Monday, September 24, 2007

The knot!

No, this is not a wedding-related post. The Phillies are tied for the wild-card lead, thanks to a plummeting Padres squad.

Mets 87-69
Phils 85-71

Phils 85-71
Padres 85-71
Rockies 84-72

All four teams have 6 to play:
Mets: Two against Washington, one against St. Louis, three against Florida.
Phils: Three against Atlanta, three against Washington.
Padres: Two at San Francisco, four at Milwaukee.
Rockies: Three at Los Angeles, three against Arizona.

I like the Mets to go 5-1 on the way out, putting the East out of reach. FINAL: 92-70.

Rockies? They'll take two of three in demoralized L.A., and two of three at home against a potentially coasting Diamondbacks team. FINAL: 88-74.

As for the Padres, they throw Brett Tomko against Matt Cain on Tuesday, then Jake Peavy against some random dude on Wednesday. Figure a split there, then a split in Milwaukee against a team that'll either be fighting for a slim chance of a playoff spot or playing pissed-off baseball in front of fans that didn't honestly expect (before the season) that they'd be a factor the whole season. It could go either way, and the Pads could sweep, but they don't look like a team capable of that right now. 3-3 puts them at ... FINAL: 88-74.

So. Phillies. They face Chuck James, Tim Hudson and John Smoltz on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. I like them to beat James and beat either Hudson or Smoltz while getting punished by the other. That'd mean they'd need to win the Nationals series to make the postseason or avoid a D.C. sweep to join a three-team playoff that I simply can't imagine unfolding. With the Phillies' three best starters taking the hill in the last series and an all-hands-on-deck bullpen (Myers for AT LEAST two innings in the finale, if it's relevant), I think they'll squeak by. FINAL: 89-73.

If I believed in jinxes, I'd now be erasing the previous paragraph instead of typing this one. I've seen enough sports-level heartbreak in the past four Septembers (and four recent Januarys with a certain close-but-no-cigar football team) to take as much enjoyment and as little angst as I can. Jinxes, reverse jinxes and body English are crap, no matter what Carlton Fisk tells you.

That's not to say that I'm completely sane about this thing. Trust me, this will be a ridiculously unproductive work week (staying up to watch West Coast games sucks) but at least it's only one more week. And then it's over, for better or for worse.

The Phillies may make the playoffs this year, they may not. They may win five more World Series in my lifetime, they may never make it there again. But it's pretty safe to say they'll always be around to root for the next spring, so let's keep things in perspective.


  1. Yep. I have a pile of papers to grade, but it wouldn't be fair to do them during the games. If they win the next two, I think I'll go to CBP on Thursday, even if it's sold out. I can wait - I can stand on Ashburn Alley with several thousand equally nuts people.

    I hate it. I love it. It's in our blood, regardless. I don't believe in curses or mojo or karma or whatever - I just get emotionally wrecked - even nauseous.z

  2. Thanks for the perspective. You're right, whether or not the Mets complete their collapse or go on a Cardinals-like run and win it all, they'll always be here.

    I hope you're right about that 5-0 after tonight though!