Remember when the Phils lit it up in June and yet somehow lost ground in the division?

Pagan wrote about that the other week, but this tweet popped up on the timeline Tuesday and it’s worth sharing:

Right so that was yesterday. The Phillies then won to improve to 27-10 since June 2nd. The Giants beat the Reds in 10 innings to move to 25-12 in the same time frame while we had a rare double-loss night between the Braves and Marlins, who fell to 28-8 and 23-15, respectively.

But you look at the playoff picture and the Phillies are 10 games above .500 while finding themselves just a half game ahead of Miami for the final Wild Card spot. It’s an absolute dog fight between the Giants, D Backs, Phils, Fish, and a Reds team that isn’t far behind.

Someone has to fall off, right? Some quick thoughts:

  • Arizona: Playing close to .500 ball over the last two months. Early on, they bagged a lot of one run or two run wins, and so they’re a prime candidate to continue this average stretch and hopefully drop off a bit.
  • Cincinnati: Five straight losses coming out of the All Star break. The slide has already begun and if they continue to lose ground, it takes the NL Central out of the Wild Card race. Would be a really nice boon for the Phillies.
  • Atlanta: Just tearing it up with no slippage in sight. They’re the best team in baseball and 9.5 games clear of the Phils. We have to accept the fact that there’s no catching the Braves unless they go on some epic, Mets-like meltdown and either the Marlins or Phillies play electric ball down the stretch.
  • San Francisco: They’re only 1.5 back of the Dodgers at this point and could push for the division crown. Gabe Kapler has his boys playing elite ball despite dipping five games below .500 in mid-May. They’ve really played a season similar to the Phillies. Crap start, very good since then.
  • Los Angeles: The NL West really is a cluster at this point. Could you see the Dodgers as a second Wild Card team? They’ve won four of five to start the second half but they play five more against Arizona and end the season playing San Francisco seven times in their final 11 games. That’ll be a fun way to wrap up the division. High stakes.
  • Milwaukee: If the Reds continue to slide, it won’t matter. Someone has to win the Central. That said, if the Phils can take this current series, and a Cincy/Milwaukee battle ensues in the second half, the runner up is gonna be on the outside looking in, if current trends continue.
  • Miami: Kind of a gut check moment for the Fish right now. They’ve lost five in a row after that 2-1 series defeat to the Phils, but do get to see Colorado and Detroit on the schedule, soon. They do have some tough second half trips, with two at Tampa Bay, three at Texas, three at Cincy, then a six-game road swing against the Dodgers and Giants. There’s also a seven-game road run that takes them here, right to Milwaukee. We’ll find out soon enough whether they’re legit or pretenders.

Bottom line, it’s gonna be an exciting race. You’ve got an intriguing Houston/Boston/Yankees Wild Card situation in the AL right now, but the top of the NL has been on fire for the last 7-8 weeks, and there’s hopefully going to be a lot of continued intrigue as we push into August.