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Pray for Sweeps

Saturday update: Phils and Dodgers win, Padres lose. The only way for the Phils now is no more wins for the Dodgers or Padres and no more losses for the Phils. That's it.

It seems like I've been here before.

Last year, with 4 games to go, the Phils needed at least one sweep - either by them or against the Astros - and some other help as well. Well, we're back to the same situation this year with 3 games to go: at the very least, the Phils need to sweep the Marlins or the Dodgers and/or Padres have to be swept. There's no other way, and even with those things happening, other help is needed.

Here's where we are:

If the Phils sweep the Marlins: To force a play-in game, they need the Padres to be swept in their last three games against the Diamondbacks or the Dodgers to lose 2 of 3 to the Giants. To win the wild card outright, they need the Dodgers to be swept.

If the Phils win only 2 of 3 against the Marlins: The Padres are irrelevant, but there will be a play-in game if the Dodgers are swept by the Giants.

Numerically, only these scenarios result in the Phils extending their season past Sunday:

Phils go 3-0; Padres go 0-3
Phils go 3-0; Dodgers go 1-2 or 0-3
Phils go 2-1; Dodgers go 0-3

That's it! Those are the only scenarios that Phils fans can hope for. If the Phils are swept or lose 2 of 3, forget it. If the Phils win 2 but the Dodgers win any, forget it. If the Phils sweep, but the Padres win at least one and the Dodgers win at least 2, forget it.

This isn't going to be easy.