Thursday, June 04, 2009

How Much Is That Doggie In The Window?

Games 38 through 51 - Phillies

Reds 5, Phils 1
Phils 12, Reds 5
PHILS 7, yanks 3
yanks 5, Phils 4
PHILS 4, yanks 3
Marlins 5, Phils 3
Phils 5, Marlins 3
Marlins 6, Phils 2
Phils 5, Nats 4
Phils 9, Nats 2
Phils 4, Nats 2
Phils 5, Padres 3
Phils 10, Padres 5
Phils 5, Padres 1

Record 31 wins, 20 losses

It's amazing how much changes when you go two weeks between posts. We are 51 games in now and we have witnessed the demise and revival of the dead man walking Jamie Moyer. It seems Lazarus still has some tricks left in the bag. Granted picking the Nats to get win #250 was a bit unfair of Jamie but he did shut them down pretty effectively and this is not your little brother's Nats offense these days. Well done Jamie.

Joe Blanton has had two straight solid outings after having a horrid 6 weeks to open the season. Brett Myers undergoes hip surgery today. Unlike Chase Utley and A-Rod, he won't be back in 2009. Myers was the Phils most consistent pitcher since opening day and hadn't missed a start. This injury came on the heels of the demotion of Chan Ho Park to the pen in favor of J.A. Happ. No matter. Happ has performed admirably and young lefty Antonio Bastardo made his way down the Schuylkill Expressway in time to catch a flight to San Diego where he pitched a helluva game against the Padres in the place of Myers

That makes this a very interesting time for the Phils and its quite frankly uncharted territory for their phans. Just 3 weeks ago, only Cole Hamels and Bret Myers could be counted on to pitch into the sixth without imploding. Blanton, Park and Moyer were plain awful. The move of Park was a desperate one. At the time, the Phils believed they were simply trading one problem for another as it was largely unknown if anyone in the organization could step up. Then Myers went down. During all this, the Phils have miraculously gotten 11 quality starts in the 15 games. As mentioned, Blanton has improved, Happ stepped up and Bastardo in his first start showed tremendous promise. Instead of having to make a desperate move to acquire pitching, the Phils have a bit of breathing room. That breathing room will no doubt change their approach to their discussions with the teams that are looking to trade their front line starters.

The Phils have two shiny position player prospects in Lou Marson and Jason Donald. They also have a handful of young pitching prospects led by Hector Carasco and Kyle Drabek. It appeared that whomever the Phils dealt with, at least 1/2 of that group would be surrendered. If Happ and Bastardo can keep their heads above water and if Hamels, Moyer and Blanton can stay on track, the dynamics will work in the Phils favor.

After losing Curt Schilling and Scott Rolen for a bag of shit and a pile of rocks earlier this decade, the Phillies are actually window shopping with the big boys. Funny what a great farm system, home grown stars, a World Championship and a shiny new park that sells out every night will do for you, eh?

If only we knew that 15 years ago!

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