If the Phils clinch a postseason birth tonight, will anyone really care? Quite frankly, this should have been wrapped up at least a week ago. Then again, putting up a 5-5 record over the last ten games will delay things like premature champagne celebrations.
Having said that, tonight’s game against the Houston Astros has a multitude of playoff implications for the Fightins as they gear up to defend their World Series Championship from a year ago. Until someone knocks them off, they are World Phuckin’ Champs!
Pedro Martinez takes the mound for the Phils tonight for the first time in nearly ten days due to stiffness in his neck. Pedro was pitching lights out prior to his injury. The Phils need a strong outing from him in what will be a playoff atmopshere at Citizens Bank Park.
A big time start would show that he is healthy and can be a legit member of a postseason rotation. That would free up JA Happ for bullpen duty.
If Pedro doesn’t show his dominance tonight, then Uncle Charlie and Ruben Amaro have to seriously consider keeping Happ in the rotation, and that would be a huge blow to the bullpen.
The fact is that Happ has been among the team’s most consistent pitchers this season. However, he has bullpen experience and would likely do well in that role this October.
With injuries to JC Romero, Clay Condrey, Chan Ho Park and Brett Myers, plus the inadequacies of Brad Lidge and Ryan Madson in the closer slot, Happ’s presence in the pen is essential. He could ultimately be the closer we’ve been searching for all season.
Tonight’s game should be viewed as the first step toward repeating as World Champs. However, the step has nothing to do with the outcome of the game. It has to do with Pedro’s arm and the location of his pitches.