Phillies may not host postseason game under MLB proposal

Philadelphia Phillies fans wave rally towels (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
Philadelphia Phillies fans wave rally towels (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images) /

The Phillies may not host a postseason game this year, even if they qualify

It is hard to believe, but the shortened 60-game Philadelphia Phillies schedule that began in late July is near the finish line.

They were some scheduling hiccups along the way, and some continue to occur in Major League Baseball overall; however, it appears there will be a finish to the 2020 season after all.

So far for the Phillies, playing in this unique schedule is paying off under their new manager Joe Girardi. With 18 games to go, the Phillies find themselves as the fifth seed in the National League postseason standings, albeit just a half game ahead of the looming Miami Marlins — three games through their seven-game series.

The Phillies currently sit four games behind in the win column to the Atlanta Braves for the top spot in the National League East, and seven wins behind the San Diego Padres for the fourth National League postseason seed.

National League Postseason Standings, through September 11

1st Seed, NL West-1:  Los Angeles Dodgers (32- 13, .711)
2nd Seed, NL East-1: Atlanta Braves (26-19, .578)
3rd Seed, NL Central-1: Chicago Cubs (26-20, .565)
4th Seed, NL West-2: San Diego Padres (29-17, .630)
5th Seed, NL East-2: Philadelphia Phillies (22-20, .524)
6th Seed, NL Central-2: St. Louis Cardinals (19-19, .500)
7th Seed, Wild Card: Miami Marlins (21-20, .512)
8th Seed, Wild Card: San Francisco Giants (23-22, .511)

Granted, the Braves are now without Ronald Acuna Jr. and ace Max Fried for some time, but passing them would be a tough task with fewer and fewer games to go. Passing the San Diego Padres, who have won eight of their last 10 games, would be an even tougher task.

So, it appears the Phillies may be locked into the fifth seed barring a Braves collapse — and, of course, a collapse of their own if they cannot hold off the Marlins and fall to a Wild Card spot (or, worse, out of postseason contention).

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Because of this, under MLB’s postseason bubble plan pending MLBPA approval, the Phillies likely would not host a postseason game for the first time since the disappointing Game 5 2011 NLDS finish, even if they do qualify for “Red October.”

MLB’s proposed postseason plan is as follows, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan:

Wild Card series

  • Top four seeds in AL and NL would host all games in best-of-three series
  • Four AL series would run Sept. 29, Sept. 30 and Oct. 1 (if necessary)
  • Four NL series would play Sept. 30, Oct. 1 and Oct. 2 (if necessary)

Division series

  • Highest remaining NL seed would host in Arlington, Texas
  • Next-highest NL seed would host in Houston
  • Highest AL seed would host in San Diego
  • Next-highest AL seed would host in Los Angeles

Championship series

  • ALCS would take place in San Diego
  • NLCS would take place in Arlington

World Series

  • Would start Oct. 20 in Arlington and end no later than Oct. 28

So, say the Phillies as the fifth seed take on the current fourth-seed San Diego Padres; the best-of-three Wild Card series would solely take place in San Diego. Then, if the Phillies advance to the NLDS, they would then enter a “bubble” and play in either the home of the Texas Rangers or Houston Astros.

This may be disappointing, but rest assured Phillies fans, specifically the Phandemic Krew, will still be at Citizens Bank Park regardless of whether games are being played there or not. If the Phillies want to host a postseason game for the first time in nine years, they just have one thing left to do — pass the Braves and win the National League East.

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