The Phillies’ playoff drought is nearing a 10th straight season, and it’s possible by the end of the week that it will be the longest in all of Major League Baseball.
The Phils have five games left and are 3½ games behind the Braves, four back in the loss column. Their only path into the playoffs is going 5-0 while the Braves go 1-4, or 4-1 as the Braves go 0-5. If that happens, the Braves would play a make-up game against the Rockies next Monday, then if they win, a tiebreaker game at Citizens Bank Park.
The odds are long. The Phillies entered Wednesday with a 2.1% chance, according to Baseball-Reference.
The Seattle Mariners currently own MLB's longest drought at 19 years. They have not made the postseason since 2001, the year they won 116 games and lost in the ALCS.
The Mariners have a chance to shock the baseball world and claim the second AL wild-card spot. They entered Wednesday night just a half-game behind the Red Sox and a half-game ahead of the Blue Jays, who are also chasing. It is increasingly likely that the Yankees, winners of seven straight, will take the top AL wild-card spot. They have a two-game advantage on the rest of the field.
Ex-Phillie J.P. Crawford, a 2020 Gold Glover, has played all but one game this season for Seattle and hit .273/.335/.379 with 37 doubles. He’s spent two-thirds of the season leading off.
If Seattle does make it, the Phillies’ 10-year drought would lead the sport. The Tigers and Angels would be next at seven years, followed by the Pirates and Royals at six years.
It is far from the longest postseason drought in Phillies history. They missed the playoffs 34 straight seasons from 1916 to 1949 and then 25 straight years from 1951 to 1976, obviously in much smaller playoff fields.
The Phils do have a chance to finish with a winning record for the first time since 2011. All they have to do is win one more game. That will be little solace, however, for a team with a $205 million payroll, the National League MVP and a likely Top-4 Cy Young finisher.