Monday, October 6, 2008

The Magic Number: 103

It’s safe to say no one considered the 2008 Phillies a threat to tie a franchise record for victories in a season after the Marlins beat them, 7-3, on September 10. The Phillies were 3.5 games behind the Mets and clinging to hopes of a wild-card berth at 79-67.

That was then, this is now: “We can get to 103. That’s the number.” That’s what Jimmy Rollins said after the Phillies’ NLDS victory over Milwaukee, which just happens to be the opponent that kick-started the Phillies’ turnaround a month ago.

The Phillies are 16-4 since that four-game September sweep of Milwaukee. And, even more amazingly, if they beat the Dodgers in the NLCS and then win the World Series, a team that looked dead in the water on Sept. 10 will go down as the winningest in team history, tied at 103 with the 1993 Phillies.

After 92 regular-season wins and the three playoff victories over Milwaukee, the Phillies are on the trail of the ’93 team that won 97 regular-season games, four NLCS games over the Braves, and two against the Blue Jays in the World Series. Their 103 tops the 102 total wins of the 1976 and 1977 Phillies, who each won 101 regular-season games and then just one NLCS game.

Now, granted the 2008 Phillies picked up three wins in a divisional series that earlier playoff teams didn’t get to play in. But it’s amazing what the Phillies have pulled off within the last month.

103 wins? Who’da thunk it, Harry?

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