The Phillies completed a four-game sweep of the Washington Nationals Sunday. They have a five-game winnings streak, have won 10 of their last eleven, and have won 11 of 13 since their 3-game flop against the Chicago Cubs after the All-Star break.
The Phillies are hot. Their hitters are hot. Their pitchers are better than effective. Their bullpen is better than just competent. They have passed the San Diego Padres for the second wild card slot, and are within three games of the Atlanta Braves. A real test comes after their 3-game series against the Miami Marlins when they play 7 of 10 games against the division-leading New York Mets. A good showing in those seven games could firmly cement the Phillies’ position in the wild card race.
A look ahead at the Phillies’ schedule is very encouraging. After the second (and final Mets’ series), they play 22 games in seven very winnable series before 19 games in six mostly competitive series in the final 3 weeks of the season. They’re on a pace to win more than the 85-86 games I anticipated.
The return of Bryce Harper for the stretch run in September will be a big boost for the team. Unfortunately, barring injury, I don’t see any way that Darick Hall survives Harper’s return. Even if Harper could throw, he would push Castellanos to DH and Darick to a 4-man bench that already includes a backup catcher, 4th outfielder/infielder, and 2 middle infielders who can also play third base and who have stood in the outfield on two occasions. A September call-up is possible but not guaranteed. His chief competition would likely be Camargo, Munoz, Marchan, and maybe Sands or Muzziotti depending on which position they wish to bolster. Of course, this might all be moot if Harper doesn’t return until after August 31st. We’ll see.
At 60-48, the Phillies are firmly in third place in the division, 9.5 behind the Mets and 3.0 behind Atlanta. Miami and Washington are effectively out of competition for anything other than positioning in the draft pool.
The East and West Divisions are pretty much locked up in both leagues with both Centrals providing the only division races, so far.
The American League Wild Card race is among 6 or 7 teams depending on whether you think Boston still has a chance.
The National League race is probably down to a four-team race with the Central Division loser missing the playoffs.
The Phillies are a half-game ahead of the Padres for the second wild card berth, with 2 fewer losses and three games in hand.
By merit of the first tie-breaker (head-to-head), the Phillies hold an advantage over Milwaukee (4-2), St. Louis (4-3), Los Angeles (4-3), San Diego (4-3), and Colorado (5-2).
They clinched against the Pirates (4-0) with 3 to play and Washington (10-2 with 7 to play).
They are ahead of Arizona (2-1 with 3 to play) and Miami (6-4 with 9 to play).
They are tied with Atlanta (6-6) with 7 to play.
They trail New York (3-9 with 7 to play), SanFrancisco (1-2 with 3 to play), and the Cubs (0-3) with 3 to play.
They have 7 games against the Reds.
They have a 2-game series against the Blue Jays in September and close the season with 3 games in Houston.
The Phillies’ division record is 25-21 (the same as Atlanta). Their record against the other NL divisions is 28-19 (slightly lower than Atlanta, but we hold 7 games in hand with 2 fewer losses). Their interleague record, which doesn’t matter in tie-breakers, is 7-8.
MLB has replaced tie-breaking playoff games with a set of tie-breaking criteria.
- Head-to-head record
- Intradivision winning percentage
- Interdivision winning percentage
- Best record in the final 81 intraleague games of the season
- Best record in the final 82 intraleague games of the season (provided the game added is not between the tied teams), and continue one game back until the tie is broken
If the Phillies win the games they are supposed to win and get their share of the tough series, they could win over 90 games. I can’t believe I typed that. But, they are finally hitting the way we all expected, the pitching by the starters and the bullpen has proved that their outcomes aren’t a fluke, and Harper returns 3-4 weeks (we all hope).
I don’t think I want to play the Central Division winner in the first round anymore. Let’s get those 3 home games for the first wild card.
This gives you a place to talk about the Phillies for the week.
And, in other news around baseball, Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mickey Moniak has a fracture to the tip of his left middle finger that will sideline him, but he hasn’t been ruled out for the rest of the season. Mickey will likely go onto the IL later this week. He had played in 5 games with the Halos, and went 4-14 with 2 HR, 3 RBI, and a hit by pitch. His small sample slash is .286/.333/.714/1.047. Here’s hoping for some good news when they re-evaluate the injury in 7-10 days.
