Can The Phillies Still Make The Playoffs?BREAKING NEWS, News, Phillies Tuesday, September 11th, 2012
After getting swept in a three-game series with the Atlanta Braves before the trade deadline, the Phillies waved the white flag on their season. Following that series, the team began a massive fire sale, selling off veterans Shane Victorino, Hunter Pence, and Joe Blanton to restock their farm system, clear some money off of their payroll, and prepare for the 2013 season. The 2012 Phillies were left for dead at 46-57 and 13 games out of the Wild Card.
But after the team was declared dead and buried on July 31, the team hasn’t been able to rest in piece. They’ve surged to a 24-14 record since their July funeral, and have trimmed their Wild Card deficit to just five back of the stumbling St. Louis Cardinals with 21 games left to play. All of the sudden, a team thought to be dead and defeated has a chance to rise from their grave, and baseball has become interesting, if not relevant, in Philadelphia again.
But just how realistic is the idea that the Phillies can catch the Cardinals, Pirates, and Dodgers and somehow slip into the that final Wild Card slot before the season ends? The odds are still against them.
The Phillies need to play nearly perfect baseball from here on in. The margin for error is extremely slim, and any loss is a devastating one right now.
My best advice is to just enjoy the ride.
Considering the atrocious baseball that Phillies fans had to endure for three quarters of the season, it’s a treat to see this group come together and play a fun, enjoyable games. While guys like Shane Victorino and Hunter Pence were frustrating to watch, players like Erik Kratz, Kevin Frandsen, and Kyle Kendrick have helped inject new energy team that has made them competitive once again.
The fact that Phillies are now back in the playoff picture also makes the trial runs of guys like Domonic Brown, Tyler Cloyd, Justin De Fratus, Philippe Aumont, and newcomer Darin Ruf all the more interesting. These young players that have spent most of the year in the minor leagues are now performing in a situation in which a lot is being asked of them. They aren’t just auditioning in meaningless games anymore, they’re being asked to perform key roles in a legitimate run at playoff seed.
Whatever the Phillies can give the city to cheer about right now is completely unexpected treat to have at this point in the year. They’re one of the hottest teams in baseball right now, and whether it turns out to be too little too late or not, at the very least the way they’re playing right now is enough to create some excitement for 2013.
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