Phillies Still Being Haunted by April Slip-Up

Philly's first series of the season could come back to bite them.

The Phillies may regret not playing better in April.
The Phillies may regret not playing better in April. / Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
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Now that we're more than midway through October, April feels like ages ago. That's especially true for Philadelphia Phillies fans, who have watched their team play a lot of baseball games since then.

While the Phillies have been one of the hottest teams in baseball over the last two months, it's easy to forget that they did not start the season particularly well. Bryce Harper was on the injured list and Philadelphia looked sluggish early on and carried a losing record into June before finally kicking things into high gear.

Unfortunately, however, the Phillies' first season of the series may still come back to haunt them.

If Philadelphia reaches the World Series, home-field advantage will be determined by a tiebreaker. That's because the Phillies and the two American League teams -- the Houston Astros and Texas Rangers -- all finished the regular season with identical 90-72 records. What are the chances?

Accordingly, home-field advantage will be based on which team won the regular-season series.

If Houston advances, Philadelphia wins the tiebreaker. The Phillies ended April by taking two of three from the Astros, getting revenge for last year's World Series.

If Texas advances, however, Philadelphia's in trouble. The Rangers swept the Phillies to open the season, outscoring them 29-11 in a lopsided three-game set.

A lot has changed since then, of course. Philadelphia has Harper back and may get Rhys Hoskins back as well. Texas upgraded its pitching staff by trading for Max Scherzer and Jordan Montgomery at the deadline and called up rookie sensation Evan Carter.

With the Rangers up 2-0 on the Astros, it's looking increasingly likely that the Phillies will face Texas if they advance. If that happens, they may ultimately pay the price for not being ready to start the season.

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