Results tagged ‘ postseason ’

Breaking Down the NL Playoff Scenarios

Charlie Manuel said he couldn’t care less about the numerous NL playoff scenarios entering tomorrow.

“Somebody’s going down,” he said. “There’s three teams in there. Somebody’s going down, man.”

This much is true, but who falls and when might not be decided until Tuesday. That is because the Phillies beat the Braves today, 7-0, and the Padres beat the Giants, 4-2. The Padres pulled into a first-place tie with the Braves in the Wild Card race. They also pulled within a game of the Giants for the NL West lead with one game to play.

It looked like a near certainty the Phillies would play the Cincinnati Reds in the NL Division Series, beginning Wednesday at Citizens Bank Park, but not anymore. Here are the scenarios:

  • Phillies and Giants win Sunday. The Giants win the NL West. The Padres and Braves tie for the Wild Card and have a one-game playoff Monday at Turner Field. If the Padres win, they play the Phillies in the NLDS. If the Braves win, the Reds play the Phillies in the NLDS.
  • Phillies and Padres win. The Braves are eliminated. The Padres and Giants finish with the same record. The Padres would be NL West champions because they won the season series against the Giants. The Giants would be Wild Card champions and play the Phillies in the NLDS.
  • Braves and Giants win. The Padres are eliminated. The Giants win the NL West. The Braves win the Wild Card. The Phillies play the Reds in the NLDS.
  • Braves and Padres win. The Padres and Giants finish with the same record and play a one-game playoff Monday at Petco Park in San Diego. The winner is NL West champion. The loser flies to Atlanta for a one-game playoff Tuesday. The winner is Wild Card champion. In that scenario, if the Giants or Padres beat Atlanta on Tuesday, they would play four games in four days in four cities: Sunday in San Francisco, Monday in San Diego, Tuesday in Atlanta and Wednesday in Philadelphia.

Got it?

“If I could pick it I might care, but at the same time I can’t pick it so there’s sense in me hashing it out and worrying about it,” Manuel said.

Cole Hamels will start tomorrow, but he will only pitch two innings. Roy Oswalt is expected to pitch an inning in relief. Brad Lidge also could pitch an inning.

“We knew they were going to fill the stands, and it was important for them,” Chad Durbin said. “We know from doing anything competitive, if it’s important to the other guy, it’s important to you. We have a team full of guys like that. We’re going to compete until the last out. That goes for game 162, no matter what the scenario.”

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The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter. My Phillies book “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly” is available online, and at Delaware Valley bookstores!

Phillies Clinch (A Playoff Berth)!

If you’re like me, you’re wondering the same thing: what are the Phillies doing with all the champagne they bought this weekend to celebrate their fourth consecutive National League East championship?

They’re taking it to DC.

It is worth noting the Phillies clinched a playoff berth today anyway, despite losing to the Mets. They clinched because only one National League West team can finish with 93 wins.

The Phillies are 93-63 with six games to play.

If the Braves (87-69) win their remaining games, they can finish with no more than 93 wins. The Padres (87-68) and Giants (88-68) are competing for the NL West championship with the Giants holding a half-game lead. They play each other in a three-game series this weekend at AT&T Park. If both teams win every game leading to that series, they both would be 91-68. One of those teams obviously will win at least two of those games, pushing one team to 93 wins while the other team finishes with no more than 92.

Thus, the Phillies are in the playoffs.

If you’re wondering if the Phillies were going to celebrate on the train, think again. I asked Brad Lidge if it’s safe to assume the entire team will not be headed to the bar car for a celebratory drink.

“I think that’s a safe assumption,” he said. “We might be doing some low-key patting on the back, but we want to accomplish our goal and nothing short. That’s when we’ll celebrate.”

Because the Braves lost, the Phillies can clinch the NL East tomorrow with a victory over the Nationals or a Braves loss to the Marlins.

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The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter. My Phillies book “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly” is available online, and at Delaware Valley bookstores!

The Playoff Odds

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The Phillies have a three-game lead over the Braves with 14 games to play.

Baseball Prospectus likes this. It gives the Phillies a 97.7 percent chance to make the playoffs, and a 79.2 percent chance to win the division. It gives the Braves a 77.8 percent chance to make the playoffs, and a 20.8 percent chance to win the division.

Looking around the rest of the league:

  • Reds: 97.8 percent chance to make the playoffs.
  • Giants: 54.4 percent.
  • Padres: 40.9 percent.
  • Rockies: 28.8 percent.
  • Cardinals: 2.5 percent.

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Sports Illustrated’s Joe Sheehan tells us why home-field advantage isn’t the advantage it’s supposed to be in the playoffs.

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The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter. My Phillies book “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly” is available online, and at Delaware Valley bookstores!

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