OK, Phillies fans, the bad news is that the Phillies have fallen from first place in the National League East.
The good news is that if the season ended today they would be in the playoffs.
The Florida Marlins spanked the Phillies last night at Dolphin Stadium, 14-8. The Phillies have fallen a half-game behind the New York Mets in the NL East with eight games to play. But the Phillies are front runners in the NL wild-card race, with the Milwaukee Brewers two games back and Marlins and Houston Astros 4 1/2 games back. In essence, the Phillies continue to control their destiny.
But the Marlins have won nine consecutive games and with the Brewers raising the white flag, they might be the Phillies' toughest challenge. Much like the Phillies vs. Brewers last weekend, the Marlins can make up a lot of ground this weekend. In fact, if they sweep they can give themselves an outside chance and come within 2 1/2 games with six to play.
According to Baseball Prospectus ...
... the Mets have a 51.78 percent chance to win the East, 35.70 percent chance to win the wild card and an 87.48 percent chance to make the playoffs overall.
... the Phillies have a 47.96 percent chance to win the East, 39.43 percent chance to win the wild card and an 87.39 percent chance to make the playoffs overall.
... the Brewers have a 23.11 percent chance to win the wild card.
... the Marlins have a 0.87 percent chance to win the wild card.
Should the standings hold, the Phillies would be playing the Cubs in the NL division series with the Mets playing the Dodgers. Should the Phillies win the East and the Mets win the wild card, the Phillies would be playing the Dodgers in the NLDS and the Mets would be playing the Cubs.
In the Phillies Notebook: a healtheir Joe Blanton could mean a better Blanton tonight. At least the Phillies hope so.