Cards 6, Phils 3
Phils 2, Cards 1
Phils 5, Cards 4
Record 61 wins, 50 losses - 1st place 2.5 games ahead of FLA, 3 ahead of NYM
Leave it to Brett Myers to force me to recollect the title of a very bad Sandra Bullock chick flick from the mid '90's. No open letters welcoming Brett back are forthcoming. I'm just glad he's with us and hope it lasts about 3 more months. It was one thing to shut down the Nats on 3 hits over 7 innings. It's quite another to hold the Cards to 4 hits, 0 walks and 2 runs through six at the New Busch (soon to be ImBev) Stadium.
Of course, in the mysterious, cosmic world of baseball, there just has to be a yin to this yang. Cole Hamels fits the bill. Cole's last two outings have been nothing shy of grotesque. Fortunately, the Phils were able to win one of them against their favorite whipping boys in Atlanta. Is it too much to hope that Cole and Brett (this team is chock full of names that would have earned a fierce ass-whoopin' in my neighborhood - Cole, Chase, Brett, Shane, Jamie, ) get on the same page? This is supposed to be our 1-2 punch. I'm just praying Hamels' recent downturn is not owed to his health or lack thereof. He usually checks in to sick bay around this time of year. Bones, do your magic.
All in all, things are progressing quite nicely for the Phils. Shane Victorino continues as the heart and soul of the squad. I am sure of that much. The 3 run dinger against the Cards on Sunday Night Baseball was one to savor. It appears that whatever ailed Ryan Howard in April, May and half of June has been cured. He's up to .242 with 31 home runs and 96 RBI. I have witnessed him beating the Howard Shift (I hope the Stooges don't have a copyright on that) at least twice in recent weeks. Chase Utley is starting to merit that pre-season talk about a 3rd consecutive MVP in South Philly. Joe Blanton put forth a superb outing against the Cards in a 2-1 thriller which featured another exorcism of Albert Pujols from Brad Lidge's brain.
If I have to offer a harbinger (or omen or whatever synonym a thesaurus can produce to the equivalent of these) to sober up this happyfest, it's something I read today but in reality, has always been on my mind. This club is thin. As thin as Jim Zorn's resume. Injuries thus far have been few and not serious in nature. That fact is to what the Phillies owe their current position in the division standings. Lord knows the folks in the Township have been plagued with DL visits so we go on counting our blessings and keeping on keeping on.