Here are the transactions that were reported (or uncovered) this week. Familia’s release hasn’t been recorded, yet.
8/07/2022 – Lehigh Valley sent LHP Scott Moss on a rehab assignment to Jersey Shore
8/06/2022 – Phillies released CF Odubel Herrera
8/06/2022 – Phillies sent LHP Ryan Sherriff outright to Lehigh Valley
8/06/2022 – C Gustavo Sosa assigned to FCL Phillies
8/06/2022 – 1B Ty Penner assigned to FCL Phillies
8/06/2022 – OF Dakota Kotowski assigned to FCL Phillies
8/06/2022 – 1B Cole Moore assigned to FCL Phillies
8/06/2022 – C Jordan Dissin assigned to FCL Phillies
8/06/2022 – LHP Mavis Graves assigned to FCL Phillies
8/05/2022 – Lehigh Valley placed RHP Cam Bedrosian on the 7-day IL
8/05/2022 – LHP Braeden Fausnaught assigned to FCL Phillies
8/05/2022 – LHP Danny Wilkinson assigned to FCL Phillies
8/05/2022 – Phillies optioned 3B Yairo Munoz to Lehigh Valley
8/05/2022 – Phillies recalled SS Nick Maton from Lehigh Valley
8/05/2022 – RHP Andrew Schultz assigned to Reading from Jersey Shore
8/05/2022 – Reading transferred RHP Tyler McKay to the Development List
8/05/2022 – SS Kendall Simmons assigned to Jersey Shore from Clearwater
8/05/2022 – C Andrick Nava assigned to Jersey Shore from Clearwater
8/05/2022 – Jersey Shore released C Freddy Francisco
8/05/2022 – Jersey Shore sent LHP Keylan Killgore on a rehab assignment to FCL Phillies
8/05/2022 – Clearwater activated 2B Alexeis Azuaje from the 7-day IL
8/05/2022 – Clearwater sent RHP Cam Wynne on a rehab assignment to FCL Phillies
8/05/2022 – 3B Matt Alifano assigned to Clearwater
8/04/2022 – FCL Phillies released C Oscar Gonzalez
8/04/2022 – Phillies activated SS Jean Segura from the 60-day IL
8/04/2022 – Phillies activated OF Brandon Marsh
8/04/2022 – Phillies activated RHP Kyle Gibson from the bereavement list
8/04/2022 – Phillies activated RHP Noah Syndergaard
8/04/2022 – Phillies released SS Didi Gregorius
8/04/2022 – Lehigh Valley released RHP James Dykstra
8/04/2022 – Jersey Shore sent C Anthony Quirion on a rehab assignment to FCL Phillies
8/04/2022 – Reading sent SS Madison Stokes on a rehab assignment to Jersey Shore
8/04/2022 – RHP Aidan Anderson assigned to Reading from Jersey Shore
8/04/2022 – Reading activated RHP Carlo Reyes
8/03/2022 – Phillies activated RHP David Robertson
8/03/2022 – Phillies optioned CF Simon Muzziotti to Reading
8/03/2022 – Phillies recalled CF Simon Muzziotti from Reading
8/03/2022 – Phillies optioned RHP Francisco Morales to Lehigh Valley
8/03/2022 – Phillies optioned LHP Bailey Falter to Lehigh Valley
8/03/2022 – Phillies optioned RHP Mark Appel to Lehigh Valley
8/03/2022 – LHP Andrew Vasquez assigned to Lehigh Valley
8/03/2022 – Reading activated CF Hunter Markwardt from the 7-day IL
8/03/2022 – C Ryan Leitch assigned to Clearwater
8/03/2022 – Phillies traded SS Drew Maggi to Pittsburgh
8/02/2022 – Jersey Shore activated C Arturo De Freitas
8/02/2022 – Jersey Shore sent 3B McCarthy Tatum on a rehab assignment to Clearwater
8/02/2022 – Clearwater activated OF Troy Schreffler
8/02/2022 – Clearwater activated OF Cade Fergus
8/02/2022 – OF Chad Castillo assigned to Clearwater
8/02/2022 – Clearwater activated C Caleb Ricketts
8/02/2022 – Phillies designated RHP Jeurys Familia for assignment
8/02/2022 – Phillies designated CF Odubel Herrera for assignment
8/02/2022 – Angels traded RHP Noah Syndergaard to Phillies for CF Mickey Moniak and RF Jadiel Sanchez.
