The Usual Suspects, The Usual Second Half?
The Phillies open the second half of their season tonight at Wrigley Field.
My second-half prediction? The Phillies play much better than they played in the first half. I base my entire prediction on recent history. (OK, not entirely. They’re also getting healthier, which should help.) The Phillies always have played better in the second half under Charlie Manuel, and until they don’t have a good second half I’m going to keep picking them to have a good one. But will improved play be enough this time? The Braves and Mets are better than previous seasons, so they won’t be as easy to beat or catch in the NL East.
“I don’t they’ve ever been not as good as us,” Jimmy Rollins said about the Braves and Mets. “We’ve just found a way to get the job done and we’ll have to do it again. It doesn’t have to do with them getting better, it’s about us getting the job done. We’ve been there before so we know how to do it.”
“I don’t really think any other teams in our division matters to me as much as our team does, meaning that we control our own destiny,” Jayson Werth said. “We’ve established ourselves in this division and throughout the league as a powerhouse. Right now, we’ve got some injuries and we’ve got some guys who are out. We’re going to be getting them back. We play the NL East in September, so really it’s going to be up to us. We’re the same team we’ve had the last few years. We have great players. We have guys who play big in the clutch and play good down the stretch. We’re setting ourselves up for a run at it.”
Said Manuel: “We’ve got the second half to play. We can definitely catch up four, five games. At the same time, myself, I like being in the lead. I like being in first place. I don’t think anybody would say they’d like trailing. That doesn’t mean we won’t catch up. I have all the confidence in the world.”