The fortunes of the Philadelphia Phillies have shifted for them and Cliff Lee to name one. Who would you pick to highlight their sudden emergence into a race for another October opportunity?
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CAP-SIZE HINDSIGHT: 12-6 Blowout
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Above Asterisks ( *) = Corresponding Plays And/Or Events
MASKED SEPTEMBER NUMBERS:
GB 2nd WC: 3
2ND WC Pos: 4 (Tied)
Elimination No: 15
There are 5 other franchises in the picture: St. Louis, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, Milwaukee and Arizona. They are competing with the hometown 9 for 1 final berth that leads to a 1-game playoff in Atlanta. The winner will advance to the NLDS against the club with the best NL record in their park. That stated, the red pinstripes won’t be victorious in every battle, but the important thing is to notice each shortcoming. Tyler Cloyd and Jake Diekman won’t be on the postseason roster. And Phillippe Aumont will not have worked 5 of 6 games.
The other selections include the Cards, who caught lightning in a bottle last year. By contrast, the 2008 Phils reached the big dance the following season, and the 2009 Yankees went to the ALCS the next autumn. The 2010 Giants failed to play serious October baseball in ’11. The Red Birds have more holes than the 3 prior champions, and they are 5-8 this month. The Dodgers are a handful of stars aligned on the diamond, and their recent 5-7 mark is not a surprise. The Pirates are almost invisible in September, the Pads are running out of steam, and the Brewers will probably start to cool off.
There are many variables but math is the go-to thinking. That is not the case for me in a complex equation that reveals other elements. When the Rox captured the wild card in 2007, the numbers said that was almost impossible. However, they were powered by that invincible feeling to the Fall Classic. What happens when you add top-tier talent to that fuel? Then, there is the experience of having achieved the title and knowing what it takes. Plus, there is the added last-hurrah factor.
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There are clichés to address momentum, like the next day’s pitcher: Doc Halladay, Lee and Cole Hamels. This spark is different because of the time consideration. Ergo, every marginal player with an important role–under optimum conditions–lowers the amount of sand in the hourglass. The locals are comprised of 3 aces, a top-shelf closer, 2 table setters and a solid 3-4-5 with Chooch Ruiz back. With a split between St. Louis and Los Angeles, Cholley’s boys can take 2 to be within 2 games by Monday–that’s before the final 15 on the schedule.
2nd Wild-Card Teams:
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He is 5-1 with a 1.49 ERA since mid-August. During those 6 performances, his line is: 42.1 innings, 27 hits, 7 all-earned runs, 7 walked and 33 fanned. He has worked 6.1 frames plus in 10 of 21 appearances with 4 debacles.
He is 1-3 with a 3.51 home ERA, which is 5.90 lower than on the road. He has lasted 6.2 innings or more in 2 of 13 attempts with 6 clunkers.
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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
DISPLAY NOTE: Non-listed results can go up or down by
1 or 2 categories (This note will only appear when it’s relevant.)
* 1 Tick UP
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19TH RIDE OF THE HORSEMEN:
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