Well, that was another (fill in your favorite adjective) week. After another horrendous week of futility, the Phils are nearing the All-Star break with the possibility of being 20 games back before the 450 foot bombs start flying into the Ohio River.
||Gaining some breathing room
||Inching towards .500
||Not a bad week
||1 win closer to something
The offense was not that bad this week. Five starters are actually hitting over .300 for the short month of July. Freddy Galvis and Cesar Hernandez have been on fire. The unfortunate side is that the team is still showing little signs of power outside of Maikel Franco. Sunday’s 10th inning was probably the best inning of baseball they’ve played in a while. Drawing walks. Hitting the ball in the right spot on hit and runs. Ryan Howard actually pulling the ball in the air with the bases loaded. It goes to show they know how to play the right way. Their inability to do it consistently has been their downfall. As they head out west, it’s unlikely to get much better.
The best outings the team saw happened over the weekend. After being roughed up by the lowly-but-not-as-lowly-as-the-Phils Brewers and swept in a 4 game series, Adam Morgan and Cole Hamels showed that the starters can pitch…sometimes. Morgan held the Braves to 5 hits and 2 runs in 7 innings on Friday. The problem is that 2 of the hits were home runs and the offense sputtered once again. Hamels pitched 7 innings of six hit, shutout baseball but again, the offense failed to produce anything until the 10th inning when he was long gone. In between, Kevin Correia got rocked yet again after replacing Aaron Harang in the rotation as he moved to the DL. The starters are still finding it near impossible to get a win whether it’s due to poor performance or offensive woes. It just seems like the two can never get on the same page.
Around the N.L. East
Nationals– The Nats are 3-2 for the week heading into their Sunday Night showdown with the Giants. After sweeping the Braves last week, they were only able to manage 1 of 3 from them this week. That didn’t stop them from expanding their division lead over the Mets. They will get a chance to expand it more with 3 against the Reds at home before they have to go into Baltimore and battle a tough Orioles squad.
Mets– If Steven Matz could play every day and play every position, the Mets could be in good shape. Unfortunately, the rest of the squad has to play. The Mets were able to take 2 of 3 from the Dodgers but that came after losing 3 straight to the Cubs. Including their 8 run outing on Sunday, the Mets were only able to scratch out 14 runs during the week. Their offense is almost non-existent and that’s why they are falling in the standings. In all likelihood, the Mets could very likely be looking up at the Nats and Braves when the break comes around.
Braves– The Braves had a tough start and end to the week but in between they put 4 straight wins together to actually gain a 1/2 game (pending the Nats-Giants game Sunday night). Neither the offense or pitching was much to write about but a 4-2 week is a 4-2 week. As they head into Milwaukee and Colorado to wrap up the first half, the Braves could find a way to crawl up to 2nd place before the break.
Marlins– Somehow, the Stanton-less Fish welcomed San Fran to start the week and walked out with 3 straight wins. They tacked on 1 more in Chicago before losing 2 straight to finish the week. The Fish are fried at this point but they aren’t just closing up shop. They will finish up the 1st half with 2 in Boston and 4 at home against the Reds. A moral victory would be to cut their deficit under double digits.
The Phils will cap off the week on the West Coast. With 4 in LA and 3 in SF, that magic # of 20 games back is not exactly far fetched. It’s not really worth sugar-coating anything at this point. The 2nd half is going to be very long and very tough to watch. At this point, the only questions are:
1) Who’s still here when it’s over? 2) Will Chase Utley get his job back? 3)Who will find their way up from the minors in the next few months. OK. There are probably more questions but that’s a whole other article.
Hold on tight!