Phillies need to throw the knockout punch

Updated: September 21, 2010, 1:38 AM ET
By John Kruk | ESPN

If we haven't said it enough already, the Phillies have simply thrived in September, and Monday's win in the series opener against the Braves, which pushed Philadelphia's lead to four games in the NL East, was just the latest example.

This is, after all, a huge series. The Phillies, even if they had lost the opener and went on to get swept, would only have fallen into a tie for the division lead. If the Braves get swept, though, they are done in terms of the NL East.

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