PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Phillies magic number to clinch a playoff berth remains at one. That means, of course, a win in Houston on Tuesday night or a Cardinals’ loss to the Pirates in Pittsburgh, would send Philadelphia into baseball’s postseason for a fifth consecutive year.
A victory would assure the Phillies, at least, a wildcard berth. But don’t expect too much celebrating tonight if that happens. The expectations of this ballclub far exceed a fourth-seed in the National League playoffs.
With the best record in baseball (94-50) and a 12-game lead in their division over the Atlanta Braves, the Phillies have their sights set on a whole lot more.
Their magic number to clinch the National League East for a fifth straight season stands at five, and with the NL winning this year’s All-Star Game, their magic number to secure home-field advantage throughout the playoffs is just six.
The ultimate goal is to win the World Series, but after the grind of six months and 162 games — not to mention spring training – winning your division is a huge accomplishment. Locking up the top spot in the league is even bigger. When that happens, the corks on the champagne bottles will start popping.
But one step at a time.
Cole Hamels will try to get the job done for the Phillies tonight. He’ll go for his 15th win — a victory the Phils and their fans hope will be the start of another magical run deep into October.
KYW’s Matt Leon spoke with Jim McCormick, who covers the Phillies for PhillySportsDaily.com, about tonight’s game:
Reported by Dan Majka, CBS Philly; Matt Leon, KYW Newsradio.