Checking in on Your 2011 Philadelphia Phillies

Can I just say that being a base­ball fan in this town would be much eas­i­er if peo­ple did­n’t pan­ic every time their first place team slumped? Slumps end. Appre­ci­ate the pitch­ing that you’re see­ing every night out there. Home runs are fun, but what we’re wit­ness­ing is down­right mag­i­cal. Soak it in. Lux­u­ri­ate in it. It won’t be long before we’re bitch­ing and moan­ing about this team in earnest. I ful­ly expect my son to grow up an Indi­ans fan just like his dad.

(Con­fes­sion: I decid­ed to love a team that was even worse than the Phillies. In Penn­syl­va­nia. True story.)

That said, it’s a much eas­i­er to team to watch when the worst bats in the line­up could still dri­ve a ball into the left field seats. Stay gold, J‑Berry!

Enjoying the 2011 Philadelphia Phillies

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.)