“…that’s called a winning streak”. I mentioned last week how I keep hoping to write some good news. Well, 5 wins in a row including a sweep of the D-Backs this weekend would fall into that category.
||Back on track
||Coaching change already?
||One of the hottest teams in MLB
Wow! What a week that was. We have a new franchise save leader in Jonathan Papelbon (courtesy of Jeff Francoeur’s arm). We may have a new franchise 3rd baseman in Maikel Franco. And finally, a 5 game win streak to cap things off. Things didn’t start off that well this week (3 straight L’s) but they certainly ended on a high note with those 5 wins. Only the White Sox and Astros have similar streaks.
Outside of the last 2 wins, the offense wasn’t exactly knocking the cover off the ball but we did see some signs. Ryan Howard is still on a bit of a power tear with a couple more bombs (up to 7). Freddy Galvis is on pace for 200+ hits and even Chase Utley got his average up to a whopping .138. Maikel Franco had an inconspicuous debut on Friday but did get a hit Saturday and had his first career triple and double on Sunday. Let’s hope that’s just the start.
During the 5 game stretch, the Phils have only allowed 12 runs, complete with a shutout on Sunday. Probably the biggest downside of the week was Papelbon showing everyone that he is no Terry Mulholland. In his attempt on Wednesday to finish off a Cole Hamels gem, Papelbon walked the leadoff hitter and then overthrew a pickoff attempt allowing the runner to move all the way to 3rd base with one out. Papelbon was then able to induce a week foul fly down the right field line. Francouer got it lined up, match the catch and unfurled a laser to Carlos Ruiz who made a diving tag and gave Paps the save record for his 2nd team. Beyond that, it was a pretty solid week.
Around the N.L. East
Mets- Their lead has been cut from 3.5 to just a 1/2 game in the last week. After a 4 game sweep by the Cubs and a series opening loss to the Brewers, the Mets were able to salvage 2 big wins (including a 14-1 explosion on Saturday). Something tells me they won’t be the first team I write about next week.
Nats- Bryce Harper continues to mash the ball. With 3 more HR’s and 10 RBI’s this week, Harper is looking close to unstoppable. The Nats outscored the Padres 24-6 during the weekend. If they keep this pace up, they’ll be back on top by this time next week and that may just be the start.
Braves- The Braves took 3 straight from the Fish this weekend sealing Mike Redmond’s fate. They are still inconsistent but they can keep pace with the Nats if they can figure out how to balance themselves.
Marlins- With Mike Stanton being the only player showing up game to game and mashing mammoth home runs, the manager paid the price. Mike Redmond got the boot after being swept by the Braves on Sunday. The Marlins expect to name a new manager Monday. That means either they had this planned or an internal replacement will take over at least in the interim.
The Phils gained 3 games this week but still sit in the basement. Will they be able to remove themselves from bottom-dweller status by next week? With a tough 4 game swing out to Colorado then a trip back to DC without a day off. If the rotation can stay strong and hte bats start warming up along with “hitting weather” time, things might just pick up.