Mets For 2? Just Another Series – Phillies Nation

Mets For 2? Just Another Series

For the next two nights, the Phillies will welcome the Mets to Citizens Bank Park. The in-and-out two-game swing could cause change atop the National League East. It can also put the Phils in an uncompromising situation, 2.5 games in back of the Metropolitans walking into Wrigley Field.

It’s true these are big games. Absolutely. Any time the Mets and Phils hook up, it’s big baseball. But the most important games left this season? Nah. Absolute, drop-dead must-wins? Not even.

Of course, to lose both would really hurt. At the least the Phils should win one of these two games (hopefully tonight’s, as you can’t expect the offense to go nuts off Johan Santana). But if the Phils lose both, it’s not the end of the world.

On Aug. 30 of last season the Phillies pulled to within 2 games of the Mets after a four-game sweep. It was the best, most thrilling baseball Philadelphia had seen in over a decade. Fans were on such a high, but that ended quickly with a bunch of loses, capped off by the Matt Diaz double from hell. A week after the adulation of sweeping the Mets, the Phillies were six games back.

They were seven games back on Sept. 12. They were 2.5 games back Sept. 17 and Sept. 23. If the Phils were to lose these two games, they’d be 2.5 games back on Aug. 27.

Of course, 2007 was its own little world, with the Mets collapsing and the Phils going 13-4 down the stretch. We can’t expect that kind of close again. But being 2.5 games down with a month to play is no lost cause. Not even close. Sure you can talk about momentum and bragging rights and the importance of beating the team ahead of you, but these two games are no different than the first two in Chicago, or the next two in Chicago, and so on.

So don’t get crazy if things don’t work out these next two nights. And don’t get crazy if they do, and the Phils sweep the set. A 1.5-game lead with over a month to play? No reason to go nuts.

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  1. Ari

    August 26, 2008 at 2:59 pm

    I think these games are more crucial then you’re making them out to be. The Phils just rebounded from a rough stretch by sweeping the Dodgers. Their pitching seems to be getting going. If they win one or both of these games then they can keep some momentum going forward. If they lose these two they’re 2.5 back and the Mets have all the momentum. Yes, there’s still a month left in the season, but you can’t count on a miracle every year. If the Phils want to make the playoffs, they’ve got to play hard throughout the whole season – not just September.

  2. Chris C.

    August 26, 2008 at 3:06 pm

    I agree with Ari that this is a very important series. Momentum is so big in baseball, and this series can be huge in that department. Just look at what the Rockies did last year with momentum on their side.

  3. Matt Kwasiborski

    August 26, 2008 at 3:17 pm

    Wow, what a fantastic weekend! I usually bash the Phils here, but now they deserve some praise. I think Big Boy’s dive for the foul ball was a turning point in our season. I mean that was pure hustle that the Phils need from their leaders. Also, why did he change his uni or did his pants rip?

    I was seriously worried we would be swept again or lose 3 of 4 after that horrendous Nats game last Thursday night. But the bats came to life and Rollins got some hits after his calling out of us.

    Yes, this two games are big. We need a split. If we can beat Pedro, we can beat Johan. The Phils keep the game tight against Johan so far, so he doesn’t concern me. But if we can bash Pedro around, it will deflate the Muts considering how decimated their staff is right now. Bashing Pedro is what we need to do to swing the momentum in our favor.

    But we also can get swept and we need to avoid that considering we have 4 against the best team in the NL, the Cubbies coming up!

  4. Gary B

    August 26, 2008 at 3:19 pm

    If they swept the set they would be 1.5 games up Tim…and with that going into Chi town is important to me…

  5. Richie

    August 26, 2008 at 3:21 pm

    I would say this is a big series if we were to throw Hamels and Myers and lose two, but given the fact that we have Kendrick and Moyer going against ther Pedro and Santana, two losses hurts more to them than two losses would to us. If this makes any sense to anyone. I feel like if we can go out and beat Pedro and Santana with the back end of our rotation, and then go into the Wrigley with Uncle Cole, we can get a full head of steam going. But if we lose these two and come back and grab Cole’s start against the Cubs, we will be ok. A little confusing.

