Saturday, August 23, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Success? Not A Success?

The Phillies split a doubleheader yesterday with the Mets at Shea Stadium to remain two games behind the Mets in the National League East with 19 games to play.

Success? Not A Success?

The Phillies have three weeks to make up two games on the Mets. They start tonight against the Marlins with Joe Blanton on the mound. (Yong Kim / Daily News)
The Phillies have three weeks to make up two games on the Mets. They start tonight against the Marlins with Joe Blanton on the mound. (Yong Kim / Daily News)

The Phillies last night at Shea Stadium had an excellent opportunity to crawl inside the minds of the Mets and mess with them the rest of the season.

But the Mets' mental health today is pretty good.

The Mets won Game 2 of yesterday's doubleheader, 6-3, to avoid a sweep and take a two-game lead in the National League East with 19 games to play. Baseball Prospectus reports that the Mets have a 77.3 percent chance to win the East, a 2.9 percent chance to win the wild card and an 80.2 percent chance to make the postseason overall. The Phillies meanwhile have a 22.5 percent chance to win the East, a 5.3 percent chance to win the wild card and a 27.8 percent chance to make the playoffs overall.

"It is a successful series, but it did get away," Jimmy Rollins said. "Unfortunately, we don't play them anymore going down the stretch. The [deficit] is always a lot when you're not playing them. But we're sitting on the door to two ways in [to the playoffs]: one team that we just played, and the other team that's ahead of us in the wild card we're playing [this weekend]. We have quite an opportunity, definitely."

The Phillies open a three-game series tonight against the Marlins at Citizens Bank Park. Then the Milwaukee Brewers are here for a four-game series. The Phillies are four games behind the Brewers in the wild-card race, but the Brewers seem to be wound tighter than a drum and could be ready to make things interesting. The Phillies are sitting on the door to two ways into the postseason, but a victory last night would have improved their chances in both ways tremendously. The Mets would have started to really feel the heat and conjure images of 2007. The Brewers would have looked in their rearview mirror and seen the Phillies a little closer as the weekend series approaches.

Instead the Phillies are two back with 19 to play.

"It's very doable," Chris Coste said.

It is, but now the Phillies must rely on the Nationals, Braves, Cubs and Marlins to beat up on the Mets. The Mets play their next 12 games against the Nationals and Braves, two of the worst teams in the National League. They are a combined 13-11 against them this season, going 8-4 against the Nationals and 5-7 against the Braves. The Phillies meanwhile have their next seven games and nine of their next 13 games against the Marlins and Brewers.

*

Jim Salisbury writes how the Phillies needed Cole Hamels to pitch like the star he wants to be.

*

Billy Wagner needs Tommy John surgery, and is likely to miss the entire 2009 season.

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In the Phillies Notebook: Jamie Moyer made some baseball history in his Game 1 victory and more.

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Ryan Howard's 40 homers and 120 RBIs puts him in a special place in Phillies history.

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Good riddance, Shea Stadium.

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Matt Gelb Inquirer Staff Writer
Bob Brookover Inquirer Columnist
Marc Narducci Inquirer Staff Writer
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