Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Meaningless games

MILWAUKEE -- Here is something that should be difficult for Phillies fans of a certain age to grasp: It's the second weekend of September and the Phillies could clinch a postseason berth.

Meaningless games

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How many wins will Charlie Manuel and the Phillies end up with? (Ron Cortes/Staff Photographer)
How many wins will Charlie Manuel and the Phillies end up with? (Ron Cortes/Staff Photographer)

MILWAUKEE -- Here is something that should be difficult for Phillies fans of a certain age to grasp: It's the second weekend of September and the Phillies could clinch a postseason berth.

Their magic number to clinch is 4. Depending on what St. Louis and the Phillies do this weekend, the Phillies could leave town guaranteed a postseason spot already.

And then this: The Phillies have 22 games remaining and only six other teams in franchise history have more wins.

Rk Year Tm G W ▾ L W-L% Finish Playoffs R RA BatAge PitchAge
1 1977 Philadelphia Phillies 162 101 61 .623 1st of 6 Lost NLCS (3-1) 847 668 29.4 29.7
2 1976 Philadelphia Phillies 162 101 61 .623 1st of 6 Lost NLCS (3-0) 770 557 28.8 29.8
3 2010 Philadelphia Phillies 162 97 65 .599 1st of 5 Lost NLCS (4-2) 772 640 31.8 31.1
4 1993 Philadelphia Phillies 162 97 65 .599 1st of 7 Lost WS (4-2) 877 740 29.3 28.8
5 1899 Philadelphia Phillies 154 94 58 .618 3rd of 12   916 743 26.5 25.5
6 2009 Philadelphia Phillies 162 93 69 .574 1st of 5 Lost WS (4-2) 820 709 31.3 31.2
7 2011 Philadelphia Phillies 140 92 48 .657 1st of 5   643 456 31.5 29.3
8 2008 Philadelphia Phillies 162 92 70 .568 1st of 5 Won WS (4-1) 799 680 30.1 30.6
9 1964 Philadelphia Phillies 162 92 70 .568 2nd of 10   693 632 26.8 26.9

They are on pace for 106 victories, which would crush the franchise mark. Will they get there? It seems like a no-brainer, but the Phillies will play a boatload of meaningless games in September. On many nights, they will field a lineup much like Thursday's bench game.

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In a postseason Game 7, who would you want to be the Phillies starting pitcher?
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Total votes = 3035

Then again, that may not be a terrible thing. Charlie Manuel's regulars will rest before the playoffs. And his bench players will be sharper with regular at-bats.

"I guarantee you they feel good about themselves," Manuel said of his reserves who capitalized on playing time Thursday.

It's hard not to feel good about yourself if you're involved with the Phillies these days.

The lineup for Game 141:

1. Shane Victorino 8
2. Placido Polanco 5
3. Hunter Pence 9
4. Ryan Howard 3
5. Raul Ibanez 7
6. Pete Orr 4
7. Carlos Ruiz 2
8. Wilson Valdez 6
9. Roy Halladay 1


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