Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Go crazy...the Phils are going to the Series?

By John Gottlieb
The Phanatic Magazine

Even I can't believe I'm about to write this, but don't make plans on Wednesday, October 21 because the Phillies are going to the World Series.

It was about a month ago right here that I wrote that the Phillies were done. Caput. Dead as a door knob. They were just waiting to play out the remaining 30-some odd games before another disappointing offseason.

The Phils dealt with more injuries to significant players than any other team in the league, but the loss of their ace Cole Hamels was just too much too overcome. How could a team lose its only bona fide pitcher and still be right in the thick of things. Baseball is unpredictable but there was no way the Phillies could hang on.

I rescind everything I wrote that day. The Phillies did the same thing last month that they've been doing the whole season. Getting decent enough starting pitching, dealing with their inefficiencies in the bullpen, playing good defense, and hitting the cover off the ball.

I said it Saturday during Johns on Sports, and now I'll write it here...the Phillies are the team that nobody in the National League wants to play.

Does any other team in baseball have four MVP candidates that will finish in the top 15?

Philadelphia opens the night tied for the Wild Card lead with the Padres, who lost two-thirds of their starting outfield on Sunday and are trying to Chris Young back on track.

The Pads are on their way down and will be on the outside looking in when Sunday's games are over.

Arizona is so young that we are all waiting for the bubble to burst. It hasn't happened during the regular season, but this team will be dealing with just as much pressure as the larger market clubs.

The Phillies own the Mets this year and there is nothing to suggest that that is going to change in the postseason. Philly wins at home and at Shea, so playing four games in Flushing shouldn't be intimidating.

Chicago seems like it could be the real deal, but we all know how this fairy tale ends. It culminates with Steve Bartman, Leon Durham, or Brant Brown. The Cubbies are 10-18 this season against the Mets, Phillies, D'backs and Padres. The Rockies are the only other team with a puncher's chance and the North Siders are 5-2 against Colorado.

READ IT HERE: The Phillies are going to the World Series!

They've scored the second-most runs in baseball with 861, almost 50 more than the Rockies, who are second in the NL. They are tied with Colorado (1,513) for the most hits in the Senior Circuit. Philadelphia is second in the Majors with 202 homers, third with 822 runs batted in, third with a .355 on-base percentage, and second with .458 slugging percentage.

The point is that they're offense has kept them in it all season and it will continue to do so. However, they'll have to weasel their way out of some jams since their pitching staff is near the bottom of the standings with a 4.79 ERA.

Every team in the NL is hoping beyond hope that the Padres edge out the Phillies.

I'm sure there's more than American League team that knows the Phillies are talented enough to make the World Series very interesting. It would be real difficult to win their first series in almost 30 years, but the Phils can push this to six games.

Get ready Philadelphia. The Phils are going to take you on an improbable ride to the World Series.

They'll at least be a distraction before the Eagles, Sixers and Flyers go on to live up to their expectations.
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