win in September. David Murphy points out the Phils have won 34 of their last 54. That’s .629 baseball, or 102 wins over the season. Makes you wonder what kind of team the Phillies really had this year.

It’s amusing how every writer continues to point out the “incredibly long odds.” Aren’t the odds in your favor when you’re objectively playing well, and the other teams are objectively tanking?

I’m looking for 86 W’s to take the 2nd WC. The Cards’ schedule makes things tough for the Fightins.

Ron’s got the right ‘tude. Just enjoy it – they are certainly not tanking/choking the rest of the season away and it looks like they may have solved most of their pitching woes. But something is up with Doc – he hasn’t really looked right all year. I hope he gets back to form over the offseason and comes back “right”.
Question: would it better for them to make a serious run at the playoffs only to fall short, and go into the offseason feeling good about themselves, or to make the 2WC, beat the Braves (almost 100% chance, because they are the Braves in October), and then get throttled by the Giants? Of all the teams in the NL postseason, I feel like the Phillies would have the most trouble with the Giants, and if I understand how teams are paired up in the postseason, that would be their most likely opponent after the play-in game.
I know you never know in the postseason, but it seems hard to imagine this team being able to go all the way this year with this offense and with their #1 pitcher so wobbly (for him). And show of hands of those would be excited to have Cloyd and Kyle in the postseason rotation?

steve–that is the most ridiculous question i have ever asked. you are asking if it is better for them to make the playoffs or to not make the playoffs? anything can happen once you get there. my god you are an idiot.

Thank you for not using “your” in that thoughtful response…..

This Phillies bandwagon is getting crowded as the naysayers are trying to jump aboard.

You’re the biggest idiot asshole here, go root for the Braves and gtfo.

You seem out of sorts, Punk. Did you hurt yourself jumping back onto the bandwagon?

The headline is incorrect. We’re 3 back with 19 to play. The “phan” in me sez we’re in this thing. So does my “voice of reason”.

Just to let weaksync know, the Braves are 5.5 up on the nearest WC team – feel that throat tightening?

I love that the braves are in this, but it will take something magical for them to make a deep run into the post season. Not to say it can’t happen. I am not here to comment about how I think the Braves are the best team in baseball… I’m here because your egocentric pal pherris loves the braves blog more than the phillies blog. I think what ya’ll are doing is great, not just for your fellow fans, but for baseball in general. This is what it’s all about… I love the race. Some of us happen to love baseball above belittling other people.

Short answer – yes, it’s getting close, but I’d rather be where we are than where you are right now. All I can say is I hope things stay that way.

Seriously dude, nobody here cares about the Braves. While I hardly approve of pherris’ childish behavior on the Braves board, it would be wise to realize that it was the moron Braves element who came here first. You get what you deserve. I would suggest that you take it up with that moronic element over on your board because, again, nobody here cares about the Braves unless they are playing the Phillies.

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