It was a pretty good week but it ended on a low note. After winning 6 in a row and 7 of 8, the Phils lost 3 of their last 4, including 2 of 3 to the Nats. Despite the solid week, they now find themselves farther back in the standings than they were last week.
||Enjoying the view from the top.
||Staying in the hunt
||-53 run differential is worst in majors.
||New manager, mostly the same results.
It was a rough end to the week as the Phils saved all their run scoring for Saturday and scored just one on Friday and Sunday. Ryan Howard has been hot lately and Sandberg decided to give him Sunday off. At first glance, it makes sense with his horrible numbers again Gio Gonzalez but with a chance to win a series against the division leader, you need to field your best team. After splitting a 4 game series in Colorado, the Phils lost 2 of 3 to the Nats. The pitching stayed strong throughout the week but in the end, the offense couldn’t score runs over the weekend. The offense simply has to be more consistent. Just when Ryan Howard is heating up, Freddy Galvis (.309- still 15th in NL) is starting to come back down to Earth. While Chase Utley is finally nearing the “respectable” mark (.173), he still has a long way to go to have an impact in the heart of the lineup and hasn’t shown any HR pop since the first couple weeks of the season. Maikel Franco has been as expected so far. Hitting .256 with 2 jacks and 2 more extra base hits in the early going, he looks like he may have solved the long unsolvable third base dilemma.
Trade bait! With Cole Hamels (5 wins, 67 K’s) back in form and Aaron Harang (1.93 ERA- 8th in MLB) still solid the buzzards will be circling CBP and blowing up RAJ’s phone in the coming weeks. The bullpen is doing their job when they get the opportunity but that hasn’t been as often as needed. The biggest dilemma at this point is the inconsistency of the 3 through 5 spots in the rotation. Injuries and erratic performances are the downfall of the staff at this point.
Consistency is the key. Until there is more balance in both the lineup and the rotation, the Phils will not be making up ground any time soon. While no one had any expectations, we’ve seen signs of potential. If they can start putting things together more often, the expectations may stay low but the view of the future will look significantly brighter.
Around the N.L. East
Nationals- As expected, the Nats jumped over the Mets and I don’t see them looking back any time soon. Bryce Harper is smoking hot right now (.333/16/41). If he keeps this up and continues to get help from the likes of Yunel Escobar and Denard Span, the Nats may just run away with the East.
Mets- Much like their previously tentative hold on the top spot, I don’t think they’ll be hanging out here very long either. They’ve lost 5 of 6, with the losses coming at a combined 40-6 clip. Those are Phillies-esque numbers and they may soon find themselves in the same spot. With 6 games against the bottom-dwelling Phils and Marlins, this could show who this team really is.
Braves- They took 3 of 4 from the Brewers and now go on the road for 11 games on the West Coast. This will be a tough swing and may show what this team really is.
Marlins- They finally got a few wins under their new manager but they aren’t in any better shape than they were last week. Unless the Phils go completely in the tank, I think they will keep up residence in this spot for the vast majority of the summer.
Despite a pretty good week, the Phils ended up losing a game and a half in the standings with their series loss to the Nats. The team is coming around but the consistency still isn’t quite there. If it comes, it might make it fun to watch. With 3 against the Mets in NY this week followed by 3 against the Rockies at home (the beginning of a 9 game homestand), the Phils will look to stay alive one spot in the standings at a time.