The Numbers Game

There is a simple elegance in the symbiotic relationship between sports and numbers.

For the Phillies and their long-suffering fans, the math could not be more direct.

There are three days – and three games - left in the regular season.

The Phils continue to lead the Mets in the race to defend their National League East crown, although it’s been sliced by a half-game after the Mets’ dramatic win in the ninth inning last night. The Phils remain a game up. Meanwhile, the Mets and Brewers are tied for the Wild Card.

Throw in some dicey weather, and you have all the makings of a wet & wild weekend.

The Phils have three at home with the Nationals; the Mets are at Shea for three with the Marlins; the Brewers wind up with three against the Cubs.

For the Phils, the Magic Number remains three, any combination of Phils wins and Mets losses adding up to three and they win the NL East. Ditto for the Wild Card. Any combination of Phils wins and Brewers losses adding up to three gets the Phils a possible Wild Card.

Of course, the Phils could simplify this process by going out and winning their final three games. Do that and they’re in regardless of what anyone else does.

Let the weekend begin. Three days, three games, and about three million fans with their hearts in their throats.