  6. Richie

    August 26, 2008 at 3:27 pm

    We need to get to Pedro early tonight, so we can see that bullpen hideous bullpen early. We also need to be patient against Johan tomorrow, these are things that Charlie really needs to bring uo to these guys, we know Santana is a hell of a pitcher, but twice this year we have seen him, he has held us until we get to their poor excuse for a bullpen, we need to take the same approach, only this time their pen is worse than it was before, Buster Olney said in his chat that Heilman has an above 9.00 ERA lifetime at the bank. I am sure he loves it here, I will be their tonight rooting it in, and I hope I see Jerry Manuel on that phone and then pointing to his right arm early and often baby!!! Let’s Go Phils!!!!!

  7. Tyler

    August 26, 2008 at 3:44 pm

    Nice post. Either way the series goes, there’s a lot more baseball to play and more important games to play for both the Mets and the Phillies. If the lead for either the Mets or the Phillies is 2 games or less, the series September 5th through the 7th is gonna be pretty big. I’ll be at the game September 5th at Shea.

    Lets Go Mets!

  8. Tim Malcolm

    August 26, 2008 at 4:01 pm

    Like I wrote, we lost momentum more than once down the stretch last year. It doesn’t mean the end of the world.

    And you’re right Gary, 1.5-game lead.

  9. Phil

    August 26, 2008 at 4:02 pm

    Here’s the pitching probables for the Cubs series.

    Hamels vs Dempster(will be a great match up)
    Blanton vs Harden(we’re toast)
    Myers vs Lilly(we’ll win that one)
    Moyer vs Zambrano(I have faith Moyer can get it done here)

    We need to win 2 of those. There is no excuses. We need to win the game with either Hamels or Moyer on the mound. I’m okay with losing the game with Blanton vs. Harden. Myers can beat Lilly no problem.

    If we can win both vs the Mets and Florida can take 2 from the Mets this weekend we’ll be in good shape. That’ll put us at 2 games above the Mets after this weekend. I’ll be very happy about that rolling into September.

  10. Richie

    August 26, 2008 at 4:57 pm

    Phil if we win both against the mets, florida takes two from them and we split with the cubs we will be up 3 games on them not two. Hamels is such a better pitcher than Dempster, it drives me nuts that he is having such a good year, for some reason, I cannot stand him. I think it is hilarious that Mets fans constantly frequent this site, you wouldn’t catch me dead on a “Mets Nation” site, you know why they come here. Because they can’t put together a normal conversation amongst each other, they are a bunch of invalids that can only put three words together in a sentence, “Let’s go Mess” thats all yous are a “Mess.” When we finish the season and clinch with about 6 or 7 games to go, I don’t want to hear another thing from you Muts.

  11. KM

    August 26, 2008 at 5:27 pm

    Well, we are even in the loss column, so as long as we split, we control our own destiny down the stretch.

  12. Grrrumpy Miner

    August 26, 2008 at 5:50 pm

    The originator of this post thinks that these 2 games are no big deal? Thats like saying the 3 Yankee/Red Sox games mean nothing to the AL Wildcard and their rivalry is meaningless.I will say this tho to the fellow Amazins fans……no matter what happens,win or lose,keep it civil and show a little class.

  13. Grrrumpy Miner

    August 26, 2008 at 6:04 pm

    Class and courtesy for the Phillies fans as well tonight with your comments Win Or Lose.

  14. Tim Malcolm

    August 26, 2008 at 6:15 pm

    I didn’t say these games weren’t big deals.

    In fact, I wrote this:

    “It’s true these are big games. Absolutely. Any time the Mets and Phils hook up, it’s big baseball. But the most important games left this season? Nah. Absolute, drop-dead must-wins? Not even.”

    I’m saying it’s not the end of the world whatever the outcome of these games.

  15. Grrrumpy Miner

    August 26, 2008 at 6:29 pm

    I saw the bottom quote and rode with it.As a fan of any team should want them to win both games.However I am resigned to a split in this series as I respect thet the Phils are a solid team as I hope the Phils fans feel the same about the Amazins (We all know most fans will NEVER admit that).However good luck tonight.

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