It’s Not How You Start…

26 Apr

…It’s how you finish.  And despite my melancholy melody of a few days ago, the Phillies  finished this difficult West Coast road swing, 10 games in 10 days,  with a respectable 5-5 record.  Given the problems they’ve been having scoring runs and some of the dismal losses they suffered during this stretch, a .500 record for the trip actually feels like quite an accomplishment.

And though I’m almost afraid to say it so listen up, I’m going to whisper here:  It seems like the bats are starting to wake up.

What, you didn’t hear me?  Sorry, I’m too superstitious to repeat it but let’s just say this.  The Phillies scored 20 runs in the Diamondbacks series alone.  Yes, I said the Phillies.  Yes, I meant the Philadelphia Phillies, the same team that has scored 2 or fewer runs  in 10 of its first 16 games.

So now the Phils will head for home with a little momentum, having won their first road series of the season and pulled themselves out of the cellar in the NL East.  OK, they’re still in next-to-last place only a half game ahead of the Miami Marlins and still 5 games back of the first place Washington Nationals who are off to a red-hot start at 13-4 but at least they’re moving in the right direction.  And at this point I’ll take anything I can get.

Actually you might be surprised to know that the Phillies have six batters currently hitting over 300.  OK, two of them are Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels but the other four are Laynce Nix, Juan Pierre, Ty Wigginton and Carlos Ruiz, three of whom were not even expected to be in the starting line-up.  And it was really nice to see the struggling Placido Polanco go 3-3 yesterday and Hunter Pence seems to be back in a bit of a groove after missing one game with a stiff shoulder.

The other bright spot continues to be the pitching with strong performances from both Vance Worley and Cole Hamels in the Phils two wins in Arizona.  Closer Jonathan Papelbon has lived up to expectations so far this season.  He is 6-6 in save opportunities with a gaudy 1.13 ERA  in the early going and Chad Qualls has been equally impressive holding down the eighth inning.  Qualls has only given up one earned run in seven innings for an ERA of 1.29.

So after a well-deserved day off today, let’s hope the positive vibes continue for our Fightins when they take on the Chicago Cubs for a four-game series at the Bank.   After all, like Dorothy told us, “ There’s no place like home.”

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2 Responses to “It’s Not How You Start…”

  1. Ray April 26, 2012 at 12:36 pm #

    Susan,

    I am even more superstitious, so I’ll just say…fingers crossed….that we are over whatever was ailing us early on…..only time will tell.

    Go Phillies !!!

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