Games 141 through 143 - Phillies
Phillies 3, Mets 0
Phillies 6, Mets 2
Mets 6, Phillies 3
Record 78 wins, 65 losses - 2nd place, 2 GB NYM
The Phils could have awakened this morning to a 6 game deficit. That's the way I have to look at it. I am not going to focus on the lost opportunity on Sunday Night Baseball with the ace on the hill in a game the Mets absolutely needed to win to stave off then inevitable ensuing onslaught of naysayers and doubters that assuredly would have concocted amusing (if not creative) headlines on the back pages of the NYC tabloids. No, that would be focusing on the Touch of Grey. The silver lining is still there. The Phils went into Shea and took 2 of 3. As the great balladeer once crooned "Now don't be sad 'cause two outta three ain't bad." On the ten game road trip, they managed a 5-5 split. Considering that 7 games were against division leaders, that's acceptable.
That 9 - 7 loss the Nats last Wednesday will burn in my stomach if we finish a game back though. So, perhaps Jerry Garcia had a point.
Three weeks remain. Each squad has 19 games against essentially the same opponents. Both teams play the final week at home. The Mets schedule is a bit easier. 6 vs. the Nats, 6 vs. the Braves, 3 vs. Florida and 4 vs. the Cubbies. The Phils take on the Marlins for 6 games, the Nats for 3, the Braves for 6 and the Brewers for 4. Both teams play their toughest opponents (Chicago and Milwaukee) at home. There might be a slight edge to the Mets schedule with the 6 games vs. WAS and 3 games vs. FLA as opposed to the Phillies who play 3 against the former and 6 against the latter. That might be offset by the fact that the Mets have to play those Cubbies in the final week of the season while the Phillies finish up with the Braves and Nats. If the Phillies can stay within 2 games 14 days from now, they have a decent chance.
To the Mets I will offer this: What you have accomplished this year is quite extraordinary. Your injuries, your turmoil and the baggage carried over from last year have not done you in. The Phillies had most everything in their favor - relatively injury free and lots of good will from the fan base and media(relatively speaking.) Yet they find themselves being on the outside looking in and have to hope the Mets falter while they (the Phils) take care of business against teams they should beat. That is no easy task. When the dust settles, it may be the Phils this time around who will be sitting at home wondering WTF?