Out on a Limb
On Sunday the San Francisco Giants completed a three game sweep of the Philadelphia Phillies. Vicente Padilla made the start for the Phillies and pitched well until his emotions got the better of him in the seventh inning. With Jim Thome, Pat Burrell, and David Bell out of the lineup with injuries, the Phillies put an anemic lineup on the field - Placido Polanco batted fifth. But even this anemic lineup should have been able to score more than one run against Brett Tomko. Major league hitters have hit .292 against Tomko this year and so even with a lineup that wouldn't turn any heads, one run is unacceptable.
The Phillies dropped to 8.5 games behind the Braves in the NL East and remained 4.5 games behind the Cubs. But because of San Diego's recent success against the Cubs and the Giants recent success against the Phillies, there is now a three-way tie for the Wild Card lead amongst the Cubs, Padres, and Giants. The chances of the Phillies putting together enough of a run of wins to overtake all three of those teams looks less likely every day.
However, Balls, Sticks, & Stuff still has enough faith in the Phillies to say that, without a doubt, the Phillies will NOT lose on Monday.