Love when my regular morning reads include Beerleaguer, Crashburn Alley, Phillies Nation and more of my favorite Phillies blogs. Following the games on Twitter is a treat, although Chris @LONG_DRIVE isn’t in midseason form, yet. Miss checking the Fightins for all the great flubs. I caught a bad typo on the new Phillies scoreboard at the On Deck game against the Pirates in tribute.
I love the 2011 team. I know everyone’s freaking about Utley, but c’mon people, get it together already. Look at the injuries we had in 2008 and 2010. We may not have won it all in 2010, but it wasn’t because injuries held us back. The 2011 team needs to do what it’s doing right now: beat the bad teams handily and let pitching keep the good ones in check. I think the Phillies fan mentality aligns with Charlie Manuel’s too much, i.e. we need home run sluggers to win games. Truth is, you get a few guys to hit doubles reliably and we’re still scoring runs in bunches, just like last night. The home runs will come, but it’s great that you’re not waiting for that salvific at bat.
For someone like me who loves low-scoring games, this team is a dream. Watching Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee back to back, pitching for my team, is just unreal. When Roy Oswalt is going against the other team’s #3, it’s just not fair. Heck, even Joe Blanton is going to get some very favorable matchups over the course of the season. It’s a thing of beauty to know you have 4 All Star-caliber pitchers out there going every day.
Will we win it all? Hard to say. How far can the Phearsome Phoursome take us? I love Madson, but there isn’t a great deal of reliable help out there. Which Raul will we see after the break? Will Francisco figure out right? Can Dom Brown be an impact player down the stretch? Can Jimmy play like it’s 2006 again? Lots of questions.
If this team makes the playoffs, watch out. It’s hard to imagine even elite teams not finding themselves down 2–0 just on the strength of our pitching. If we get Utley back at any point, or if Dom Brown can rejoin and contribute meaningfully, we may being marching down Broad Street again.
(Also, how many teams are thinking they could use a spare starter right now? Boston’s been brutalized by the Rangers to start the season. Wonder if they’d be interested in Kentucky Joe. Can’t wait to see how the Yankees rotation plays out, either.)