The Phillies really have a shot.
It is not even a matter of "giving up" on this season anymore. The Fightins sit just one game under .500 (70-71) and sit just five games back in the NL Wild Card race with 21 games left to be played in the 2012 campaign. Kyle Kendrick was spectacular yet again as the Phillies defeated the Marlins, 3-1 last night to open up the series. Last night's victory was the Phils' fifth straight and their 13th in their last 17. Tonight, Roy Halladay (9-7, 3.87 ERA) will look to earn his 10th win of the season aswell as pushing his team towards a Wild Card spot. In their way stand Nathan Eovaldi (4-11, 4.44ERA) and the Miami Marlins.
In Halladay's last start, a win against the Cincinnati Reds, Halladay tossed 7 1/3 innings of one-run ball. Doc allowed just eight hits and ended up striking out five and walking one. With that win, Halladay inches closer to his 200th career victory. At 197-99 in his career, Halladay owns a .666 winning percentage. If Halladay can notch a win tonight, it will be the eighth consecutive season that the Phils' ace has tallied double-digits in wins. Halladay last pitched against the Marlins on August 15, where he allowed three earned over seven innings. He took the loss as the Phils were unable to get him off of the hook down in Miami. In his career against the Marlins, Halladay is 5-4 with a 2.52 ERA.
Nathan Eovaldi has faced the Phillies twice this season, and he has lost on both occasions. The 22 year-old righthander has had a tough run this season. In his last three starts, Eovaldi is 0-3 with a 6.60 ERA. In that span, Eovaldi has given up 11 earned runs in 16 innings while walking four batters opposed to eight strikeouts. In his last start, a five-inning outing against Milwaukee, Eovaldi was rung up for two earned runs on six hits. He took the loss, his 5th with the Marlins and his 11th of the year. Back on August 13, the Phils tagged Eovaldi for two earned runs over five innings. It was his second career start against the Phillies as well as his second loss to the club.
The Phillies may be making an incredible run as we speak. With just 21 games left to play, the Fightins are beginning to play some great baseball. With the right moves and the right mindset, the Phillies could pull off an incredible run. They are five back in the race and have four teams to hurdle over: Milwaukee (70-71), Pittsburgh (72-68), Los Angeles (74-67), and St. Louis (75-66). It's not impossible anymore. They are riding a five-game winning streak and they are enterring a part of their schedule that perfectly matches up with time.
It's going to be exciting.
Tonight's lineup vs Miami:
TV: CSN ; Radio: 1210 WPHT, 94 WIP.
Follow Erik on Twitter @ErikSeyboldPHI.