The Gulf Coast League Phillies were the first of the Phillies minor league
affiliates to be eliminated from the post-season. On Friday night, Clearwater's
loss in both ends of a double-header eliminated them from any playoff
possibilities and one night later, Lakewood and Williamsport were also
eliminated from their respective post-seasons. The Lehigh Valley IronPigs and
Reading Phillies are still both alive and control their own destiny to reach the
Lehigh Valley IronPigs
*Things to keep in mind: Teams may wind up with less than the full
schedule of 144 games. If a team has a game rained out and it can't be made up
without any real maneuvering, it's just not made up. For instance, Pawtucket and
Scranton will both have played just 142 games at the end of the regular season,
while the other teams will have played 144. If Lehigh Valley and Gwinnett were
to tie for the wild card, there would be a one-game playoff, hosted by the
IronPigs, which would be played on Tuesday September 6.
Perhaps the strangest thing to know about the International League Playoffs
is that the North Division winner - Pawtucket - always plays the wild card winner. The
theory behind that policy is that the North Division winner has to beat out five
other clubs to win the division, while South and West Division winners need only
beat out three other clubs to win their division. And keep this in mind, too.
The five-game series between the North and Wild Card winners actually starts
with the first two games in the wild card city before moving to the division
winner's city for the final three games of the series.
Gwinnett came from behind to beat Charlotte and keep their hopes alive.
While that was happening, Lehigh Valley took the field in Syracuse and took a
1-0 lead only to see Charlotte rally from behind. In the end, Lehigh Valley
wound up with a 7-4 win to claim at least a tie for the International League
wild card spot with Gwinnett. A win by the 'Pigs or loss by the G-Braves on
Monday would give Lehigh Valley the wild card. If they wind up tied, the two
teams will play a one-game playoff at Coca-Cola Park on Tuesday.
*Things to keep in mind: The playoff format in the Eastern League
matches up the top two teams in each division. The division winner hosts games
one, two and five (if necessary) and the "wild card" team would host
games three and four (if necessary).
After seeing New Britain win earlier in the day, Reading took the field in
Binghamton and took a 4-0 lead, only to see the B-Mets come back to tie it up.
Reading wasn't going to go down without a fight and wound up picking up a 5-4
win to clinch at least a share of the "wild card" spot in the Eastern
Division. Either an R-Phils win Monday in Binghamton or a New Britain loss at
home against Trenton gives Reading the wild card spot.