Originally posted on Buzz On Broad  |  Last updated 9/15/12


With Friday night's 12-6 victory in the books and Cole Hamels tying his single-season career mark in wins (15), the Phillies are back in the hunt for the final wild card spot in the National League after a disappointing loss Thursday evening.

Last Night's Results for Wild Card Contenders: (Excluding the Atlanta Braves)

  • Pirates: Loss, 4-7 against the Chicago Cubs away at Wrigley Field. 
  • Brewers: Loss, 3-7 home against the New York Mets.
  • Diamondbacks: Loss, 2-6 home against the San Francisco Giants.
  • Cardinals: Loss, 5-8 away against the also contending Los Angeles Dodgers.

Here's how the standings pan out before Saturday's action:

  1. St. Louis (76-69); - - GB
  2. Los Angeles (75-70); 1.0 GB
  3. Pittsburgh (72-71); 3.0 GB
  4. Philadelphia (73-72); 3.0 GB
  5. Milwaukee (72-72); 3.5 GB
  6. Arizona (71-73); 4.5 GB

The Philadelphia Phillies have two games still left to play against the Houston Astros, before traveling to New York to oppose the Mets in a three-game series.  They then return home to face the Braves and Nationals for three games respectively,  and then travel to Miami and Washington to close out the season for the final six games.  

Many of these games are winnable for the Philadelphia Phillies if they play the way they have been so far for the majority of the month of September.  As Thursday night's game shows, it all comes down to the bullpen.

For the Phillies to even be so little out of a playoff spot for the 2012 postseason is amazing on its own. Sure, one would argue that such spot never did exist prior to this season, but it still took a lot for the team to get back to playing (.500) baseball in a series plagued with many injuries to just about every one of its star athletes.  

A month ago today, on August 14, 2012, the Phillies sat 10.0 games out of the final Wild Card spot. Today, they very well can shrink that to 2.0 games with a little help from the Los Angeles Dodgers who play the St. Louis Cardinals at 9:10 pm EST. Who's set to start for the Dodgers? Ironically, Joe Blanton.

Matt Rappa is a contributor for Buzz on Broad. You can find him on Twitter at @mattrappa.

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