Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Almost Back to Okay

No smugness here at Frank Helps You Think it All Out or by John Smallwood. And one could argue the Phillies haven’t really beaten the Brewers yet- but rather have beat the beejeezus out of the unfortunate Derrick Turnbow. So far, the Brewers bashing style doesn’t really seem to translate to a ballpark where everyone and anyone can hit a fly ball consistently for a homerun.

But hey, the Phillies have started this ten game homestand off in style- and after their horrid start- style points totally do not count around here. Just win baby.

With the Mets and Braves playing north of .600 ball- their current pace translates to something like 102 wins each- the Phillies will need one of those teams to regress pretty substantially. It isn’t so much the six games they are back- but rather the pace that .600 ball implies.

In fact, if the Mets & Braves were in another division, I would almost say the Phillies were “done” barring one of those teams substantially collapsing. That is to say: even if the wild card was to come in at 95 wins, as opposed to 102, the Phillies are looking at something like playing .620 baseball- for four months! (76-47)- just to get a tie. I don’t think they can do that.

But the Mets & Braves, being in the same division, still have a lot of games left with each other- which means for fourteen games or so one team almost has to play sub-.500 ball. And a lot of game left with the Phillies too- which means the Phillies completely control whether or not they can hang yet another two weeks worth of sub-.500 ball on them. Basically, one of them probably mathematically, due to playing each other, just can’t win 98-99 games- an insurmountable level after the Phillies’ poor start. And the Phillies, by extracting a pound of flesh- can knock that level down even further.

So, the mathematics of the schedule probably conspire against an impossible win total for two co-divisional opponents- and lots of head to head games allow the Phillies to play well one particular weekend and close this gap to something manageable. They need some help- but the NL East is set up to provide it- if this run of pretty good play since the 4-11 start is more indicative of the Phillies true level.