Sep 27th 2011, 18:40:25
See, I would think the Phillies would prefer St. Louis (although I do admit it's arguable).
If the Braves make the playoffs, then the Phillies get either Arizona or Milwaukee. Beyond Philly, I think Milwaukee is the most dangerous team in the NL by far. They have the 2nd best offense by OPS and have a pitching staff anchored by Gallardo and Greinke. Even though Greinke's been only a pretty good pitcher this year instead of a true ace, you know the potential is there. The Crew's only 1 game ahead of the D'backs right now, so there'd be a chance for Milwaukee/Philly in the first round.
If St. Louis makes it, it'd be Philly/St. Louis. I think St. Louis's recent surge makes this arguable instead of clear-cut towards preferring a Braves choke, but St. Louis is still a team without their ace (in Wainwright) and a team that prior to the last 20 games was a pretty mediocre team most of the season.
I understand the Phillies not pitching Hamels because they obviously have other good options and their first priority at this point should be setting their playoff rotation, but I don't necessarily agree with the idea that the Braves making the playoffs is the favorable situation for the Phillies.
I am a bit shocked though that this surge has continued. Every time St. Louis had a setback loss, I expected them to string together 2-3 losses and let the Braves clinch. But the Braves have continued to struggle and the Cardinals have avoided letting an individual loss break up their hot play.
I'd be curious to see what St. Louis's stats are for September alone. I'd imagine they're pretty gaudy.