Starting tomorrow the Phillies play three games with the Marlins over the course of two days. Believe it or not, the Marlins are still in striking range to win it all in the NL East although it is an outside chance. They will play the Phillies in three games at home, and then the Phillies will host them in two weeks to end the season in Philly the first few days of October.
The Marlins have to be the surprise team of the year in the NL, they've exceeded many expectations of the pundits and knowledgable sports people that made their predictions in March of 2009, prior to the start of the season. The Florida Marlins are 10 games above .500 at this time, and they went through a tough time in the middle of the year, but started out really hot and set the pace for the NL East in the first month of the season.
The Marlins would have a stake to a wild card if the Colorado Rockies didn't keep winning baseball games like they have been. The Marlins are now 5 games back in the Wild Card race and 8 games back in the division. Baseball is known for strange things to happen though and a five game lead can turn into a three game lead and less really quickly sometimes. Is there going to be a team that blinks going down the stretch? If there is, that team could find themselves in hot water in making the playoffs.
Look at the Marlins starter in game one of the double header that will start on Tuesday. Josh Johnson is 15-4, he's had a great year and looks to improve to be in qualification for the Cy Young possibly along with Tim Lincecum and Chris Carpenter. That's not a bad record for a pitcher on a team like the Marlins who weren't expected to be close in late September.