All Games Count

The regular season is down to 34 games in 34 days for the Phillies.  Actually, there are two days off in September but doubleheaders on the 13th and 22nd account for the 34/34. 

Regular season ends October 4.  NL Division Series begins October 7.

Last time the Phillies led their division on September 1 was 1993, a 9.5 game lead.   They won the division by 3 games.

On paper, a 7.5 game lead for the Phillies seems pretty comfortable.  But, the game isn’t played on paper and anything can happen.  For you older Phillies fans, 1964 is a painful example.  We had a 6.5 game lead with 12 games left and lost 10 in a row.  We finished second.

So, every game counts.  Team with the best record gets the home field advantage for the Division Series and League Championship Series.  As today began, LA led (.591), we were second (.586) and the Cardinals, third (.583).  In losses: Phillies 53, LA 54, StL 55.  That’s why every game counts.

In the wildcard race, San Francisco and tied Colorado with Atlanta and Florida in the running.  The three-game series with the Giants that starts tonight at sold out Citizens Bank Park could be a preview of the Division Series. 

The Giants are 44-21 at home and just 28-38 on the road.  Thursday night’s game will be televised by the MLB Network, subject to local blackouts.

Phillies Final 34
Astros (8), Nationals and Marlins (6 each), Brewers and Mets (4 games each), Braves and Giants (3 apiece).   Hard to believe we have to play 131 games before we see Houston and then we have eight games against them in the last 31.

Another Lefty
Jack Taschner will be in uniform starting tonight, giving Charlie Manuel two lefties in the bullpen until J. C. Romero is ready to come of the DL later this month.

Minor League Notes
RH closer Michael Schwimer was promoted from Clearwater to Reading on Sunday.  He must have tied a record as he was the winning pitcher in both games of a doubleheader last night . . . In case you missed it, the Phillies have shut down RHP Kyle Drabek for the rest season as a precautionary measure.  Because of rehabbing from 7/25/07 Tommy John surgery, Kyle was limited to eight games last season (32.1 innings).  Between Clearwater and Reading this year: 24 games, 12-3, 3.19 ERA, 150 strikeouts in 158 innings . . . RHP Brody Colvin made his pro debut yesterday afternoon for the Gulf Coast League Phillies, 2 innings, 1 unearned run, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts.

Phillies Insider also appears on twitter as barons63.

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