Phillies making late playoff push

Phillies making late playoff push

Phillies making late playoff push
CINCINNATI -- Don't write the Phillies off just yet.

After Monday's 4-2 win over the Reds, the Phillies stood eight games back in the National League Wild Card chase with 27 games remaining.

Philadelphia sat as many as 12 1/2 games back in the Wild Card chase toward the end of July, but have slowly begun to close the gap. The Phillies finished August with a 17-12 record, posting their first winning month since May (16-13).

"It's what you play for," said Juan Pierre. "We haven't had the season we were thinking of having, but we're still eight games out. So there's still the outside chance to do it. We're just going out here and playing and winning it -- and [we'll] see what happens. Before you know it, you could be right back in there or out of it. You never know."

The Phillies are hoping they can mimic the Cardinals' run of 2011, when they overcame a 10 1/2 game deficit to finish 23-9 in their final 32 games, win the Wild Card and take home the World Series crown.

"You have a bunch of guys here that have won a ton in their careers, and that's basically what they only know how to do," said Kevin Frandsen. "I think that's the mentality we have. It's expected of us to do that. We expect that of ourselves. I think a lot of people who write about us, write us off. I don't know if it bothers us, but we have a job to do -- and our job is to go win ballgames."

Entering Monday, the Phillies were behind the Braves and the Cardinals, who hold the top two spots in the Wild Card standings -- as well as the Dodgers, Pirates, D-backs and Brewers.

The Phillies are 7-3 in their past 10 games, and have won nine out of their past 11 against the Reds -- and 14 of the last 17.

Philadelphia has won the season series against Cincinnati in seven consecutive seasons, and is looking to continue the hot streak as the season comes to a close.

"We've got three weeks left, you never know what could happen," said Phillies outfielder Domonic Brown. "We're playing to get in the playoffs. That's what we play for. If we get in the playoffs, you never know what's going to happen."