After a stretch of thirteen consecutive games, including a cross-country flight home from Coors Field in Denver, the boys have won five out of the past six, sweeping the National League West leading Los Angeles Dodgers back home at The Bank.
The last game of that three-game set was most meaningful, because it showed that Brett Myers has bounced back from his early season funk, and that he has the potential to be an ace in the Phils rotation down the road.
After the Dodgers, the upstart Padres came to town, looking to bring their turn-around act from last season on the road. With two dramatic comeback wins, the Phils had taken two out of three, but more importantly, claimed first place in the National League East. Florida won on Monday to regain a tie, but they have played two more games than the Phillies.
This week is a crucial one if the Phils hope to stay atop the division. On Tuesday and Wednesday, they'll stop in Queens to play a brief two-game set with the Mets. Then, it's back home for their first look at Atlanta in a big four-game set.
Both of these inter-division rivalries will be key because both New York and Atlanta are only three games back of the Phils. Expect the Phils to keep rolling though, and with or without Jim Thome, Randy Wolf, Vicente Padilla, Placido Polanco, and Billy Wagner, they are still better than both the Mets and the Braves. Look for the Phils to take four out of six, with Pat Burrell lighting it up at Shea Stadium, and Bobby Abreu lighting it up at home against a somewhat weak starting rotation of Atlanta.
Around the majors:
- What a season Lyle Overbay is having in Milwaukee. Who would have thought that at the quarter-pole of the season, he would be second in the NL in batting average and fourth in RBIs. Even more amazing is that he is doing it for a Brewer's team that year in and year out is one of the worst in the league.
- Here is an interesting note: Freddy Garcia is 2-3 with a league leading 2.71 ERA. Jarrod Washburn is 7-1 with a 4.61 ERA. It just goes to show that however good a pitcher you may be, you need the run production. Washburn gets almost ten runs a game, while Garcia gets under three.
- The Royals just called up Zack Greinke in an attempt to save their season. If you play fantasy baseball, and if you are in a keeper league, pick this guy up as soon as possible. He is the best prospect in baseball, and if Jeremy Affedlt had not blown the save, Greinke would have beaten Oakland in his major league debut. Watch out for this guy.
- Speaking of prospects, it will be interesting to see how Elizaro Ramirez does in the Bigs. He supposedly has incredible control, something that other pitchers on the Phils bullpen seem to lack (cough Roberto Hernandez cough). But it makes you wonder, why did the Phils have to reach so far down the system to Class A to find a guy? I can't wait to see Gavin Floyd or Cole Hamels with the Phils though. Two studs in the making.