Destiny is in their hands. For a third straight season, the Philadelphia Phillies have the opportunity to wear the crown of the NL East. Savor it.
They sit on the doorstep, with five games remaining before the end of the season. Stranger things have happened, but after a demoralizing Braves loss, coupled with a Rockies win, the Wild Card picture is becoming clearer. How will the Braves respond? It matters very little to the Phils.
The Phillies have business to take care of tonight, in front of the home crowd. A victory in front of the sea of rally towels puts them back in the postseason, preparing for yet another storied run to the Fall Classic. You can throw everything else out – all parallel storylines like Marlins/Braves – and focus on the Phillies, and only the Phillies, tonight.
Just 48 hours ago, the panic switch had been flipped and the NL East was no longer a definite. But when their backs were inching closer to the wall, they pulled through. It was indeed a trying week for our boys in pinstripes; complete with agonizing late-inning circus acts, mounting injuries, and talk of an epic collapse witnessed only by our elders in ’64. Finally, that can all be put to rest.
With a win tonight, we can also put the players to rest. Undoubtedly, the marathon that is the MLB season as worn on this team of all-out players. Chase Utley’s average is below .290, a dark hole for the second baseman compared to the bright shine of .300. Jayson Werth is caught in a slump, and Raul Ibanez may or may not be feeling the lingering effects of a mid-season injury.
The list of names battling the bug in the bullpen is vast. Add Moyer to the grouping of Eyre, Myers, Romero, Park, Condrey, and Taschner, plus Happ and Pedro in the rotation. Some of them have made their way back, and some have not. Rest for the weary is just around bend.
How perfect would it be to get the slumping order some R & R? It’s important to have everyone healthy and ready to rock for the second season, so a victory tonight makes that possible.
Rest easy, Phillies Nation. Just one more win and it’s a done deal. Time certainly flies when your having fun, and this season is nearly over in the blink of an eye. So enjoy tonight’s festivities, and then prepare yourself for the back-to-back chase.