Charlie Manuel predicts the Phillies will finish the season with at least 90 wins.
The last time the Philadelphia Phillies were this close to playing meaningful October baseball, Charlie Manuel was at the helm of a team that made the postseason in five straight seasons — a stretch that started in 2007 and was capped off with a franchise-best 102-win season in 2011.
The 2008 World Series champion recently joined SportsRadio 94WIP’s Joe DeCamara and Jon Ritchie Friday afternoon to discuss the current state of the Phillies — who entering Saturday have just 30 games remaining and a multi-game lead over the Milwaukee Brewers for the third and final National League Wild Card spot.
During the radio interview, Manuel made a bold prediction for interim manager Rob Thomson’s squad:
"“We are going to win at least 90 games. We might win 92. I’ll say for sure, 90. I believe they are capable of winning even more. I think things are going good for us.”"
After Friday’s 13-1 loss to the Gabe Kapler-led San Francisco Giants, the Phillies’ 2022 season record worsened to 73-59. For them to win at least 90 games as Manuel predicts, the club would have to finish the season with a 17-13 or better record.
Eighteen of the Phillies’ remaining 30 games will be against teams with a losing record. As long as they take care of business against those clubs — who already have their sights set toward 2023 — achieving 90 wins should come with ease. Manuel agrees with that sentiment:
"“We have some big, important games against Atlanta coming, but we also play Washington, Miami, and some teams that we definitely should be able to you win games and hold our own.”"
Just as fans are excited about the team possibly ending their decade-plus-long postseason drought, Manuel is even more bullish on the team — saying that he likes their energy and how they are playing the game. He went on to praise the moves President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski made ahead of the early August trade deadline:
"“I feel like the trades that we made at the trade deadline definitely kind of set us up and made us stronger. We’ve got more depth than we had when the season started.”"
Along with Dombrowski, the Phillies legend praised Thomson and his coaching staff for the “outstanding” job they have been doing:
"“I see why they’re playing good and they got a lot of things going for them. … We definitely are in line for a Wild Card berth, for sure. All they have to do is just go out there and play like they’ve been playing.”"
If the Phillies reach 90 wins as Manuel predicts, the Brewers would have to win 91 games since Thomson’s squad holds the head-to-head tiebreaker. With a 69-62 record heading into Saturday, the Brewers would need to win 22 of their final 31 games.
Considering the Brewers still have four games to go against their division-rival St. Louis Cardinals — as well as three games each against the New York Yankees and New York Mets, among other teams — that seems like a daunting task.
As long as the Phillies can stay afloat, Red October almost definitely will make its long-awaited return this fall.