To the fans of the Philadelphia Phillies, there is nothing more exhilarating than the last leg of any given season, especially when the playoffs are hanging in the balance
Oh wait, yes there is. How about dealing a crushing defeat to the team that is challenging you for first place, right?
The Phillies have masterfully put together one of the best Septembers in their recent history and have begun the process of claiming their place in yet another postseason by defeating the not so “Hot-lanta” Braves 3-1.
But it isn’t just this paramount defeat that has the Philadelphia faithful waving their rally towels, screaming their heads off in jubilation, and rising to their feet. Oh no—it’s been a collection of very key factors that are making an already deadly team even more dangerous.
The collective team effort out of the bullpen and the starting rotation, in combination with solid hitting and exceptional fielding, has this team and its fans salivating at the chance of not only returning to the postseason, but also getting another crack at the Fall Classic.
To make matters better—or worse, depending on your fanship—the Phillies will continue to unleash their three-headed monster on the Braves with Roy Halladay and Roy Oswalt being the next two pitchers the Braves will have to face.
But isn’t that where it all starts for the Phillies?
Since acquiring Oswalt and Halladay, the front three of this rotation (Cole Hamels being the third musketeer) has been one of the most dominant trios in all of baseball.
Dating back to July 31st, this treacherous tricephaly has gone 19-6 with a 2.40 ERA (Note: I have not factored in Hamels' ERA from last night only his win), and more importantly, in the month of September this three-headed monster is undefeated at a mark of 10-0.
But that’s not all.
They now have a four-game lead in the division, are the first team in the National League to reach 90 wins, and are on an eight-game winning streak, winning nine out of their last 10.
The fielding is nearly impenetrable, they’ve mixed in a healthy amalgamation of small ball and power hitting, and oh yeah, if anyone is still on the fence with Wilson Valdez, you can come down now...the kid’s solid as a rock...it’s okay, c’mon down.
So much to digest, right?
But despite this crazy flurry of success, the old adage remains superior: It ain’t over 'til the fat lady sings.
The remainder of the season is divisional competition, and since the Phillies are public enemy number one, every team (including the Braves, which we’ll get to in a minute) will be trying their best to play spoiler.
The Phightin' Phils will close out the week with against a Mets team that is horrible on the road, begin next week in Washington, whom the Phillies are 10-5 against, only to close the season in dramatic fashion with a final showdown against the Braves IN Atlanta.
Suffice to say, the last 11 games are very winnable, but the Phillies would be wise to tread lightly.
This is baseball at its best. This is the TRUE pulse of the original American Classic. Heck, this is the very lore that keeps the almighty NFL in the rear-view mirror for another couple of weeks, and you can bet your bottom dollar it’s only gonna get better from here.
So the only question that remains is this:
Are YOU getting that “Pheeling” yet?