So, yeah, maybe the Phillies can't win every game down the stretch.
They lost last night to the Braves at Citizens Bank Park, 3-2. The Phillies are 10-2 since Sept. 10, which remains the best record in baseball, but lost because they were sloppy in the field and sloppy on the bases. It cut their lead over the New York Mets in the National League East to 1 1/2 games with four to play. It cut their lead against the Milwaukee Brewers, who are chasing the Mets for the wild card, to 2 1/2 games. Both the Mets and Brewers have five games remaining.
The Phillies remained calm in the clubhouse afterward, which is a good thing. But that doesn't mean they can relax. Brett Myers pitches the series finale tonight. He wants to come back from his pounding Friday in Florida. The Phillies are hoping Carlos Zambrano can outpitch Oliver Perez tonight at Shea and give the Phillies a little help heading into tomorrow's day off.
"We lost a game," Ryan Howard said. "I don't think there's any reason to go into a frenzy. It happens. The good thing is we get to come back tomorrow. Everybody else looks at four games or whatever. We play each game, then deal with tomorrow when we get to it."
Phil Sheridan takes a look at a team that refuses to panic, which could serve them well in their final four games.
In the Phillies Notebook: every player except Tadahito Iguchi is eligible for the postseason roster, which means Greg Golson could find hmself in the playoffs for his pinch-running capabilities. The Phillies also could skip Cole Hamels' spot in the rotation Sunday, if the Phillies clinch before then. That would set up Hamels to pitch Game 1 of the NLDS with Brett Myers starting Game 2.
In the Baseball Prospectus Postseason Odds Report:
The Phillies have an 87.42 percent chance to win the NL East, an 11.08 percent chance to win the wild card and a 98.51 percent chance to make the playoffs overall.
The Mets have a 12.58 percent chance to win the East, a 59.57 percent chance to win the wild card and a 72.14 percent chance to make the playoffs overall.
The Brewers have a 29.30 percent chance to win the wild card.
Bob Ford, John Gonzalez and Sheridan banter about the Phillies' chances.
The Mets caught a helluva break in last night's victory over the Cubs. ... The Brewers won a thriller. ... They also are pitching CC Sabathia tonight against the Pirates. It's his second consecutive start on three days rest.