Thursday, September 11, 2003

Tomahawk This, Pal

The Phillies, needing to beat Atlanta tonight to salvage a split of their four-game series with the Braves at Turner, chased Greg Maddux in the fourth and now hold an 8-2 lead in the seventh. Bobby Cox got the heave-ho early in this one; it was his eight ejection this year, which is an amazingly high number for the manager of the team with the most wins in baseball and a team that has gotten plenty of generous umpiring over the years. Anyway, a win would give the Phils an impressive 5-5 record in Atlanta this season and pull them to within a half-game of the wild-card-leading Marlins.

Maddux is a future Hall of Famer, but the Phillies have hit him pretty well over the years. And they've played the Braves tight this year, winning eight and losing seven heading into tonight's game. In fact, as Jayson Stark notes, the Phils have baseball's best record against teams contending for playoff spots. Which means if they can reach the playoffs, the Phillies could do some damage. Of course, it also means that if they hadn't screwed around so much against teams like the Brewers and Expos, they'd be in a much more comfortable situation right now.


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