Phillies Put Season in Perspective
With a three-game series in Philadelphia beginning today, I found it mildly surprising that the Phillies already have 81 wins — and there’s still over a week left in the month of August.
Think about that: they have 81 wins and still have 36 games to play in the regular season. So if they play just two games over .500 the rest of the way — they’re currently 37 games over that mark — they’ll finish with 100 victories. If they keep up their current pace of winning — which is a shade under 65% — they’ll finish with 105 wins on the year.
Contrast that to the Mets’ current 60-66 record. Let all these numbers sink in. Now think back to 2-3 weeks ago, when many Mets fans were still hoping against hope that the Flushing Futiles had a shot at the Wild Card. Consider also that the Wild Card leading Atlanta Braves — who the Mets play immediately after this three-game jaunt — are now 76-52. Remember that the most games over .500 the Mets have been all year is four. Gosh, what were we thinking?
Hey, but it doesn’t mean the Mets can’t take this series from the Phillies. They could even sweep them — after all, anything can happen in baseball. But it won’t matter, not one iota. This week, the Mets are not even in position to be spoilers, because the Phillies and Braves are so far ahead of the pack that three losses wouldn’t make a dent in the standings. So what do the Mets have left to play for? Pride?
Another thing to point out: the Mets have now slipped into fourth place, behind the Washington Nationals. Luckily, the surging Marlins cooled off and lost five in a row, or the Mets might be basement tenants right now. Mind you, these are the same Marlins that lost 11 straight games at one point earlier this season. I bring your attention to these facts because there are many people who keep making ludicrous statements expressing how “well” the Mets have done this year, how they have exceeded expectations, and how Terry Collins has done a tremendous job. Seriously? I’ll give you the fact that Collins has had a difficult job to do, and it’s somewhat surprising he hasn’t choked someone by now — it’s clear that he has gained patience and restraint since his last MLB managing job. And sure, the team has more “fight” and spirit than we’ve seen in a long time. But they still stink. They stink just as bad as they did in 2010. The only difference is there are more kids who provide some hope. Is that enough to keep us strung along through the end of the season? Is it enough to keep us looking forward to 2012?
I’m not sure. The Phillies are a juggernaut this year, and could have space in the budget to improve in 2012 — depending on what happens with impending free-agent vets such as Brad Lidge, Raul Ibanez, and Jimmy Rollins (among others). The Braves also are on a level far above the Mets right now, and are relying for the most part on youngsters — so they could get better simply by virtue of age and maturity. The Nats and Marlins also have promising youngsters, and may have deeper pockets than the Mets over the next few years.
OK, I need to stop now and move away from the ledge. My apologies for taking you with me on this misadventure. But this is what goes through my head as I look at where other teams in the NL East stand right now in comparison / contrast to the Mets. Those fabulous Phillies send me on this crepe-hanging path of depression.
Do me a favor: give me something positive to consider in the comments. Being in Philly has me seeing nothing but gray.