How Are the Phillies Still in the Pennant Race?

If there is one thing I have gained over a lifetime of experience, it is an undying faith in the ability of the Philadelphia Phillies to choke down the stretch of a pennant race in the scant few years they actually have a decent team. I grew up in a place where people uniformly refer to the nearby major league team as the “Sillies” (made all the more funny by the fact that at one point in my younger days they even had a player named Sil on their roster), yet bizarrely continue to root for them through thick and thin (thin being the operative term the overwhelming majority of the time). Unfortunately, I’ve inherited that awful legacy, and I’m filled with dread every time my dad mentions that he needs to get my newborn son some Phillies-related paraphernalia. There’s nothing like setting a kid up for a lifetime of disappointment early.

With that background, I must say I’m pretty shocked to see that down the stretch in the same season the Fightin’ Phils became the first team ever to reach the 10,000 all-time loss plateau, they are now tied with the New York Mets for first place in the N.L. East. Topping it off, both the Phillies and the Mets are just a game behind San Diego in the N.L. wild card race, should either fail get into the playoffs by winning the division.

By beating Atlanta 6-4 today while New York lost to the Cardinals, the Phillies are now improbably tied for the division lead. In fact, the Phillies’ official web site is even using the word “improbable” to describe the situation, a sure sign of just how perennially low expectations are for them are around here.

For anyone who wants to know, here’s Major League Baseball’s description of how things could play out in the event of any number of ties for playoff berths in the National League occur after this weekend. I love how they have the word “clutter” misspelled as “cluter” in the opening sentence of the article, by the way. According to the story, Philadelphia would host New York for a one-game playoff Monday if the two teams tie for the top spot in the N.L. East at the end of the regular season.

I doubt it will come to that, though. Those lovable Phillies still have an entire weekend to rediscover their rich heritage and really louse things up. Don’t get me wrong; I’d love to see them get in the postseason for the first time in 14 years, but I’m prepared for 1964 all over again.


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One Response to “How Are the Phillies Still in the Pennant Race?”

  1. So Philadelphia’s Getting a Major League Soccer Team « A Tale Told by an Idiot Says:

    […] a Philadelphia sports fan, as well as a Manchester United fan, soccer has thus far been the one sport blissfully free of that […]

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