In the blink of an eye, the Philadelphia Phillies went from winning six of their previous seven games to losing four straight, all against divisional rivals.
Of course, those six wins that spanned Sept. 6-14 were against the Washington Nationals and Miami Marlins. The good news is that those wins came right after getting swept by the San Francisco Giants.
The bad news is that the previous three games resulted in losses to the Atlanta Braves, not only divisional rivals, but World Series hopefuls.
Those losses also took Philadelphia out of the driver's seat and into the third wild card position, just 2.5 games ahead of the Milwaukee Brewers, whom they hold a tiebreaker against.
Is all hope lost? No, at least not likely. Hopefully the club can recover, collect their thoughts, and bounce back like they did after the sweep from the Giants and avoid another "September collapse."
That will be easier said than done as they have a two-game set with the Toronto Blue Jays and then a four-game series against the Braves coming up at home. Those two teams are much harder to re-find your footing against than the basement-dwelling Nationals and Marlins, as both hold the top Wild Card spots in their respective leagues.
Still, with 16 games left in the season, the magic number for the Phillies is 14. It is possible, but they will have to win games against tough teams, take advantage of the Chicago Cubs and Washington at the end of the month, and pray that the Astros have clinched the American League first seed by the final series of the season.
It's a tall order, but Philadelphia's lineup and rotation are built to compete with the best, albeit on a more "feast or famine" level rather than a consistent one. The Phillies sit at 7-8 on the month. Tough games and full series are looming ahead.
For many Phillies fans, this season seems doomed. The panic wants to set in, but it shouldn't.
Philadelphia has some cushion over their nearest threat. They have a competent and talented squad. A manager in Rob Thomson who they believe in. Bryce Harper, a player who, if he returns to MVP-levels, may just be able to make something special happen. And a rotation who will be welcoming back Zack Wheeler.
Not all is lost. 2022 is not the year this club collapses once again.
They must take full advantage of their final homestand before embarking on a 10-game road trip to end the season. If they can win at least nine of their final 16 games, then their shot of making the postseason seems reasonable, especially with a tiebreaker.
It's not time to panic about these Phillies just yet, this team may just yet pull it out.
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