The Phillies had 16 games to play last season when they opened a three-game series against the Mets at Shea Stadium.
They swept the Mets to begin their historic comeback to win the National League East.
Could the Brewers be this year's Mets? It's possible. The Phillies beat the Brewers last night at Citizens Bank Park, 6-3, to move within three games of first place in the NL wild-card race with 15 games to play. The Phillies have three more games against the Brewers this weekend and could pull into a first-place tie with a sweep. That sounds very, very hard. And it is. But the Brewers have lost eight out of their last 11 games. Their best pitcher, CC Sabathia, isn't pitching this weekend. Their second-best pitcher, Ben Sheets, lost last night. And the Brewers, who blew a comfortable lead last season in the NL Central to the Cubs, got to be thinking about last year's collapse.
They're practically begging the Phillies to bury them.
Jamie Moyer came up big last night. He pitched well on short rest to handle the Brewers lineup. Ryan Howard came up big, too. He hit a bomb in the first inning and a double in the fourth. Could they have started the Phillies on a similar path as last season?
"You try not to look at that stuff," Shane Victorino said. "I always say the past doesn't mean anything in the present. But yet it plays in the back of your mind in that what we did last year can still happen this year. You try not to live on that. It might not happen that way. But we want it to happen, and we're definitely excited for this run. It's almost like everybody is saying it's time for this team to do it again."
This is Howard's month, after all. Howard is a career .311 hitter in September/October, his best mark in any month. His 38 homers are the best in any month. His .434 on-base percentage is the best. His 1.136 slugging percentage is the best.
The most wins by a pitcher 45 or older
1. Phil Niekro (1985), New York Yankees, 16.
1. Niekro (1984), New York Yankees, 16.
3. Jamie Moyer (2008), Phillies, 14.
4. Satchel Paige (1952), St. Louis Browns, 12.
5. Jack Quinn (1929), Philadelphia Athletics, 11.
5. Niekro (1986), New York Yankees, 11.
7. Quinn (1930), Philadelphia Athletics, 9.
7. Charlie Hough (1993), Florida Marlins, 9.
7. Tommy John (1988), New York Yankees, 9.
10. Hoyt Wilhelm (1969), Angels and Braves, 7.
10. Niekro (1987), Cleveland Indians, 7.
In the Phillies Notebook: Charlie Manuel tries to clear up a comment Wednesday many thought was a shot at the fans. And will Brett Myers pitch Sunday? He wants the ball.