Saturday, September 22, 2007

Getting closer

The Phillies have seven games left to play, and they're only a half-game behind the Padres for the wild card, a game and a half behind the Mets for the NL East title.

Mets 86-68
Phillies 85-70

Padres 85-69
Phillies 85-70

The Mets still have one in Florida, three at home against Washington, one at home against St. Louis and three at home against Florida. I predict they finish 6-2, losing once each to Washington and Florida, forging a record of 92-70.

The Padres close with one at home against Colorado, then three in San Francisco and four in Milwaukee. I think they'll take the Colorado game and two of three in San Francisco. The question is whether Milwaukee will still be in contention by the time the Padres visit them.
-If Milwaukee still has a shot at the Cubs, I think they split the final series.
-If not, I think the Padres take three of four.
So that would make the Padres either 6-2 or 5-3 to close, making them either 91-71 or 90-72.

What's that mean for the Phillies? Well, if I'm right, the Phillies must finish no worse than 5-2 to tie the Padres. Only by winning out could they catch the Mets.

Can the Phillies win out? Their final seven starters line up this way, unless the off day changes something: Hamels, Moyer, Lohse, Eaton, Kendrick, Hamels, Moyer.

Here's a dramatic idea: Bump Eaton back. There's an off-day Monday, so you can make it Hamels on Sunday, then Moyer, Lohse and Kendrick (with four days' rest) Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. I much prefer sending sinker-baller Kendrick against the Braves' boppers (in the Citizens Bandbox, mind you) than putting Eaton out there for one final stinkfest.

Then you've got Eaton, Hamels and Moyer for the final set against Washington in Philly. Hey, at least you have a chance to sweep the Braves that way. Maybe even bump Eaton back to the final day of the season, if the first game of the last set is a must win.

Or hey -- what about Hamels, Moyer, Myers? I know it's ludicrous, but you've just seen Myers pitch five straight days and say over and over to the press how willing he is to do ANYTHING right now with the season on the line. Is it beyond the realm of possibility that he could pitch at least the first three, maybe four innings of the finale, then give way to whoever can still lift a ball?

I dunno.

But anyway, prediction for the Phillies' final seven, if the rotation stays as is: Win Sunday in Washington, take two of three from Braves and two of three from Nats at home. That's 5-2 for a 90-72 finish.

Would it be enough?

Arrrgh, I don't know. Maybe the week ahead will be as painful as the final week of '05 and of '06. But at least we're still talking about the team.

By the way, can anybody tell me why on earth Wes Helms pinch-ran for Shane Victorino Saturday night?

1 comment:

  1. Apparently Victorino has trouble running from here to the mailbox without pain - which makes me wonder why he hits, since he does, after all, have to run to first. But he is not in his best baserunning condition, so the fleet-footed Helms was the man Charlie called on. Baffling. What about one of those young pitchers pinch running?