Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Despite all of the struggles, the Phillies are in remarkably good shape for the playoffs. As I write this, the Phillies sit 76-67, just one and a half games out of the wildcard. With nineteen games left, the playoffs are absolutely in reach, although the Phillies have a massive handicap in that they don’t get to play the Padres again and have to rely on help to catch up.
The N.L. East? Probably a lost cause at this juncture. Congratulations to the New York Mets. They certainly aren’t going to be caught by the Braves (nine back), and the Phillies (six back) stand a pretty remote chance of making a race of it. The Phillies will have to sweep this weekend’s series at Shea Stadium to give themselves a chance at the division crown. Time to shift the focus of our attention to what the Padres, the D-Backs and the Dodgers are doing.
Meanwhile, the Phillies look to finally be healthy with Michael Bourn being activated off the D.L. and Cole Hamels hopefully set to return to the lineup soon. The additions of Bourn and, hopefully, Hamels, will bolster the Phillies pitching and speed for the stretch run.
Meanwhile Pat Burrell has quietly been on a tear, hitting four home runs and ten RBIs in his last five games. Hopefully Burrell will keep on his hot-streak for this weekend’s series in New York. Nobody hits the Mets like Burrell, who has 41 career home runs, 102 RBIs and a .936 OPS in 131 games. This weekend I expect to see big things from him.
A little more tomorrow. Maybe I’ll talk a little about Pedro Martinez’s impact on the playoff race. Or maybe I’ll write another column about base-stealing … Can’t have too many of those!!!