Wednesday, September 26, 2007

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

After weeks of chasing the Mets, and the wildcard leaders -- mainly the Padres -- four a playoff spot, the Phillies found themselves tied for the wildcard lead entering Tuesday night's home game against Atlanta.

It's been an agonizing 14 years since Philly's last playoff appearance, with several near misses over the last few years. Each of those near misses went about the same way...get off to a bad start, rally late in the season, then falter in the final week or two, and just miss the post-season, finishing with about 85 wins, give or take.

The phortunes of the Phillies are so predictable, here's what I wrote on April 2nd when trying to predict the upcoming season...

"They'll probably fall within the 83-89 win total like they've done the last few years, and fall short of the postseason. Again."

By the way, I had the Cubs winning 78 games, finishing 3rd in the NL Central. I had the White Sox finishing 3rd in the AL Central with 88 wins. Not so good on those picks.

Ah, but the Phillies are easy to predict. Sure enough, they started the season 4-11, then rallied to play some of the best baseball in the National League to fight and claw their way into a tie for the wildcard lead with San Diego.

So what did they do with their opportunity to finally control their destiny?

Naturally, they crapped the bed and lost to the Braves 10-6.

San Diego defeated San Francisco thanks to a 4-run ninth inning, and the Phils are now 1 game back again.

Now, the Phillies get to face Hudson and Smoltz, while looking uphill, and needing to look at the scoreboard.

Is the season over? Hell no. But the way this story ends is starting to look all too familiar.

I will now go back to banging my head against the wall.

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