Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Who will the Phillies play in the playoffs?

            The talk on sports radio shows on Monday speculated the rotation for the playoffs, of course assuming the Phillies make the playoffs this year. We all hope they do, but I don't want to count anything as a sure thing until the time when the Phils clinch the division and the playoff spot. Thinking ahead though, who would be the best opponent for the Phillies in the short division series? The St. Louis Cardinals seem to have a lot of fire power in their offense and their pitching is equally as good. A World Series appearance by the Cards this year is certainly not out of the question. So with that in mind, I would hope they are not the opponents in the first round of 5 games in the Divsion Series that is due to start on October 7, 2009.

         The Brewers last year couldn't get anything started in the Divsion Series against the Phillies in 2008. An opponent like the Colorado Rockies could pose another question for the Phillies. Can they beat a Colorado Rockies team that has been on fire lately? In fact, the Rockies surpassed the Phillies record just the other day for wins with 82 and then the Phillies won both games on Sunday to tie the 82 mark. The Rockies have to be playing close to the best baseball after the All Star Break, and I haven't even looked at any numbers, but just the way they have surged in the standings says it all with them. The San Francisco Giants are not out of the race yet, and they beat the Rockies last night to put the pressure on them behind the pitching of Tim Lincecum. So the Phillies could also be facing a renewed San Fran team as well in the playoffs this year.

      If you shook a 'magic 8 ball' with the question of who will the Phillies face in the playoffs, it would almost certainly read, "Too soon to tell, ask again later." There are just too many teams in the hunt at this point and the records of all the division leaders are close to. What the Phillies have to do though is just focus on day to day and winning baseball games. They have to get down to basics, getting base hits and learning to score runners in scoring postition. This is what Charlie should be stressing the most, don't just try to knock it out of the park with every at bat, let's start to rally and make things happen. The LA Dodgers are another possible Division Series opponent, they have added some fire power as well. So it will be an interesting two and a half weeks to close out the regular season.

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