9/23 Update: The Phillies' magic number to clinch a playoff berth is 11. There are 12 games behind the New York Mets in the NL East race but have a 2.5-game lead over the Milwaukee Brewers for the third NL Wild Card spot.
This season was not sunny in Philadelphia after the first 51 games as the Phillies went 22-29, culminating with the firing of manager Joe Girardi on June 3. But since then, the Phillies have been one of the best teams in the National League, even despite missing franchise cornerstone Bryce Harper for a large portion of that period. With about two weeks to go in the regular season, can the Phillies hang on to reach the postseason? Here is their magic number entering Tuesday, Sept. 20
Phillies magic number
Although Philadelphia is 21 games over .500 under interim manager Rob Thomson, their playoff chances are suddenly a little wobbly because of a recent four-game losing streak. They have fallen into the third Wild Card spot in the National League and 2.5 games in front of the Brewers for that final slot. They need to withstand upcoming games against the Blue Jays and Braves before their schedule gets friendlier as they end September with road series versus the Cubs and Nationals. They will close their regular season with three games at Houston, which looks terrible on paper, but the Astros will have likely locked up the American League’s No. 1 seed by that point and not have much to play for by early October.