Two games down and the Phillies have played just as expected

Nobody was concerned about the Phillies pitching and everybody was concerned about the Phillies hitting.  If games were played on paper, nobody would have been shocked if the Phillies won 130 games on pitching alone, winning games 1-0.  Without Chase Utley and Ryan Howard, the line-up would be even more anemic they said.

Well, as sad as it is, if these two games are any indication of things to come, the nay-sayers and skeptics may be right, as the Phillies have shown nothing but dominant pitching and dormant bats.  In their first two games, a win and a loss, the Phillies have scored one run, giving up two runs, neither of which are surprising.  Game two even took extra innings to complete, both teams only able to score one run in nine innings (whether it was because of the Phillies’ pitching brilliance or the Pirates’ hitting incompetence, the world may never know). Continue reading

Season Preview: Second Base

He’s been one of the cornerstones of the Phillies offense since 2005.  He’s been a fan-favorite, not afraid to say what’s on his mind, even if it isn’t exactly “appropriate” to say on television.  But quite frankly, the past two years he’s been nothing but average.

Five-time all-star Chase Utley was once a guy who won four straight Silver Slugger awards, constantly hit 30 home runs and 100 RBIs, and was able to hit five home runs in a losing World Series effort.  But now, Utley is a frequently injured, sub .260 batter that, despite still showing flashes and streaks of brilliance, simply lacks the consistency to be considered an elite second baseman. Continue reading

Marlins Acquire Carlos Zambrano

The Miami Marlins continued their scorching assault on the hot stove this offseason, agreeing to send pitcher Chris Volstad to the Chicago Cubs for their ace of the past decade or so, Carlos Zambrano.

The most shocking part of the deal, besides the deal itself, is that the Cubs were willing to eat up $15 million of Zambrano’s $18 million salary for next season. Continue reading

Cole Hamels Silences the Brewers Bats, Allows 6th Inning Explosion to Carry Phillies

For the entire year, it has seemed like the Phillies have been an unstoppable force, with nothing possibly getting in their way.  It started with an April that had the Phillies meet their astronomically high expectations with a stunning 18-8 record.  The Phillies kept going, defeating nearly every team in their way including the Red Sox, a team many thought would be a likely foe when the World Series comes around.  The series win against the Sox was part of a 9-6 run in interleague play that solidified that the Phillies are indeed the team to beat. Continue reading

Phillies Take Comfortable Division Lead into Milwaukee to Face the Brewers

By: Greg Frank

Overview:

The Phillies extended their lead to 10.5 games on the Atlanta Braves in the National League Eastern division with a three-game sweep to start the week.  Perhaps coming into the series with Atlanta, the Braves were viewed as the biggest threat to knock off the Phillies come October.  However with the recent sweep of the braves, the team that probably is number two in the National League looks to be the Milwaukee Brewers, who the Phillies play today through Sunday.  Milwaukee boasts a 50-19 home record at Miller Park and that is where the two teams will do battle the next four nights. Continue reading