Philadelphia Phillies: Why a Few Losses Are Exactly What the Phillies Need

Joe McDonaldCorrespondent IISeptember 13, 2011

MILWAUKEE, WI - SEPTEMBER 11:  Philadelphia Phillies Manager Charlie Manuel leave the mound after making a pitching change replacing Vance Worley #49 with Michael schwimer #39  during the 7th inning of game action against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park on September 11, 2011 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.(Photo by Mark Hirsch/Getty Images)
Mark Hirsch/Getty Images

The Philadelphia Phillies are one game away from clinching a playoff spot.  They have just dropped two games in a row, and this is a good thing.  There is no way they are going to miss the playoffs.  In fact, they are going to be the unquestioned No. 1 seed of the National League. 

So what do a few losses mean right now?

A loss ensures that the Phillies do not become complacent going into the playoffs.  They are the best team in the league, but in a short series, anything can happen.  They need to be reminded of this. 

The 2011 Philadelphia Phillies have all the pieces in place to win the World Series.  The only team that can truly beat them are themselves.  The focus of this team must remain unwavering.

In Philadelphia, we enjoy being the underdog.  Though no one in the country believe the Phils are underdogs, they must remain humble and motivated.  The two losses they have suffered recently are exactly what they need remind themselves that they can still lose.  Realizing this now can do wonders to refocus everyone in the locker room.

Last year, the Philadelphia Phillies had a golden road paved to the World Series.  They were being hyped to be the first team since the 1998-2001 New York Yankees to make three straight World Series. 

San Francisco had other plans.

I understand the Phillies need to clinch as quickly as possible so they can rest their players.  September has and will continue to be a very grueling schedule for them.  The time to clinch will come, but now is the time for them to be reminded that even the best teams can lose. 

Charlie Manuel will have plenty of time to rest players later in the month.  Most likely the team will lose a few of those games, but it will be expected.  I would rather see the Phillies lose a few right now and regroup instead of coasting into the playoffs unchallenged. 

I am not suggesting that the Philadelphia Phillies have gotten lazy.  In fact, a loss or two right now will ensure they never get lazy, and to me, that is why two losses in a row is a good thing.  It will keep them on their toes and force them focus on the big picture.

Since the Atlanta Braves refuse to win and push the Phillies in a divisional race, the Phillies will need to push themselves.  The only way to do this is lose now, refocus and go into the playoffs more determined than ever.


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