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N.Y. Mets Cook Florida Marlins for Philadelphia, Need Atlanta to Finish the Dish

Scott EisenlohrAnalyst ISeptember 28, 2009

NEW YORK - AUGUST 20:  Jeff Francoeur #12 of the New York Mets bats against the Atlanta Braves on August 20, 2009 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

How important was it for Ryan Madson to strike out Mike Cameron to preserve the Phillies' 6-5 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday?

The Mets' 4-0 victory over the Florida Marlins officially eliminated the Marlins from overtaking the Phillies for the National League Eastern Division championship.

The Phillies finish up the season with a three-game series against the Marlins, and if the Marlins were even one game from elimination, they would swarm the bloody Philadelphia waters.

The Marlins still have a chance to capture the Wild Card but have to pass the Braves and the Rockies. Not likely.

The Phillies' picture becomes that much clearer. The magic number is three, and while the Phillies open a four-game set at home against the Houston Astros, the Marlins play the Braves.

Back to the Mets: Jeff Francouer, who hit his 14th home run in the fourth inning, is hitting .279. He has been a bright spot in an otherwise dismal, lost season for the Mets. Injury has been at the forefront of the Mets' woes.

Now with the Fish gone, the Braves are the Phillies lone concern as far as clinching the division. The Phillies are 29-10 at home since July 1.

Phillies ace Cole Hamels (10-9, 4.11 ERA) faces Yorman Bazardo (0-2, 9.55) in the series opener.

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A win would go a long way in reaching the finish line. Now Phils fans have to hope Florida takes one or two from the Braves.

If the Braves get hot and sweep the Marlins, which is likely in the way the Braves are playing, the Phillies still have destiny in their hands.

Just win, baby!

Last year, the Phillies used Ryan Madson as "the bridge to Lidge."

Brad Lidge, in 2009, is in serious disrepair. "Mad Dog" Madson is left as the Phillies primary closer.

I am just fine with that. It is the Phillies best option as they set to defend their World Series crown.

I am worrying about the playoffs later this week. The goal right now is to close thins out in the NL East.

With their win yesterday, the Phillies collected their 90th win of the season. A total of at least 93 wins should wrap this thing up nicely.

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