Final Countdown to the Playoffs: Games 2 & 1: On the threshold of Winning the Eastern Division.
The Phillies (90-70) will conclude their final home stand of the regular season with the Nationals (59-100) with a game this afternoon, which will be nationally televised by Fox Sports and another game tomorrow afternoon. Today’s game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 3:55 pm Eastern, to be shown on Fox Sports. The Phillies’ starter will be Jamie Moyer (15-7, 3.78), who is coming off a victory over the Marlins on September 21, where he went six innings, giving up only one earned run on six scattered hits, in the Phils’ 5-2 win. In his last start against the Nats on August 21, he would receive a no-decision as he went six and one third innings, giving up just an earned run on five hits, in the Phillies’ 4-3 lost. He will be trying for both his team leading sixteenth victory and for the second straight year of pitching the Phillies into the playoffs, if the Marlins don’t defeat the Mets earlier today. The Nationals will counter with John Lannan (9-14, 3.86), who is coming off a lost to the Padres on September 20, when he went seven innings, giving up four runs, only one of which was earned, on four hits, in the Nationals’ 6-1 lost. In his last two starts against the Phillies, his record is 0-2, where he pitched a combined total of eleven and two-thirds innings, giving up eight earned runs on fourteen hits. He will be trying to get his tenth victory of the season while trying to see if he can stop the Phillies’ clinching celebration for one more day.
Tomorrow afternoon’s game, which will be the Phillies’ Fan Appreciation Day, will start at 1:35 pm Eastern. If the Phillies do not clinch the division today, their starter for tomorrow’s game will be their ace Cole Hamels (14-10, 2.09), who is coming off a hard lost against the Braves on September 23, where he pitched seven innings, giving up three runs, only two of which were earned, on eight hits, in the Phillies’ 3-2 lost. In his last start against the Nationals on September 2, he would get the victory as he pitched seven and a third innings of shut out ball, giving up only five hits, in the Phillies’ 4-0 win. He would be going for win number fifteen and clinching the division for the Phillies, and thus ending the Mets’ hope of gaining the divisional pennant. If the Phillies clinch on Saturday, their starter will more than likely be the rookie J.A. Happ (1-0, 3.90), who pitched a no-decision in his previous start against the Braves on September 22, going six and two-thirds innings, giving up only two earned runs on five hits, in the Phillies’ 6-2 win. He has faced the Nationals once before this season, pitching an inning of relief on September 1, giving up no earned runs on one hit, in the Phillies’ 7-4 lost. He has started four games, going 1-0 with three no-decisions, all of which the Phillies would win. He will be trying for his second victory of the year. Either pitcher will be opposed by Odalis Perez (7-11, 4.27), who is coming off a no-decision against the Padres on September 21, going six innings, as he gave up three earned runs on five hits, in the Nationals’ 6-2 lost. He will be trying to improve his record and if the pennant race is still on, ruin the Phillies’ chance to clinch the pennant.
The Phillies are presently ahead of the Mets in the East by two games as they play the Marlins in the next to last game to be played inside Shea Stadium, with the Phillies’ magic number to win the division at one. In the Wild Card race, the Brewers now lead the Mets by one game as they get ready to face the Cubs, with their magic number to clinch the Wild Card at two. The Phillies can clnch the East this afternoon, with the clinching party being seen on national television, if the Mets haven’t lost to the Marlins by the start of the ballgame. Whatever happens, the Phillies just need to take care of their own buisness and beat the Nationals. GO PHILLIES!!!!