Plotting out Phillies unlikely path to the playoffs
by Scott Butler 7/27/13

Boy, how things have changed in Phillies land. In just one week the Phillies went from a hot hand and likely buyers to ice cold and almost guaranteed sellers.

Exactly one week ago today, the Phillies destroyed a hot Mets pitcher for their ninth win in 12 games to push their record to one game above .500, climbing within 5.5 games of Atlanta and 5.5 games back in the Wild Card race. Fast forward one week and the Phillies have lost six straight, are 5 games under .500, and find themselves 9 games behind the Braves and 9.5 games out in the Wild Card.

The path to the playoffs is now a very dark road. Here is what the Phillies need to do to reach the playoffs.

To win the NL East:

If the Braves are one game under .500 the rest of the season (29-30), the Phillies need to go 39-20 to reach 88-74. That is a .661 winning percentage and a full season pace of 107 wins.

To win the Wild Card:

If the Reds, who own the second Wild Card at the moment, go .500 the rest of the way (29-29), the Phillies will need to go 40-19 to reach 89 wins. That is a .678 winning percentage and a pace of 110 wins.

Here's what it will take for the Phillies to reach certain win totals:

Record needed to reach: W L Pct Pace
84 wins 35 24 .593 96 wins
85 wins 36 23 .610 99 wins
86 wins 37 22 .627 102 wins
87 wins 38 21 .644 104 wins
88 wins 39 20 .661 107 wins
89 wins 40 19 .678 110 wins
90 wins 41 18 .695 113 wins
91 wins 42 17 .712 115 wins
92 wins 43 16 .729 118 wins
93 wins 44 15 .746 121 wins
94 wins 45 14 .763 124 wins
95 wins 46 13 .780 126 wins

If we pretend for a minute that the Phillies finished with 95 wins, it would put them on a 162 pace of 126 wins and 36 losses. That is one loss every 4.5 games, less than one loss per week, roughly six losses per month, and nearly 8 wins out of 10. Reaching 88 wins is not quite as absurd, but with the way the Phillies have been playing, it seems equally out of reach.

Long story short, it 'aint gonna be easy.

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