With 18 games remaining in the 2008 MLB season the Philadelphia Phillies trail the New York Mets by 1.5 games in the NL East and the Milwaukee Brewers by 3 games for the NL Wild Card. 18 games is not a lot, in fact, it's only 11% of the 162 game regular season schedule, and yet it all comes down to this final portion. The rivalry between the Mets and Phils will have to go on the back burner for now because they won't meet again in '08, unless it's in the playoffs. However, the Brew Crew makes a pit stop in Philly Thursday for a crucial 4 game series. It may feel like the Phillies have a mountain to climb, but I think if they dig their spikes in they'll be able to ascend it successfully.
Right now the Phils focus remains on NL East dwelling Marlins for 2 more games with Kyle Kendrick taking the mound tonight looking for redemption in what has been a lost cause for him over the past month or so (last 9 starts: 3-5, 6.45 era, last 5 starts: 9.14 era). Rookie Chris Volstad is his counterpart wearing Florida's gaytastic teal. Series finale is set for late Wednesday afternoon with macho man Brett Myers hurling for the Phils and Ricky Nolasco for the Fish. I'm thinking sweep.
Mixed Bag of Nuts:
*Looks like poor Billy Wagner will be searching for solace in his alpaca farm, because he blew out his elbow is done for the 2008 season and likely for the 2009 season as well. Color me uncompassionate.
*Joe Blanton is actually 2-0 since joining the Phils over 10 starts. He hasn't really pitched all that well, but I suppose well enough. Phils line: 52.2 ip, 52 h, 26 w, 34 k, 4.61 era. Well, he is better than Eaton after all.
*Brad Lidge is still perfect, 35 for 35 in save opportunities.
*Jimmy Rollins swiped 3 bags last night, upping his season total to 41, and moving himself into 4th place on the all-time Phils leaders of stolen bases with 289.
*Jayson Werth has just earned himself the starters badge. He's always killed lefties, but now he's hitting righties well enough to warrant a full-time gig in the outfield. The 3-run bomb off of Joe Nelson in the 7th inning proved to be game saving.