The Phillies magic number is one.
Not that I care about the Phillies winning the division – actually, I care about the Phillies NOT winning the division – but here is a way that Nationals fans can glean a little satisfaction from the last six games.
- The Nationals have to sweep the Phillies. Sounds like a tall order. Sounds like hitting the lotto. But for my pie-in-the-sky improbable end to the 2010 season, it has to happen. If the Nats do their part, the best the Phillies can do is back into the division title with a Braves loss, which brings me to…
- The Braves have to sweep the Marlins. They are playing in Atlanta, so there is some home-field advantage there. On the down-side, the Braves didn’t look like giant-killers during their visit to DC, but you have to admit, a Braves sweep of the Marlins is a more likely outcome than a Nats sweep of the Phillies. If those two things happen, then…
- The Braves have to sweep the Phillies in Atlanta over the weekend. The Braves have three games to get their giant-killer game in order before facing the them.
- The icing on the cake would be a Nats sweep of the Mets over the weekend.
If those four things happen, the Braves and Phillies have to play a one-game playoff, the Nats finish with 73 wins and a seven game winning streak (also, eleven of their last twelve).
In the Nats favor is today’s weather. The Nationals and Phillies have some historic rain-enhanced games in their history. For it to work in the Nationals favor, they have to get the game in, but they need a long and messy rain delay that chases all but a hundred of us fans from the stands. A rainout doesn’t work – a doubleheader just about guarantees at least one Phillies win.
Is that going to happen? Are you going to win the Pick-Six at Santa Anita? Probably not.
I think it says something a little sad about the Nats season that I’m relying on the least-likely scenario to bask in some schadenfreude. If the Nats had won just one or two more of their games against the Phillies this season, this series would be a critical one all the way around. The Phillies have to be liking their chances. Even if the outcomes were coin-flips, they only need one heads out of six.
But you gotta admit, it would make for one awesome end of the season.