SportsPulse: For The Win’s Ted Berg breaks down the top storylines that will dominate the second half of the MLB season.
PHILADELPHIA — With the All-Star Break over and baseball poised to resume, Andy MacPhail sat in the Phillies’ dugout late Friday afternoon clearly cognizant of the task facing his team.
It seemed rather daunting.
The Phillies president of baseball operations stared across the diamond into the dugout of the visiting Washington Nationals, in the midst of a surge the Phillies would love to replicate. The Nats arrived at Citizens Bank Park having won 28 of their last 39.
MacPhail acknowledged that if the season ended Friday, the Phillies and their National League rival Nationals would be matched up in the wild-card game, the perilous one-and-done last resort for postseason entries.
The victor of that game will likely be matched up in the NL divisional playoffs against the Los Angeles Dodgers, who on Friday had a 60-32 record that made for a .652 win percentage — 59 points higher than the next-best NL team, the East-leading Braves.