Results tagged ‘ Braves ’

Postseason Preview Week

I still don’t understand why Joe West reviewed a non-home run call on instant replay, especially when Charlie Manuel never asked him to review it. (West said Manuel did, but Manuel did not speak with West until after he reviewed the play so that seems impossible — unless telepathy was involved.) I’ve got to think something will happen to West, some sort of disciplinary action, although I doubt we’ll hear about it. But I will bet the final score stands because MLB does not have a history of overturning rulings in protested games.

I also don’t understand why fans insist on reaching onto the field of play to catch baseballs. I know, it’s instinct, yadda, yadda, yadda. I say have some self awareness. Hey, I’m in the first or second row, if a ball comes my way I’m not going to do anything that might make me the next Steve Bartman or cost my team a victory. (The fans offer their sides of the story here. “Get over it,” one said.)

But, as Cliff Lee would say, whatever.

That’s yesterday.

Today the Phillies begin a stretch of seven consecutive games against two teams they could face in the postseason. They open a three-game series tonight against the Braves at Citizens Bank Park before flying to Milwaukee to play the Brewers in a four-game series at Miller Park. If the postseason started today the Phillies would be playing Arizona in the NLDS, while Atlanta would be playing Milwaukee. If those seeds held in the first round the Phillies would be playing either Atlanta or Milwaukee for the NL pennant.

So there’s certainly plenty of intrigue this week.

To recap:

  • Joe West: Huh?
  • Interferring fans: Really, dude?
  • This week’s games: Oooooh.

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Chipper Hasn’t Seen A Team This Good Since …

The Phillies woke up this morning with a 9 1/2 game lead over the Braves in the National League East, despite the Braves having the second-best record in the league and fourth-best record in baseball.

That’s pretty impressive.

It’s even more impressive when you combine the leads of every other division leader in baseball:

AL East: 0 (tie for first)
AL Central: 4.
AL West: 1.
NL Central: 3.
NL West: 1/2 game.

That’s a combined 8 1/2 games for the other division leaders.

Mark Bowman covers the Braves for MLB.com and he passed along this quote from Braves third baseman Chipper Jones: “The Phillies are as good as any team I’ve seen. I’d put them up against any of those Yankees clubs of the late ’90s and early 2000s. That club has got it going on and they are flat out playing like it, day in and day out.”

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Catching the Braves in 29 Games

ruiz and mcann.jpg

The Braves have a three-game lead over the Phillies in the National League East. Both teams have 29 games to play.

Who has the easiest road to the division title?

Let’s take a look (teams in bold have a winning record):

PHILLIES

Upcoming schedule: 1 game @ Rockies, 3 games vs. Brewers, 4 games vs. Marlins, 3 games @ Mets, 3 games @ Marlins, 3 games vs. Nationals, 3 games vs. Braves, 3 games vs. Mets, 3 games @ Nationals, 3 games @ Braves. That’s 16 games at home, 13 on the road, 14 against winning teams and 15 against losing teams.

BRAVES

Upcoming schedule: 1 game vs. Mets, 3 games @ Marlins, 3 games @ Pirates; 4 games vs. Cardinals, 3 games vs. Nationals, 3 games @ Mets, 3 games @ Phillies, 3 games @ Nationals, 3 games vs. Marlins, 3 games vs. Phillies. That’s 14 games at home, 15 on the road, 16 games vs. winning teams and 13 against losing teams.

The Phillies have two more home games and play two fewer games against winning teams. That’s not much of an advantage, if any.

The Phillies only play teams in the division following this weekend’s series against the Brewers at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies are 5-7 against the Braves this season. They are 6-6 against the Mets, who they play six times, 7-5 against the Nationals, who they play six times, and 7-4 against the Marlins, who they play seven times.

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