It has been a long few days for the Philly Phaithful as the Phillies have only played once in the last 4 days. They have also had to endure a painful 2 game losing streak and losing streaks have been rare for the 2011 Phillies. The Phillies will have to end the season playing 33 games in 31 days because of Hurricane Irene and the rainout they had last week. It will be important for the team to play well over the next few weeks so they can rest some of their starters during this grueling end to the season. The Phillies are currently 83-46 and hold a 6 game lead in the NL East. They flew out to Cincinnati on Saturday evening ahead of Hurricane Irene and they will start a 4 game series against the Reds tonight.
There’s nothing like inviting the New York Mets to town to cure the pain of a weekend series loss to the Nats. The Phillies wiped away any signs of a hangover Monday night en route to a 10-0 pounding of the ailing Muts. The Phillies picked up their 82nd victory of the year putting up crooked numbers vs. their most despised division rival. It was a game long in the waiting after struggling to put away the Nationals in the previous series.
The backend of the bullpen had a rough few days in DC over the weekend. They entered the 9th with the lead during all 3 games but where only able to leave with 1 win during the 3 game series. The best team in baseball has struggled to win games against the pesky Washington team. They are just 8-6 against them on the season and have lost 3 of their last 5 against them. Despite the series loss, they are a MLB best 81-44 and hold a 6.5 game lead over the Braves in the NL East. After the 3 game series in DC, the Phillies return home for a 6 game homestand. The first 3 games of the series will be against the Mets.
The rain seemed to be the theme for the Phillies this weekend down in our Nation’s capital. However Phillies Nation flocked deep to CBP South with more coverage than every rain drop combined. The roughly 136 miles down I-95 from Philly to DC didn’t slow down the sea of red that traveled to Nats park to show their undying support for the best team in baseball.
Charlie Manuel has received a lot of criticism from your Monday Morning quarterbacks for his handling of the pitching staff during Tuesday night’s game. He elected to leave pitch his ace in the 9th inning of a one run game instead of going to the pen. Halladay went on to give up a 2 run double with one out in the 9th as the Phillies went on to lose the game 3-2. I don’t think you can fault a manager for sticking with his man after the way he looked in the 7th and 8th innings. Even with the blown lead in the 1st game, the Phillies were able to bounce back and take the final two games to take yet another series. they are headed to our Nation’s Capital to take on those pesky Nats as they start a 3 game series with them tonight.
After playing twenty games in twenty days, the Phillies have only played twice in the last 5 days. It was a much needed rest for a battered veteran team but the hottest team in baseball could risk losing all of the momentum they had gained over the last month. Is it better for a team to have rest and some rust or to continue playing game after game while keeping their momentum. That is a question that will never really be answered and it will be debated by many for years to come. Regardless of having 2 straight days off, the Phillies are not going to lose the immense talent Ruben and Company has assembled. Tonight the Phillies start a three game series at the Bank with the NL West leading Diamondbacks.
It seemed the Phillies were content with just winning 2 of the 3 games in a series and didn’t mind not sweeping teams. Then the Phillies traded for Hunter Pence and they realized that they could just sweep every series they played. I know that this is not what happened but it sure seems like it. The Phillies were playing very well before getting the lanky outfielder, but sine his accusation they have taken it to a whole new level. Since they acquired Pence on July 29, they are 11-1! The only game they have lost during this stretch was against a two time Cy Young winner. Tonight the Phillies return home to take on the Nationals for a 3 game series.
It was disappointing to loss the series finale yesterday afternoon to the Giants but taking 3 out of 4 from the defending champions has to be seen as a success. The Phillies showed their dominance over the 4 game series as they tried to put last year’s night mare behind them. While the Phillies are cruising to another NL East championship, the Giants find themselves fighting for their playoff lives. Yesterday’s loss snapped the Phightin’s 9 game winning streak and it was just the team’s 40 loss of the season The Phillies are currently a MLB best 74-40 and have a 8.5 game lead over the Braves in the division. Tonight the Phillies play the final 3 games of their 10 game West Coast road trip as they take on the Dodgers in Los Angeles.
The Phillies and Giants only get to play each other twice every regular season and the schedule makers thought it would be fun to play those series a week a part. Last week the Phillies were able to take the 1st game of the series behind a stellar performance by the young Vance Worley and the Phillies bats were able to pound the Giants lefty Barry Zito and win the first game of the series. But the following two games had a scary similarity to last year’s NLCS. Cain and Lincecum completely shut down the Phillies offense and won the final two games of the series to earn the series win.
The Pirates seemed to catch the Phillies at the wrong time in the season. The Phillies were coming off a disappointing series loss to the Giants and had Halladay, Lee and Worley set to pitch in the 3 game series. When all of the dust had settled, the Phightin’s had swept the Bucs right out of town. While I think the Pirates are a solid team and a great story this season. This series shows that Pittsburgh is not an elite team in baseball and are not in the same league as the Phillies. After going 7-3 on a ten game home stand, the Phillies head out west to play the Rockies in a 3 game series. They will start their 10 game road trip tonight at Coors Field.