Considering a season over in August is easy, but relatively boring. The Philadelphia Phillies agreed, and a seven-game winning streak now has them just three games back of a potential Wild Card berth with 19 games to play.
The streak pulls them above .500 above for the first time since June 3, which is nice, but the real focus still lies ahead. It will be difficult to make up three games with less than 20 left to play, but they have an opportunity to do it.
First off, the schedule has blessed the Phils with a four-game set against the league's worst team, the Houston Astros, who have no reason to win and few players capable of doing so, anyway. Meanwhile, two of the Phillies' contenders in the race for the second Wild Card spot -- the St. Louis Cardinals, who currently hold the spot, and the Los Angeles Dodgers, who are a game back -- meet for a four game in L.A.
The bad news is, somebody has to win those games, but the good news is that somebody has to lose them, meaning Philadelphia will be gaining ground on somebody with every win against Houston.
A full look at the standings, after the jump:
National League Wild Card Standings
|St. Louis||75||68||.524||5.5||Lost 3|
|Los Angeles||74||69||.517||6.5||Lost 3|
|San Diego||69||75||.479||12||Won 4|
|New York||65||78||.454||15.5||Lost 6|
(updated 9.13.2012 at 8:27 AM CDT)