Last night, Heather and I were “talking” (we sent like 3 or 4 tweets to each other) and she said that I need to post another optimistic article. I’m going to try…
Any Phillies fan knows of the struggle that the team has had in the last couple weeks. They haven’t played well since they played against Milwaukee. They lost 2/3 against the Astros, but I kind of excused that one. They usually get swept by the Astros every year. (Only NL team to have a winning percentage against the Phillies since 2004, go figure.)
They lost 3/4 against the Cardinals, but clinched the NL East, so, yeah, that’s fun. Swept by the Nationals (I mean, seriously?) and now, well, yeah. They have lost 8 straight, the most since Aug 2000, aka the pre- Jimmy Rollins era.
That’s the bad, now let’s look for the good. I looked at the teams that won the World Series in the last 15 years and how they ended the season: (all information comes from the wonderful people at Baseball-reference.com)
2010: San Francisco Giants: Went 11-18, not a bad record at all, but they weren’t setting the world on fire either. They went in as a steady team with amazing pitching, and that’s how they won.
I really want my picture with another one...
2009: New York Yankees: Also went 11-18, once again, not a bad record at all.
2008: Philadelphia Phillies: 13-18, better than the 2009 and 2010 winners and a very good way to end the season.
2007: Boston Redsox: 9-18, .500 going into the postseason.
2006: St. Louis Cardinals: 6-18, including a 7 game losing streak. HOPE!!
2005: Chicago White Sox: 11-18, this is one of the few that got on a hot streak going into the postseason and then won it all.
2004: Boston Red Sox: 11-18
2003: Florida Marlins: 12-18, they also hit a hot streak.
2002: Anaheim Angels: 10-18
2001: Arizona Diamondbacks: 10-18
2000: New York Yankees: 3-18, includes 2 losing streaks: 1 of 6 games and 1 of 7 games long. The 7 game L streak is how they ended their season. PAST PRECEDENCE!!!
1999: New York Yankees: 12-18
1998: New York Yankees: 10-18, they were very hot at the end of the season.
1997: Florida Marlins: 8-18
1996: New York Yankees: 11-18
The Phillies are currently 5-15 with 3 games to play. They are already ahead of the 2001 Yankees and one more win will tie them with 2006 St. Louis Cardinals.
The hottest team does not generally win the World Series, it typically was the team that played the most consistent ball headed into the postseason. The Phillies have not been hot (been dead cold until today actually,) they have been consistent for the last week however. But not in a good way.
There is hope however. It has been done before and I’m clinging to that fact as the Phillies prepare for their last three games of the season. They have been as consistent as any team all year. Consistent pitching and consistent timely hitting. They are going to need that over the next month.