Smoother Road Ahead?

I wrote earlier this month about a tough 20-game stretch for the Phillies against teams with winning records:

  • 3 vs. Atlanta
  • 3 at Florida
  • 3 at Atlanta
  • 2 at St. Louis
  • 2 vs. Colorado
  • 3 vs. Texas
  • 4 vs. Cincinnati

So how’d they do? They survived. They went 10-10. The Phillies scored three or fewer runs in 14 of those games, including a stretch of nine consecutive games of three or fewer runs and a season-high four-game losing streak. They hit just .222 with a .286 on-base percentage and a .351 slugging percentage in that 20-game span. They averaged just 3.3 runs per game. They had a 3.06 ERA as a team, including a 3.37 ERA in the rotation and a 2.37 ERA in the bullpen.

I suppose there are two ways to look at it. The offense played about as poorly as it can play and the Phillies still broke even. Or the offense played poorly against good competition, which should give it flashbacks to the 2010 NLCS against San Francisco.

Whatever you think, the Phillies have an opportunity to really distance themselves in the next few weeks. They play 16 consecutive games against teams with losing records: three at New York, three at Washington, three at Pittsburgh, three vs. Los Angeles and four vs. Chicago.


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All while playing without (at times) Utley, Victorino, Lidge, Contreras, Blanton, Ruiz, Brown. I’ll take their record and first place standing under those conditions any time.

Todd, the Phillies never make it easy. If they continue the same pattern for the rest of the season that they have shown thus far, the Phillies will have won at least 98 games by the end of the season, or one more than they did last year when they led MLB with 97 wins. They did this with only two months of Oswalt and without Lee. And just to stir the pot, it is evident by the stats you quote for the just completed 20 game run that the starting pitching is going to have to tighten up. And with that, let the venom, vituperation and vitriol begin.

Realize that half of the offense was back-up players through this time, and a 19 inning game that ripped through the bullpen.

Victorino was out, Utley was largely out, Blanton out, and there were some shaky calls and some errors that should have never happened.

I’m most concerned with Howard’s slump… Rollins and Ibanez are doing well, and Victorino is due back next week.

We need a closer… how can we swing a trade Lidge for Heath Bell?

We need a closer? You must be kidding. The Phillies have two competent closers, and that’s even without Lidge. They are 15 for 16 in save opportunities. They may have the best closer situation in the entire NL.
And we always have Wilson Valdez. 🙂

Howard’s slump? Ahhhhhhhhhhh, yes, he is only second in the league in RBIs and fourth in homeruns. But wait, we haven’t even gotten to “hittin’ season” yet.

As I type this we have the best record in MLB. Since we usually don’t get hot until after the ASG, I think we are doing OK.🙂 Sure, everyone wants to see better baserunning and hitting. It seems like everyone around the league is suffering from the same DL and hitting aliments we are.

Technically the surprise of the 2011 season, Cleveland Indians have the best record in the MLB w/a 638 pct compared w/the Phils .620 even though the Phils W/L record is better at 31-19 vs 30-17.

I think they did surprisingly well considering so many were on/off the DL during this stretch.

Glad they were able to take the series against the Reds. Still basking in the glow of Wilson Valdez and Cliff Lee w/3 RBIs.

You’re correct Karen, but the Phils can’t have a “better W/L record” but not a better percentage. They’re the same thing. The Phils have more wins, but the Indians have the better record.

be kinda of hoot if the Phils were to play the Indians in the WS since Charlie is a former mgr for them.

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