8/02/2022 – Angels traded OF Brandon Marsh to Phillies for C Logan O’Hoppe.
8/02/2022 – Cubs traded RHP David Robertson to Phillies for RHP Ben Brown
8/02/2022 – Phillies recalled RHP Francisco Morales from Reading
8/02/2022 – Phillies claimed LHP Andrew Vasquez off waivers from Toronto
8/02/2022 – C Arturo De Freitas assigned to Jersey Shore from Clearwater
8/02/2022 – OF Cade Fergus assigned to Clearwater
8/02/2022 – C Caleb Ricketts assigned to Clearwater
8/02/2022 – OF Troy Schreffler assigned to Clearwater
8/02/2022 – Reading sent LHP Josh Hendrickson on a rehab assignment to FCL Phillies
8/01/2022 – Phillies designated LHP Ryan Sherriff for assignment
8/01/2022 – Phillies activated LHP Ryan Sherriff from the 60-day IL
8/01/2022 – Lehigh Valley activated RHP Cam Bedrosian from the 7-day IL
8/01/2022 – Lehigh Valley released C Edgar Cabral
8/01/2022 – RHP Colton Eastman assigned to Lehigh Valley from Reading
8/01/2022 – C Karl Ellison assigned to Lehigh Valley from Jersey Shore
8/01/2022 – RHP Ben Brown assigned to Reading from Jersey Shore
8/01/2022 – Reading activated OF Carlos De La Cruz
8/01/2022 – OF Carlos De La Cruz assigned to Reading from Jersey Shore
8/01/2022 – 2B Nicolas Torres assigned to Jersey Shore from Clearwater
8/01/2022 – CF Marcus Lee Sang assigned to Jersey Shore from Clearwater
8/01/2022 – RHP Rodolfo Sanchez assigned to Jersey Shore from Clearwater
8/01/2022 – Phillies signed RHP Nathan Karaffa
8/01/2022 – Phillies signed RHP Alex McFarlane
8/01/2022 – Phillies signed OF Emaarion Boyd
8/01/2022 – Phillies signed free agent RHP Eric Garcia to a minor league contract
8/01/2022 – Phillies signed free agent RHP Jack Dallas to a minor league contract
8/01/2022 – Phillies signed free agent 3B Otto Kemp to a minor league contract
8/01/2022 – Phillies signed free agent LHP Andrew Walling to a minor league contract
8/01/2022 – Phillies signed free agent LHP Braeden Fausnaught to a minor league contract
8/01/2022 – Phillies signed free agent C Ryan Leitch to a minor league contract
8/01/2022 – Phillies signed free agent 1B Ty Penner to a minor league contract
8/01/2022 – Jersey Shore activated CF Marcus Lee Sang
8/01/2022 – Jersey Shore activated 2B Nicolas Torres
8/01/2022 – FCL Phillies released LHP Nick Fanti
7/31/2022 – Reading released SS AJ Graffanino
7/31/2022 – Jersey Shore released 3B DJ Stewart
7/31/2022 – Clearwater released SS Albert Jerez
7/31/2022 – Phillies signed free agent C Cole Moore to a minor league contract
7/31/2022 – Phillies activated 2B Edmundo Sosa
7/31/2022 – Phillies optioned 3B Johan Camargo to Lehigh Valley
7/30/2022 – FCL Phillies released RHP DJ Jefferson
7/30/2022 – FCL Phillies released LHP Sergio Sanchez
7/30/2022 – FCL Phillies placed RHP Drew Garrett on the placed on the IL-Full Season
7/30/2022 – RHP Drew Garrett assigned to FCL Phillies
7/30/2022 – FCL Phillies placed OF Gabriel Rincones Jr. on the placed on the IL-Full Season
7/30/2022 – OF Gabriel Rincones Jr. assigned to FCL Phillies
7/28/2022 – RHP Jonh Henriquez assigned to DSL Phillies Red
7/25/2022 – Phillies signed free agent C Guillermo Rosario to a minor league contract
6/07/2022 – Phillies signed free agent RHP Jonh Henriquez to a minor league contract