According to FanGraphs, the Phillies enter play today with a 4.4% chance of winning the National League East.
I think we all understand at this point that – barring a miracle – the Phillies will miss the playoffs. When that inevitability comes to fruition at some point next week, their inability to beat up on “inferior opponents” like the New York Mets will be frequently cited as a reason why. With a disappointing 7-11 mark against the Mets this season, and only tonight’s game between the two teams remaining, the Phillies have already guaranteed themselves a losing record to the LOLMets for the seventh-straight year. It might be hard to believe, but they are what feels like an impossibly bad 49-82 against this bum ass team since 2012. Obviously, the Phillies were going through a transition and the Mets briefly flourished during this period, but the story was supposed to be much different this season.
The upstart Phillies spent much of the spring and summer as a viable postseason contender, while the Mets have been a fourth-place afterthought. How could the Phillies let a team they were so comfortably ahead of in the standings own them again? We asked ourselves this question in mid-August when they lost three of five at home, last weekend when they dropped two of three at Citi Field, and again on Monday night when the bullpen imploded late to lose the series opener.
It’s time to handle business against bad teams. Lesser teams. It’s the Mets, for fuck’s sake! What gives? I mean, how many times did we ask ourselves this question after each wasted opportunity?
Well, I think I’ve finally found the answer. A troubling thought: what if the Phillies can’t beat the Mets because the Mets are (gasp!)better than the Phillies? Let the repugnant stench of that statement waft gently from your screen directly into your face. Let it plague your being.