Phils Could Benefit From Bad Weekend Of Baseball

Rob LangiContributor IAugust 11, 2009

SAN FRANCISCO - AUGUST 02:  Cole Hammels #35 of the Philadelphia Phillies looks on from the mound against the San Francisco Giants  during a Major League Baseball game at AT&T Park on August 2, 2009 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

Heading into the weekend, many fans in the Delaware Valley saw an opportunity for the Phillies to put the rest of the NL East in such a big hole, that they could cruise to the division title.

With a three game series against the Marlins, the Phils went into Friday night's contest with a seven game lead over the second place Fish. Sweep the series and get ready for October.

But did we forget that this is still Philadelphia? Nothing comes easy.

Instead of being up ten games, the Marlins came in and handed the Phillies three straight losses, closing the gap to NL East lead to four games.

The Phils looked uncharacteristically sloppy in all three contests, leading many to believe they were in cruise control.

They were wrong.

So get ready Philly; the race to a third straight division title is on. And it could not be any better for the Phillies.

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Recent history has shown that the Phillies play better when the pressure is on.

Last year, a second straight run to the playoffs looked very slim in early September. It took a four game sweep of the Brewers to catapult the Phils to a 9-3 record over their last 12 games, winning the division on the second to last day of the year.

We all know what happened after that.

But the Phillies are now at a crossroads. An unfamiliar position.

They could take the road the Mets have taken the last two years, and completely collapse; or they can do what they have done in the past and win the division.

The bats will come around; The bullpen is starting to get healthier; But their biggest problem is they have too many starting pitchers to decide upon a set rotation.

That is a problem most, if not all of the other squads in baseball would love to have. 

So before we all head back to the gloomy days, let's allow the Phils the time to right this ship again, and get back to the postseason. 

At least now we can still have meaningful regular season baseball to watch.

Although it is not wrong to hope for a little more rest than just the last day of the season.