PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - SEPTEMBER 25: Kyle Schwarber #12 of the Philadelphia Phillies hits a solo home run during the first inning against the Atlanta Braves at Citizens Bank Park on September 25, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The Phillies are making a push for the playoffs. But can they hold on? What things could hold the Phillies back in their push to break the playoff drought? Scott Lauber from the Philadelphia Inquirer joined “The Best Show Ever?” to discuss the Phillies hunt for the playoffs.

On the Phillies Playoff Push

“Look, I think their chances are still good, the math is still very on their side. The tie-breaker is enormous. To have that at this time of the year is an extra game really. It is the first time we have had this tiebreaker scenario. Normally you have to play a 163rd game if you are tied. And then all bets are off. They did away with that. So the fact that the Phillies have that over the Brewers, and over the Padres as well is huge. The math is on their side. But obviously, they still have to get it done…

They hold it all in their hands. All they have to do is win and they are in. They are playing bad teams this week, and they’ve done very well against bad teams. So you asked if I like their chances, I still do, even though they’ve played .500 baseball for the last month.”

On the issues in the Bull Pen

It’s teetering, to be honest with you. Seranthony Dominguez to me was someone who tied everything together. He hasn’t been that guy since he’s been back. He said he feels fine. I suspect he is tired… But when he’s not doing the dominant thing late in games it throws everything else out of kilter. They spent 26 million in the offseason on Knebel, Hand, and Familia, and none of those guys are in the picture right now. Hand is the only one who might be… And what’s the confidence level in Connor Brogdon? What’s the confidence level in Andrew Bellati? I’m not really sure. David Robertson is another guy who didn’t pitch much last year, so I am sure there is some fatigue there. 

Jose Alvarado has been a godsend for them. He has been as good of a reliever as there is the game over the last little bit. He is a guy who they are going to lean on now. They didn’t lean on him earlier in the year because he wasn’t very good. Now you’re counting on guys like Zack Eflin. Who has a fresh arm for sure, but he has never done the reliever thing. So far so good. We will see how long he can keep that up. But you are putting your faith in a lot of different people, and late in the season that is not the most settling feeling. 

You can listen to the full interview here…