Phillies Making Unlikely Pennant Race Run
The Philadelphia Phillies have endured injuries, disappointing pitching and the rise of a new NL East power (Washington) but a late season run now has the team only four games out of a playoff spot with 20 games left in the regular season.
The team’s winning streak is now six straight and 14 of 18, and the bats of Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley and John Mayberry have come alive in the month of September. Philly also had a 17-12 August, meaning that their pennant race appearance is seemingly not a fluke. The pitching staff that was expected to be so dominant is currently just that, with a 2.44 team ERA this month that leads the National League.
Roy Halladay won his fourth game in five starts and Utley and Juan Pierre each had three hits in a 9-7 win over Miami on Tuesday and in the wise words of manager Charlie Manuel, “things have been going our way good.” Halladay wants the run to keep going: “the last two months have been a lot better,” he said. “We have seen a lot of good things and we just want to keep it going.”
It’s vital that the Phillies do well over the next week, because nine of the team’s last 12 games are against the playoff bound Nationals and Braves. But with St. Louis slowing down a bit, the Dodgers fading and Pittsburgh really struggling, there could be an improbable playoff spot for a team left for dead at the All-Star break.
Pennant Race Watch
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|NL Wild Card||Braves||0|