September was not without its glimmers of hope. But reality has once again set in for a Phillies team so many of us wrote off back in June.
They will not be making the playoffs.
Unless ... well unless the Cardinals go 0-6 and the Phils 6-0 and everyone else in between fully cooperates. Yeah.
Far more likely, the 2012 campaign will reach its meaningful end this weekend. Things could wrap up as early as this evening.
The Phillies are in Miami to kick off a three-game set with the Marlins. Cliff Lee (6-8, 3.18) takes on Mark Buehrle (13-13, 3.84) at 7:05.
Meanwhile, following their win last evening, the Nationals packed up and boarded a plane to St. Louis. Edwin Jackson (9-10, 3.77) faces Adam Wainwright (13-13, 4.02) at 8:15.
Here's the situation: If the Phillies lose, they are mathematically eliminated from postseason play. If the Cardinals win, same thing. If both the Phillies and Cardinals lose, you guessed it. That's what happens when you're six back with six to play. In this weekend's Ryder Cup, they call that "dormie," ladies and gents.
Still, it doesn't seem like the Phils are much concerned with staying alive for yet another day, as Ryan Howard has been given the night off. Charlie's 9/28 lineup:
1. Jimmy Rollins, SS
2. Kevin Frandsen, 3B
3. Chase Utley, 2B
4. Carlos Ruiz, C
5. Ty Wigginton, 1B
6. Darin Ruf, LF
7. John Mayberry Jr., RF
8. Michael Martinez, CF
9. Cliff Lee, P
Oh, and in a quick roster note, the Phillies and Dodgers finally completed the Shane Victorino trade earlier this afternoon. The player to be named later now has a name: Stefan Jarrin, who, according to CBS Sports:
"..was the Dodgers' 40th-round pick in the 2011 draft. In two seasons, he has played 49 games for the club's Arizona Rookie League affiliate, hitting .211/.309/.336 in 175 plate appearances."
Anyway, even if tonight spells the end, there will still be five Phillies games left in the season. And then we'll be looking on to what could be a make or break year in 2013.
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