The task is less daunting than it appears for Jimmy Rollins and the Philadelphia Philies. But is there enough time on the clock to sneak into the postseason party? Remember, the poll for Masked September is here, if you haven’t voted yet.
I will publish after every battle that is not washed out. I will have many summer-long highlights of puzzle pieces, especially important after drubbings and defeats. If you were directed here by a feed and this review does not mention yesterday’s contest, please go to the Phillies page for my most recent coverage. (Early morning readers may arrive before the latest post.) Scroll down to Tal’s Handy Links at the bottom. Thank you.
Check out: Philadelphia Phillies storyline: Believe (NEW)
CAP-SIZE HINDSIGHT: 3-2 Triumph In Game 1
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Above Asterisk ( *) = Corresponding Play & Event
CAP-SIZE HINDSIGHT: 7-4 Triumph In Game 2
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The New Math:
There are other determining factors that are overlooked, while the dog-eared thinking for serious October baseball remains intact. The wild-card era has altered the dynamic, but the mentality hasn’t changed since there were two 8-team leagues. Back then there were fewer organizations in the mix, but now with a 5th qualifying berth, the quantity of collapses required per campaign has not increased. It only gives that impression erroneously. The chart below indicates a hypothetical outcome where clubs basically play .500 ball during their next 3 series. I took into consideration all 2, 3 and 4 game matchups during that period, where one of the mentioned squads plays another. That means these are realistic possibilities.
There are differences with one or two extra playoff positions, canceling out some old benchmarks. Additional franchises equal more head-on competition among the hopefuls, which dramatically increases the odds for the .500 mark. This is why there have been more collapses and surprising comebacks during the last 5 years–not just 1 every 10-20 seasons. That stated, the red pinstripes have 10 total battles against the Fish, the ‘Stros and the Mets. So, the formula switches to the hot contender among the group in the next 9-10 contests. The thinking is that only one might catch fire besides the Phils with their favorable schedule.
Projected Next 3 Series:
Games against: CON = Contenders, BAL = Also-Rans, GB = Games Behind, and GMS = Games Remaining After
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In the past there were the postseason bound and the spoilers, but now there is a third classification, where the locals find themselves. The also-rans will play the in-it teams tougher than other fringe units, which means that Cholley’s boys have 10 games against competition that doesn’t see a foe worthy of an upset. Meanwhile, the hometown 9 performs at their peak level, like Atlanta. In other words, Miami will be more up for the Braves than the Phillies. Those organizations will also gauge their young talent more against perceived long shots. That’s why the next 10 battles are key before the final two weeks.
All the other contenders have flaws and are beatable. I will evaluate each tomorrow. For the red pinstripes, Chooch Ruiz in the 5 spot strengthens the lineup. Antonio Bastardo, reversing his fortunes, and Phillippe Aumont solidify the setup role. Jeremy Horst and Josh Lindblom would man the 7th, while the other 2 would be the best of the rest. Continued success in these areas would plug their biggest holes. Remember–as it is–they are 10-5 against the Reds, Nats and Giants in the 2nd half. That said, if they went 10-0, they would be 8 games over .500, making more than just a little noise.
He has lasted 6.1 innings plus in 9 of 20 outings with 5 debacles. Against the Fish at both parks (1 each), his line is: 2-0, a 1.46 ERA, 12.1 frames, 13 hits, 2 both-earned runs, 3 walks and 10 punch outs.
He is 1-2 with a 3.51 ERA as a starter. He has worked 7 innings in 2 of 6 attempts with 1 clunker.
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Starters’ photos, not described otherwise, are in the 1st inning.
Quality number of the pitcher: 1 – 5
Slot on his club: 1 – 5
Ranking is 1 to 5 & 15 for the less adventurous.
*** = Approximately equal to after plus-and-minus computation
* = As a starter
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18TH RIDE OF THE HORSEMEN:
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NOTE: This poll will appear in every September article for you to check the current results, if it is still worthwhile.
The Original Article: Philadelphia Phillies storyline: Masked September
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