Inside the Standings: The Phillies' Assault on .500, and Remaining Postseason Chances

Inside the Standings: The Phillies' Assault on .500, and Remaining Postseason Chances

Quite remarkably, the Phillies have gotten their act together recently, and are making a late push toward respectability in the standings. They Fightins are 16-10 since the trade deadline, an even better 7-3 over their last 10. August is on the verge of becoming the club's best month this season -- this with relative unknowns like Kevin Frandsen and Erik Kratz playing huge roles.

The real good news here however is the pace they are on, which is very close to what we set out for them way back at the All-Star break. The Phils have posted a 24-17 record since July 13, which is a strong .585 winning percentage, and has them on track to finish the season at least .500.

A .500 record won't cause much excitement in this town, where we've become accustomed to the Phillies being a perennial World Series favorite. It's more of a bigger picture goal we had in mind for the team. The second-half winning percentage required to reach that mark when projected over a 162-game season equates to around 95 wins, and a trip to the playoffs.

If you believe there is something to be said for carrying momentum into next season, there would be your reason to hope this club is looking at a quick turnaround.

Of course, their winning ways have also inspired some Wild Card talk despite the fact that the Phillies are still 10 games out. I honestly thought we were done with all that stuff over a month ago, but at the time there were a lot more teams out in front. The pack has thinned significantly, with Milwaukee, New York, and Miami all falling behind.

On Monday's edition of Daily News Live, DN's Rich Hofmann outlined one potential miracle scenario for the Phils. If they were to go 28-6 the rest of the way, and the Cardinals went 17-18 over that span, it would force a one-game playoff for the second Wild Card spot. Of course, that presumes a team such as L.A. or Pittsburgh don't hang on to their leads, either.

Personally, that sounds a little ridiculous to me, and I find it hard to entertain it with any seriousness. That doesn't mean I don't think the Phillies have anything to play for though. That .500 mark is well within reach, and if on their way they happen to make a run at the postseason, I think we're all ready for a little excitement.

Instant Replay: Braves 5, Phillies 2

Instant Replay: Braves 5, Phillies 2

BOX SCORE

ATLANTA — Jeremy Hellickson’s final start of the season — and possibly his final one with the Phillies — was cut short by a sprained right knee Thursday night (see story).

Hellickson left the game against the Atlanta Braves after 3 1/3 innings.

The Phillies ended up losing, 5-2, in their final game at Turner Field. The Braves swept the three-game series. The Phillies have lost six of their last seven and are 70-89.

The Phillies went 82-91 over 20 years of visiting Turner Field. The Braves will move into a new stadium next season.

Starting pitching report
Hellickson gave up just one hit and no runs in his 3 1/3 innings. He walked none.

The right-hander finished the season 12-10 in a career-high 32 starts. He tied a career high with 189 innings. His final ERA of 3.71 was his best since he recorded a 3.10 ERA in 31 starts for Tampa Bay in 2012.

Hellickson is eligible for free agency this winter. The Phillies would like to get draft-pick compensation if Hellickson signs elsewhere, but they must extend him a $17 million qualifying offer for 2017 and he must reject the offer in order for the club to get that pick.

Atlanta’s Josh Collmenter pitched seven innings and held the Phillies to one run. He gave up six hits, walked none and struck out four.

Bullpen report
Struggling Jeanmar Gomez entered a tie game in the bottom of the eighth inning. He gave up a walk and a tie-breaking double as the Braves took the lead. The Braves scored three more times against Gomez in the frame to put the game away.

At the plate
Odubel Herrera’s RBI single in the third inning gave the Phillies a 1-0 lead. It was the Phillies’ 600th run of the season. They were the last team in the majors to get there.

Aaron Altherr cut the Braves' lead to three with a two-out RBI single in the ninth.

Atlanta’s Dansby Swanson tied the game at 1-1 with a solo homer against Colton Murray in the sixth.

Swanson walked and scored the go-ahead run on Matt Kemp’s double against Gomez in the bottom of the eighth.

Up next
The Phillies return home Friday night for the final three-game series of the season. They will play the New York Mets, who are battling for the National League wild card. Here are the pitching matchups:

Friday night — RHP Alec Asher (2-0, 1.66) vs. RHP Robert Gsellman (3-2, 2.56)

Saturday afternoon — RHP Phil Klein (0-0, 12.15) vs. RHP Bartolo Colon (14-8, 3.42)

Sunday afternoon — RHP Jerad Eickhoff (11-14, 3.72) vs. RHP Noah Syndergaard (14-9, 2.60)

Sunday afternoon’s season finale starts at 3:05 p.m. The team will make a special on-field presentation to Ryan Howard at 2:30.

Howard did not play Thursday night. He is expected to start all three games against the Mets. The Phillies will not pick up Howard’s contract option for 2017 and he will become a free agent.

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Jeremy Hellickson leaves final start of season with right knee sprain

Jeremy Hellickson leaves final start of season with right knee sprain

Updated: 9:15 p.m.

ATLANTA — Phillies pitcher Jeremy Hellickson left his final start of the season Thursday night with a right knee sprain.

Facing the Atlanta Braves, Hellickson had gotten one out in the fourth inning when he waved for athletic trainer Scott Sheridan to come to the mound. Hellickson left the field with Sheridan by his side.

Hellickson did not allow a run in 3 1/3 innings. He gave up just one hit, walked none and struck out four.

Hellickson finished the season 12-10 with a 3.71 ERA in 32 starts. The Phillies acquired the 29-year-old right-hander in a trade with Arizona last fall. 

Hellickson will become a free agent after the World Series. The Phillies could extend him a one-year salary offer of $17 million. If Hellickson accepts, he would return to the club in 2017. If he rejects the offer and seeks a multi-year deal elsewhere, the Phillies would get a compensatory pick between the first and second rounds of next year's draft. 

Find great deals on Philadelphia Phillies tickets with TicketIQ. Buy cheap Phillies tickets with no hidden fees for all games on their 2016 schedule.