It’s certainly a sports radio cliche, but the next ten-days fall into the “do or die” category for the 2023 Philadelphia Phillies.
Due to implementation of a balanced schedule for the 2023 MLB season (and beyond), the Phillies have yet to play a game against a team in the National League East. The Phillies had an opportunity over the first 49-games of the season to jump out to a hot start and make a run at the top of the National League East.
Instead we have what we have, a team floundering three-games under the .500 mark and seven games back in the division.
So back to the next 10-days, the Phillies play ten games in ten days all within the friendly confines of the National League East.
Beginning with Thursday night, the Phillies play four at the division leading Braves, three against the Mets, and three at Washington. Ten games in ten days with an opportunity to really make a move towards the top of the National League East.
And the opportunity is certainly there.
From a standing’s perspective, only the Atlanta Braves (30-19) are above the .500 mark. Both the New York Mets and Miami Marlins sit at the .500 mark (25-25), while the Washington Nationals are 21-28 at the bottom of the division. Not to mention all three teams the Phillies face over the next ten days are flawed and fighting injuries especially in their starting pitching rotations.
The opportunity is there for the Phillies to get right back into the thick of things. But in order to do that the Phillies realistically have to play above .500 on this trip.
A 7-3 trip puts the Phillies one-game over the .500 mark on the year (30-29) and likely into second place in the NL East. Not to mention, it gives them momentum –which hasn’t been this team’s friend to date— heading into a critical homestand against Detroit and the Dodgers.
Anything less than that, especially if the Phillies are swept or lose multiple series, and that’s a hole that might be too great to dig out of.