Charlie got the regular eight back in the lineup—finally—and shook up the batting order. It worked as the Phillies unleashed 19 hits and nine runs in ending the eight-game losing streak on Sunday.
Last time the Phillies had their regular eight was September 17, when they clinched the NL East by scoring–you guess it–nine runs. For the season, the Phillies are 12-4 when the regular lineup is in there.
Something else happened on Sunday–for the first time in 11 games–they scored in the first inning. Last time it happened was September 15, first game, vs. Marlins. For the season, they are 70-12 when scoring first. That says a lot.
A couple of weeks ago it was a foregone conclusion the Phillies would break the club record for wins, 101, in 1976 and 1977, and the four postseason teams in the NL were set.
Well, things happen. An eight-game losing streak dug a pothole in the road. The Phillies can still break the record but need to sweep the Braves in Atlanta.
The first round of the postseason starts on Saturday at Citizens Bank Park. The enemy? Still to be determined as the Braves and Cardinals are locked in a tight wildcard race. Should the Braves emerge as the wildcard entry, they can’t play the Phillies in the first round. And, the Diamondbacks and Brewers are locked in a battle for the second-best record in the NL.
So, the postseason comes down to the final three games of the season.
What changes would you like to see in major league baseball? Question was posed to Phillies Alumni.
Cookie Rojas, (INF, 1963-69)
“As far as new changes, we should go back to the good-old days when at the beginning of the season we had a roster of 28 players for the first month of the season, then they would cut back to 25. The reason being that at the start of the season most pitchers only go 4 or 5 innings then you have to go to the bullpen too much and in the long run, that will kill a lot relievers’ arms. With so many players getting hit in the head, the pitchers should also wear the helmets inside the caps, what we used during my playing days. Pitchers are so close to the hitters they should be protected. The addition of another wildcard team would be great for the fans because more teams would be in the chase. Financially, it would be good for the game to have more playoff games.”