Being 7 games down with 17 games to go last year was strange enough for the Phillies to come back and win the division crown. That was last year.
Fast forward to now, it's the 17th of September and the Phillies are now in first place in the NL East. The numbers may be coincidental but they are what they are. The Phillies are playing great baseball and the Mets have again stumbled and the Phils are staring the last two week of the season down with everything to win!
The Mets have looked really strong overall in the last 6 weeks, they have been a changed team. That being said, they still are being bitten by a bad bullpen, and some tough luck. Atlanta beat up on the Mets and now with a loss to the Nationals, the Mets look very vulnerable.
Ryan Howard has looked stronger and stronger, forget about 190+ strikeouts - they are tough to watch at times, but he's got to be the best homerun hitter I've ever seen that also strikes out a record number of times. He has hustled tremendously and has been hitting in the clutch for the team lately.
Jimmy Rollins has also been scorching the ball with his hits, and looks like the Jimmy that we all know, not the same guy from a month ago or so in LA, who was complaining about Phillies fans. He's not that person, he's the MVP of last year in the National League and he deserves much more respect from us for that accomplishment. Overall, I think Phillies fans undervalue Rollins, and don't understand that he is the best all around shortstop in baseball period.
We'll see what the next two weeks hold for the Phillies, if they keep the level of play up - we may just see them in the World Series. The pitching staff still worries me, but October is like a second season and I know this group of players would love to get into the Series!