On Episode 213 of “Hittin’ Season,” hosts John Stolnis, Liz Roscher and Justin Klugh discuss the Phillies weekend series win against the Miami Marlins. Is there still a chance they can sneak into the postseason? Also, deep thoughts on Aaron Altherr, Nick Pivetta, removing Scott Kingery for a pinch hitter in the 2nd inning, and why things like “The Opener,” are helping to make baseball a much less watchable sport.
Look, I’m not going to lie to you, I don’t really believe the Phillies have anything left to play for her in 2018.
They won their first series in their last 12 tries over the weekend when they took two out of three games from the last-place Miami Marlins, and actually moved a game closer to the Braves in the NL East, now 6 1⁄2 games back. Had they swept the Marlins (which they really needed to do) the gap would have closed to 5 1⁄2 back.
The Phillies are also 5 games out of the 2nd wild card in the NL, behind the Cardinals and Dodgers (who are tied for the final spot) and one game behind the Arizona Diamondbacks.
We remember the 2007 Phillies climbing back from a 7-game hole with 17 to play, and see the Phillies are 6 1⁄2 back with 14 to play, entering Monday night’s game against the Mets (yes, they’re playing the damn Mets, AGAIN).
For those of you who don’t want to stop believing, I applaud you. And yes, as long as the Phils stay within seven games of the Braves, and then win all seven of their remaining head-to-head match-ups with Atlanta, they do have a shot. They have, as Gabe Kapler put it this weekend, “A chip and a chair.” As long as you have some chips at the table, you’re never out of the game.
It does feel, however, that the recency of the 2007 miracle against the Mets may be creating a bit of false hope for Phils fans. Just remember, that comeback against New York 11 seasons ago was an honest-to-goodness miracle. We may never see another Major League Baseball team come back from that kind of deficit in that short of time again.
We talk a lot about the collapse of the 1964 Phillies, when they lost a 6 1⁄2 game lead with 12 to play. The Phils’ hunting down of the Mets was the next-greatest collapse, and it took 43 years for that to happen. Should the Phillies hunt down the Braves just 11 years later, it would be one of the most remarkable feats in the history of sports.
That’s not to say it can’t happen. With two wild cards and a division in front of them, it’s possible. And kudos to fans who are still holding onto hope. We need more of that kind of optimism in sports. I’m praying for a miracle, too.
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