National League Division Series starts October 7th
The Phillies probably would have wanted to celebrate in Milwaukee this weekend. That won’t happen with the Phillies losing on Saturday night and the Braves winning again. The magic number is stuck on 4 and there is only today’s game and then a four game series vs. Houston and a final weekend series vs. Florida to go at home for the Phils.
Did the Phillies purposely do this so they can clinch at home? I don’t think so but it’s probably not as sweet to clinch on the road than it is at home in front of your own fans. The Phillies have been in a season that they weren’t used to: that is being the World Champions of baseball and going out there and defending your title. It probably made it that much harder to play teams with the fact that they probably went out there with a little more effort in wanting to beat the World Champs.
So this then brings the question? When will they clinch? If the season keeps going like this it’s hard to predict. One thing that this has done though is fuel ticket sales to the remaining games because everyone wants a seat at the game that the Phils will clinch at. Who knows it could be Thursday, Friday or it just may be over next weekend. The chance that Atlanta has to come back and take this division still exists, the chances are very slim but it still exists.
One thing is becoming more clear though and that is the first round opponent of the Phillies could be the Cardinals now that the Phillies have the lower number of wins of all three division leaders at this time. Atlanta is making a valiant run at the Wild Card now just 2.5 games back from the Rockies. They would be a dark horse to win it all but you never know. Everything changes the minute the regular season ends, then it starts again from the beginning, everything that happened 162 games ago is all but history and you still have to play to win and survive in the first round of the quick division series.
The Phillies have been going through a rough period over the last 10 games or so. They are 5-5 and losers of the last two. I still think this could have been a 100 win team if it weren’t for certain things that have happened over the season. A week from now when the season ends all the stats will be in, the regular season will be over and the Phillies should have a couple of days to rest before they enter into the playoffs again and a chance to become World Series champions again, you have to make the playoffs to have a chance to accomplish that.