Phillies Stay Hot, Lower Wild Card Deficit To ThreeBREAKING NEWS, News, Phillies Thursday, September 13th, 2012
Where do you start with this Phillies team right now? What’s harder to believe? The fact that they’ve won seven straight games and have a record of 26-14 since the trade deadline, or that the St. Louis Cardinals are in a complete free fall after losing 11 of their last 15?
For most of the season, anytime the Phillies seemed to take a step forward, something terrible would happen and stunt the team’s growth. Now everything seems to be breaking their way. They’re surging through their competition, and doing everything in their power to win every game from here on out in hopes of making an eleventh hour run at the Wild Card, and every team in front of them is losing.
The Cardinals, Dodgers, and Pirates are all ice cold right now.
The Cardinals had a firm grip on the second Wild Card slot, but they’re going into a collapse of New York Met proportions, and are opening the door for a number of teams to take it from them.
The Dodgers made more significant trades than any other team this year, acquiring big names like Hanley Ramirez, Shane Victorino, Joe Blanton, Adrian Gonzalez, and Josh Beckett. Yet, all of the additional star power hasn’t translated into victories, and LA has been unable to rise in either their division or Wild Card races.
The Pirates have been hanging around the playoff picture all season, but the wheels have been falling off for this young team, who have won just two of their last 10 games.
And then you have teams like the Phillies and Brewers, who are getting hot at the right time.
The Phillies won their seventh straight game on Wednesday afternoon, completing a sweep of the Miami Marlins. Remarkably, they’re rapidly gaining ground in the standings, and their odds of making the playoffs grow a little larger with each victory.
But as exciting as this run has been, all of this momentum can be destroyed with a single loss. The Phillies will now play a four-game set with the Houston Astros, one of the worst teams in baseball. Knowing what’s at stake, they really can’t afford to let any of these games get away. It’s difficult to sweep a four-game series, even against a terrible team, but the Phillies are going to have to do it.
Only 19 games remain, and although a three-game deficit doesn’t look like an impossible mountain to climb, the odds are still against them. Every game is a do-or-die situation, and on Thursday the team’s fate will be passed into hands of rookie Tyler Cloyd.
The Phillies have the right attitude though. Take it one game at a time, control what they can control, and let the rest take care of itself.
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