Ryne Sandberg’s position as interim manager for Philadelphia was no joyous celebration following a crushing 4 – 0 defeat to the dominant Dodgers. Limited run support from the Phil’s beleaguered offence which ham strung dismissed leader Charlie Manuel throughout the current season left one wondering what the new man at the top can bring to a high payroll team in a continuing downward spiral. Tonight provided no clues as L.A. starter Matt Greinke ripped through the Phillies line up with 7 1/3 scoreless innings, aided by Hanley Ramirez who homered off Cliff Lee in the fourth.
As I watched Matt Greinke and the Dodgers demolish the Rays last night 5 – 0 it confirmed my view that by the end of August their place in the play offs will be pretty much sewn up. They are already the form team in MLB and of their next 22 games, only 4 are against teams with an above .500 record. Now the more suspicious Dodger fans will say the key may be the 7 games against the D-backs in September which will finally define the outcome of the regular season, but given their current form I believe their play off berth will be virtually secured before the final few weeks of the season.