The second Wild Card is certainly making the MLB playoff race much more interesting this year. More teams are in contention as fewer days on the calender remain.
Earlier this season, it would have been easy to write off the Philadelphia Phillies. They were struggling mightily and they did not look like a playoff team.
Entering August 23, the Phillies were 10 games under .500 and 20 games behind the Washington Nationals for the NL East lead. Since then, the Phillies have gone 15-4 and are just three games out of a Wild Card spot.
There is a good chance that the Phillies can keep their amazing comeback going and reach the playoffs.
One would be hard pressed to find many teams with three better pitchers in their starting rotation than Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels and Roy Halladay. Although Lee and Halladay have struggled at times this year, they are still both aces.
The Phillies starters should help keep every game close the rest of the way and give the team a chance to win every single day. These veterans could help the Phillies make the final push into the playoffs.
Big-time players show up in big-time situations. Jimmy Rollins has done exactly that and gotten hot during the right time for the Philadelphia Phillies.
Over the past 11 games, Rollins has hit .326 with four home runs, nine RBI and eight runs scored. While Rollins' hot streak likely won't last for the rest of the season, it looks like he cannot be stopped right now.
His confidence should continue to add up and keep him performing at a high level for the rest of the year.
The Philadelphia Phillies have 19 games left this season and they have gotten lucky with how the rest of their schedule plays out. Philadelphia plays 10 games against teams with records under .500.
Matchups with the Houston Astros, New York Mets and Miami Marlins are all very favorable for the Phillies. While their remaining games are tough, these series could give the Phillies a lot of momentum.
When things start to get dicey in late September, teams with veterans who have been there before are normally the ones that end up pulling things out. The Philadelphia Phillies have a lot of veterans on their roster.
With an average age of 31.4 years old, the Phillies have a number of guys that have been in late season playoff races before. Players like Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Jimmy Rollins and Juan Pierre will be important leaders for the Phillies in the next few weeks.