The final series may mean something to both teams, because Jimmy Rollins and the Philadelphia Phillies might have a shot on October 3. Will you enjoy the journey or wait until September ends?
I will publish after every battle that is not washed out. I will have many summer-long highlights of puzzle pieces, especially important after drubbings and defeats. If you were directed here by a feed and this review does not mention yesterday’s contest, please go to the Phillies page for my most recent coverage. (Early morning readers may arrive before the latest post.) Scroll down to Tal’s Handy Links at the bottom. Thank you.
CAP-SIZE HINDSIGHT: 3-1 Triumph
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Above Asterisks ( *) = Corresponding Plays And/Or Events
MASKED SEPTEMBER NUMBERS:
GB 2nd WC: 3.5
2ND WC Pos: 5
Elimination No: 12
The Final Day:
It has taken a smorgasbord of events for this season to unfold in this way. In fact, the end result has been a strange year, which is far from over. That said, there are more chapters in this book, which might include facing the Nats a second time during October. To start, the red pinstripes danced just beneath .500 with a hanging-on mentality, and then dropped into the cellar, languishing there for a long stay. Now, they are trying to float above the .500 mark.
Since some wonder why, there are reasons. Three of their stars had incremental maladies. Everyone knew since the previous NLDS that Ryan Howard was going to be on the DL in April. Chase Utley again had a balky-knee issue in March, and his presence was put on hold for a 2nd straight campaign. Doc Halladay dismissed early reports on his velocity, but his numbers started to deteriorate in May. When the good Doctor went on the shelf, the rotation lost its ace and anchor. Cliff Lee was battling the mental aspect of his adversity, and Cole Hamels initially struggled to fill Doc’s shoes. Then, they were locked in the basement until their 3 elite players got reacclimated.
Things would have been smoother with Hunter Pence, Shane Victorino and Joe Blanton, but the 3 returning performers were not completely productive until after the trading deadline. This also affected acquiring a veteran reliever for the 8th to set up Jonathan Papelbon. Meanwhile, Doc and Ryno are still not at their best.
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* Series 2
Antonio Bastardo, Phillippe Aumont, Jeremy Horst and Josh Lindblom are going to succeed most of the time. That means it will take every single one of the 14 remaining games to earn a tie for the 2nd wild card. This final push is like Ryno in his battle with his healing body to do more than it can. The core 4, the horses, the closer and Chooch Ruiz–fighting through his foot problems–will not be enough without assistance from some unlikely heroes. The positive is that there are some candidates who will see an opportunity to taste championship champagne, knowing their contribution is critical. Caution: There are speed bumps along the way to the final 27 outs on the regular schedule in October, and until then there will be uncertainty, like 2007.
2nd Wild-Card Teams:
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He has lasted 7 innings in 1 of 4 outings with 2 short-lived debacles. Against the Mets in late August at home, his ledger read: 6 complete, 7 hits, 3 all-earned runs, 2 BB and 5 whiffs on 102 tosses.
He has worked 6.1 frames plus in 2 of 9 appearances with 2 clunkers. However, he is 0-2 with a 2.12 home ERA, which is 1.19 lower than on the road. His log against the Phils at the Bank in late August was: 6.1 innings, 6 hits, 2 both-earned runs, 2 free passes and 6 strikeouts on 98 bullets.
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Starters’ photos, not described otherwise, are in the 1st inning.
Quality number of the pitcher: 1 – 5
Slot on his club: 1 – 5
Ranking is 1 to 5 & 15 for the less adventurous.
*** = Approximately equal to after plus-and-minus computation
DISPLAY NOTE: Non-listed results can go up or down by
1 or 2 categories (This note will only appear when it’s relevant.)
* 1 Tick UP
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Check out my previous publications (Time To Knuckle Down) and the 108 storylines–so far–for 2012 on the Phillies page, where there is an excerpt photo.
Tal’s Handy Stats is daily coverage. I am alternating the 2012 ERA For The NL East and the 2012 ERA For The MLB 5. Thank you, to all who bookmarked my page.