Phillies can only hope to meet the Mets again

by Marc Narducci | Aug 22, 2022
Phillies can only hope to meet the Mets again
The Phillies have certainly had enough of the New York Mets this season. The good news is that the Phillies are finished meeting the Mets.


The bad news is that they went 5-14 against the National League East leaders.


Over the weekend the Phillies had a chance to take advantage of facing the Mets minus New York’s top pitchers, Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom.
It didn’t matter as the Mets won three of four.


The Phillies can only hope to meet the Mets again because that would mean they would be in the playoffs.


Despite their struggles with the Mets, the Phillies are in good shape to still earn a playoff berth.


They began the week as the second wild card team. This year there will be three wild card teams.


Right now the Atlanta Braves hold the first wild card spot and they are a lock to make the playoffs. Atlanta is within striking distance of the division-leading Mets.


The first round is a best of three series, all at the higher seed.


If Atlanta overtakes the Mets, then the Mets would likely be the No. 4 overall seed. If the Phillies end up with the second-best wild card record, they would face the Mets in the first round in this scenario.


Let’s face it, any team the Phillies will face in the postseason will pose a difficult task, especially since it’s unlikely they can move up to the No. 4 seed and earn home-field advantage.


Of course, Phillies fans shouldn’t be worried about who they will play, but instead qualifying for the postseason for the first time since 2011.
The struggles against the Mets aside, the Phillies have a favorable schedule in the final seven weeks.


What will determine whether the Phillies qualify and if so, how they would fare in the postseason, will be healthy?
That is true for all teams.


In MLB, getting pitchers to the regular season finish line isn’t easy.
Look at the Mets. They played extended time without both Scherzer and deGrom.


The Phillies are short arms now in the bullpen. Seranthony Dominguez was placed on the 15-day injured list with tendinitis in his right triceps.
Dominiguez, pitching his first full season since having Tommy John surgery in 2020, would be eligible to come off the IL on Sept. 2. He has had a great year, going 6-4 with a 1.64 ERA and nine saves in 46 appearances. Dominiguez has struck out 54 and walked 14 in 44 innings. He has a 0.91 WHIP.


Corey Knebel, who had a rough start this season, but has pitched well of late, is out for the season due to a torn capsule in his right shoulder.
The Phillies’ pitching isn’t the only concern. The offense has been wildly inconsistent. The Phillies hope to have Bryce Harper back. Harper has been sidelined since suffering a broken thumb on June 25. Most estimates have him returning at the beginning of September.


Since his injury, the Phillies were 28-20 without Harper following Sunday’s 10-9 loss to the Mets.


Without Harper, the Phillies were 2-5 against the Mets. Then again, with him, they were 3-9. In 12 games Harper batted .217 (10 for 46) with four home runs, seven RBI, and an .808 OPS.


That may not be vintage Harper, but he made a huge difference even if the stats weren’t overly impressive. No doubt if he returns 100 percent it would give the Phillies a big boost.


Now the Phillies have to take advantage of a weak schedule, one in which they don’t face a team with a current winning record (through Sunday) until visiting Atlanta on Sept. 16.
 


Author: Marc Narducci

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