It had to feel good for the Philadelphia Phillies when they passed the Washington Nationals for second place in the National League East a little while ago. Neither team is terribly close to the wildcard leaders from the NL Central, the Cincinnati Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates but second place just puts them in a much better position to do damage and catch a playoff spot. What probably did not feel good was how quickly their possession of second place faded.
All of that can be regained this week however as the Phillies take their issues with the Nationals into their own hands. The Phillies are looking really good for the series on paper at this point. Nothing against the guys that are going for the Nationals but the Phillies must be appreciative that they don’t have to face the tandem of Stephen Strasburg and Jordan Zimmermann. At the same time they have Cliff Lee and Kyle Kendrick going for two of the three games.
It won’t be easy since they are two full games behind the Nationals but if they wanted a chance to get back into second place without having to watch the scoreboard they have it this week with this three game series. The Nationals have played better of late but still don’t have all of their pieces in place or working well. The Phillies have a good chance to overtake them but it would take a three-game sweep to get it done. They will at least need two of three to gain series ground on the Nats which is something they should be able to do.