Just three weeks ago, the Phillies seemed dead. What a difference a winning streak and a little luck can do to the playoff picture.
After a 3-1 win over the New York Mets on Monday, Sept. 17, the Phillies are four games back of the National League wildcard. They have 14 games remaining in the season.
It was just three weeks ago that the Phillies had suffered a heartbreaking loss to the Atlanta Braves. That seemed to be the dagger on the Phillies’ season.
But since then, things have changed. The bounces started going their way. The pitching improved. The offense got stronger and produced more.
From Sept. 6 to Sept. 13, the Phillies went on a seven-game winning streak that allowed them to leapfrog teams and creep up on the coveted second wildcard spot, currently held by the St. Louis Cardinals.
Last weekend, a four-game series with the Astros slightly derailed these unlikely playoff hopes. The Phillies lost three of the four games to baseball’s worst team, an unknown roster with a 45-98 record entering the series.
With just two weeks left in the baseball season, the Phillies are searching for a miracle.
You may not want to admit it, but the Phillies are in a playoff race again. They are still alive. And while you probably told yourself you wouldn’t pay attention or give it any thought, chances are by now you already have.
You can count on one hand the teams that have rallied from double-digit deficits as late as the final week of August. No team has ever rallied back from more than 13 games back in the standings that late and made the playoffs. The Phillies were 13 ½ games back on Aug. 8.
Are the Phillies this season’s St. Louis Cardinals? Is this 1964 in reverse? Does this core from the golden era of Phillies’ baseball have one more rally left in them?
Baseball is more than a game. In the final two weeks of the season, it becomes great theater. If the Fightin’ Phils’ magical run to make the Postseason continues right to the end, baseball will not disappoint again.