The last member of the core four, Cole Hamels, will toe the rubber for the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday night. The other main cogs will be behind him: Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard. Can they finish the year at 86-76 with a 9-game winning streak?
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: 2-1 Outcome
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Above Asterisk ( *) = Corresponding Play And/Or Event
GB 2nd WC: 5.0
2ND WC Pos: 5
Elimination No: 5
Divine Intervention On Order:
Cholley’s boys have reached the end of the 2012 schedule, and now only the baseball gods can intercede before October 3. The Phils will need most of the breaks to achieve a 9-0 run, which means the margin for error has been used up. That said, if the powers beyond our grasp were to step in, they would start with the heart of the franchise on the field. The crew that raised the 2008 championship banner fills 4 of the positions on the diamond tomorrow night.
Yes, 9 straight triumphs is possible for a postseason-tested group. St. Louis, on the other hand, would only have to go 4-5 for a 2nd wild-card tie with the locals at 86 W’s. That stated, they face the ‘Stros in Houston, where they have recently gone 6-3 against playoff-hopeful teams. They went: 1-1 (Reds), 3-1 (Phillies) and 2-1 (Pirates). That is the easy part for the Cards, who return home to face Washington and Cincinnati. Those 2 organizations will not want to go into the NLDS on a losing note against the Red Birds.
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St. Louis is 11-12 since August 30, which puts 4-5 within the realm of possibility. They are playing .500 ball and are not hot. Ergo, the breakdown is a cause for concern in baseball heaven, the city of the silver arch. The Cards were 7-2 with 3 victorious matchups over also-rans: New York, Chicago and Houston. However, they were 4-10 with a series record of 0-3-1 against stronger competition. They were swept 3-0 by the Pads, who only recently dropped out of the final-berth sweepstakes.
If you put San Diego in the other column, you get 7-5 and 4-7 marks. Against their more-in-the-hunt adversaries, the Red Birds went 1-3 (Washington), 1-2 (Milwaukee) and 2-2 (Los Angeles). So, they are in no way a lock for serious October baseball. Granted, 9-0 is imposing but not impossible.
2nd Wild-Card Teams:
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He is 6-3 with a 2.85 home ERA, which is 0.37 lower at the Bank. Against the Nats for 3 outings at both parks (2 away), his ledger reads: 2-1, a 1.17 ERA, 23 complete, 16 hits, 4 runs (3 earned), 5 BB and 25 whiffs.
He was the 7th arm for a 5-man staff, which landed him back at Triple-A until Stephen Strasburg was shut down. He has worked 7 innings in 1 of 4 opportunities with 1 clunker. He, also, has a history of getting hit by the Phils.
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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
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