Down but Certainly Not Out

Losing four in a row to a Houston Astros team that, entering, was 54-69 (.439) is not an achievement that sits well in the minds of Phillies fans. Scoring a total of seven runs in the series sits even worse.

The lack of offense caused the Phillies to go from having a 47% chance of making the playoffs to merely 26% currently, according to CoolStandings.com. Baseball Prospectus is a bit kinder, bumping their chances up to 29%.

Via CoolStandings.com:

DIV – chance of winning the Division
WC – chance of winning the Wild Card
POFF – chance of making the Playoffs

On the other hand, let’s not forget that the Phillies still have three games against the fading Los Angeles Dodgers and the non-contending Milwaukee Brewers, seven against the average Florida Marlins and six against the average New York Mets, and six against the cellar-dwelling Washington Nationals. Most importantly, though, the Phillies still have six games to play against the division-leading Atlanta Braves while only trailing by three games. If the Phillies pick up one game on the Braves in the non-head-to-head match-ups and take four of six from the Braves, they’ll end up in a tie for the division lead.

Seem unlikely? It doesn’t sound like it, especially with the Phillies, who overcame a seven-game deficit with 17 games left in the 2007 season. On September 11, 2008, the Phillies were three games behind with 19 games to play and ended up winning the division by three games — a total swing of six games. With 35 games left to play, the Phils have plenty of time to play catch-up.

Many are starting to count the Phillies out. It’s a bit premature to be doing that.