Philadelphia Phillies: How Sweep It Is

29 Apr

Is it just me or have the Phillies been resembling a pretty good baseball team lately?

I don’t know about you but I wasn’t sure they had it in them.

Now sweeping the New York Mets might not seem like something to get too excited about but if you’ve been watching this Phillies team play this season (and if you have, consider yourself a diehard fan or a glutton for punishment) getting swept would seem the more likely scenario.

But here the Phillies sit, having leapfrogged over the Mets into third place only 1.5 games behind the second place Washington National and 4.5 games behind the division leading Atlanta Braves.

Again, this may not seem like news to celebrate but after the red-hot Braves streaked to a 12-1 start while the Phillies were, well let’s just say ‘not so hot,’ things could be a lot worse as we finish April and head into May.  As Phils radio analyst Larry Anderson (LA) likes to say,

“There’s still a lot of baseball left to play.” 

And one big reason for this recent turn in Phillies fortune is none other than the ‘Big Piece’  himself,  Ryan Howard.  The Phils slumping slugger had been stuck on one home run and six RBI’s and struck out in many key situations.  But in the last week Howard has started to deliver with runners in scoring position (not a team strength to put it kindly.)

In fact, in the last five games Howard’s RBI total jumped to 16.  For the math-impaired among us, that’s ten ribbies in just the last five games.  During this stretch he also has three doubles and two home runs, five runs scored and after today’s game-winning pinch hit double Howard extended his hitting streak to ten straight games.

Yes, these Phillies are slowly and quietly gathering some steam.   Four of the starters in their lineup have batting averages over .265 including Michael Young batting .352, Chase Utley .295 and Howard at .286.

And most fans would agree that this team really hasn’t put it all together…..yet.

No, one three game sweep of a not so great Mets team does not a season make.

And yes, this is the same team that just lost three out of four games to the Pittsburgh Pirates.

But we can all use one day to look back and savor the just completed sweep and look forward to what lies ahead.

phillies-sweepAfter all:

 “There’s still a lot of baseball left to play.”

 

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