The Phillies' path to the postseason is well within reach
by Scott Butler 9/9/18

Phillies path to 2018 postseason

It was fun to be a Phillies fan on August 5th. They finished off a sweep of the Marlins, won 5 games in a row, and owned a 1.5 game lead over the Atlanta Braves in the NL East.

Their pitching was cruising along like it had been, giving up 12 runs over a 6 games. Their offense, which had been silent throughout most of the season, had sprung to life against the Marlins. They scored 5 or more runs in each game of the four-game series at a rate of 5.75 runs per game.

Then they flew west.

You know what happened from here. They lost the series to the Diamondbacks. Then they lost to the Padres, paused with a nice 2-game split with the Red Sox, then they lost to the Mets, Nationals, Blue Jays, Nationals again, Cubs, and Marlins.

All told, they failed to win all 9 series since August 5. To make matters worse, 6 of those series were against losing teams.

If the Phillies - and their 5th worst offense in the NL in terms of runs - are unable to beat Jacob deGrom, the likely Cy Young winner with a 1.68 ERA, it will be 10-straight series without a win and 7-straight against losing ball clubs.

Yet, as bleak as it might seem, the Phillies are still in a great position to go from worst to first to win the National League East in 2018. First, let's set the stage for the remaining three series for the Phils and Braves before their meeting on September 20:

After the Mets this afternoon, the Phillies play the Nationals, Marlins, and Mets at home.

After the Diamondbacks this afternoon, the Braves play the Giants on the road and then the Nationals and Cardinals at home.

Let's say the Phillies pull off a win today against the Mets and the Braves fall to the Diamondbacks to split that series, putting the Phils 2.5 games back. Now here's the scenario:

That would put the Phillies a half-game back with seven head-to-heads awaiting with the Braves. It's not much to ask of any team, even one that has struggled as much as the Phillies.

There is also reason to believe the Phillies offense is due to break out soon, mainly because it just can't be possible for an entire team to keep slumping as they have. I'm going to borrow this from Corey Seidman again and show you the individual batting numbers since their month-long stretch began (these are all before the Mets series):

Rhys Hoskins: .180 BA, .641 OPS

Odubel Herrera: .192 BA, .530 OPS

Cesar Hernandez: .219 BA, .627 OPS

Maikel Franco: .228 BA, .692 OPS

Nick Williams: .247 BA, .673 OPS

Asdrubal Cabrera: .248 BA, .715 OPS

Carlos Santana: .260 BA, .785 OPS

Scott Kingery: .262 BA, .765 OPS

Jorge Alfaro: .283 BA, .754 OPS

Roman Quinn: .339 BA, .927 OPS

Wilson Ramos: .362 BA, 1.011 OPS

Nearly all of those players have a long-enough track record to suggest those numbers don't reflect their actual talent.

And finally:

Don't give up hope just yet. It's quite possible the next three weeks will be some of the most memorable in Phillies history.

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