NLCS: Phillies Beat Padres to Move One Win From World Series
By Mark Shapiro, MLB.com
Apr 06, 2012 | 3:27 PM
The Phillies are the NL East champions and headed for the World series, a result that doesn’t mean much to the rest of the world, but they do mean a lot to themselves. Now, with their division, and most of their division rivals eliminated, the Phillies are poised to play the best team in baseball, which they have repeatedly done. This postseason, the Phillies have been the best team in the National League by the eye test.
They were a force in the NL East, playing to a competitive level not usually matched by their talent. In the regular season, they averaged 96 starts per 162 games, the best in baseball. In the regular season, they were a combined 11 games over.500.
This postseason, they have been a combined 2.5 games over the.500 mark.
In addition, they have faced only one team that could be considered a top-15 or even top-20 team. The best team that the Phillies should have faced, barring some unforeseen events, is the Kansas City Royals. The Royals are a team made up of five teams that will be playoff teams on their own merits. They have no players who are above average at their positions.
The Phillies were the best team in baseball by the eye test, and by the eye test alone, they proved it. Now, when the Phillies face the Tampa Bay Rays and the Baltimore Orioles or the San Francisco Giants or the St. Louis Cardinals, those fans with the best eye test will continue to say this was the best team in baseball. The rest of the fans will continue to say that the Phillies were not good because they were the best in baseball. The Phillies will continue to play as poorly as they have all season, and the rest of the fans will laugh at them.
That is why I do not like this series between the Phillies and the Cubs. The Phillies are the best team in the NL. There is not a legitimate argument to be made otherwise. When the Phillies and their fans get to play the Rays and the Orioles and the Giants and the Cardinals, fans have to watch how the Phillies continue to play. The Phillies have had a very good postseason and they will play the Rays and Orioles and Giants and Cardinals for the division championship. The Phillies will need to win some games. They