Sep 10, 2012, 10:37 AM EDT
All summer long people wrote the Phillies 2012 campaign off for dead — ourselves included — but as casual fans would continue to ask me on a regular basis, “Do the Phillies have a legit shot at making the playoffs?” The answer has remarkably switched from, “No way.” to “It’d take something crazy, but it’s feasible.”
A sweep of the lowly Rockies, including two wins on Sunday as most of us watched football instead of the local nine, was the latest in their solid play that’s brought Charlie Manuel’s club just 6 games out of one of the two wild card spots in the National League.
As Kulp wrote about earlier in the season in his standings watch, he was pretty much hoping they could reach the .500 mark on the season. That’s remarkably achievable now. They’re just two games under thanks to having won 15 of their last 21.
Perhaps the biggest boon to any playoff pipe dreams? Their upcoming schedule is quite favorable.
How about a four game set with the pathetic Houston Astros next weekend after three with the Fish at CBP starting this evening? Then a set with the Mets.
A few weeks ago the Phillies were near the very bottom of the list. Today, only the Dodgers and Pirates are significantly ahead of Philadelphia, with Arizona having fallen a half game back and the Brewers all even at 6 back.
Sure, it’s going to take a lot of balls bouncing their way. But as Jonathan Papelbon said after closing out two games yesterday, they’ve been getting those bounces lately.
“We’re getting some breaks,” Papelbon said. “The errors tonight helped
us extend our lead. I don’t think we got a single break the first 80 or
90 games of the season. Now we’re getting some and taking advantage.”
I think it’s safe to classify the Rockies awful defense as many breaks.
We joked earlier in the season when their playoff odds at CoolStandings.com was less than a tenth of a percent. Today, it’s just 0.7 percent. But! They’ve got some cupcakes on the schedule.
Just need plenty of those bounces.
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