Are the Phillies finally playing the way everyone thought they would before the season began or are they still a bad team that happened to get a few wins? The way the Phillies played the first two weeks of the season is inexcusable. Based of the past two April, Phillies fans knew that a slow start could cost them another chance at their first postseason since 1993. Charlie Manuel acknowledged this fact as well. Yet here the Phillies stood at the bottom of the National League after the first two weeks. The nuclear winter of Philadelphia sports was supposed to lift and give way to a ray of hope in the Phillies contending for the NL East title. Fans in Philly let out the familiar, "here we go again" groan and prepared to count down the days to training camp for the Eagles or at least until the NFL draft this weekend.
After a closed door meeting this past Saturday, following a managerial threat on the welfare of local buffoon, Howard Eskin, the Phillies seem to have emerged a new team. They are finally scoring runs and hitting with men on base. King Cole Hammels struck out 15 in a complete game win on Saturday. The bats woke on Sunday and the Phillies had themselves a nice two game winning streak with Houston coming to town for a make-up game. Jimmy Rollins sparked an 11-run outburst against the Astros and the Phillies won a third in a row. With the struggling Nationals coming into town, nothing but two of three will be considered acceptable. Especially not with King Cole scheduled in the middle of this series. And with the Fish in on the weekend, the Phillies have a chance to catch up to .500 baseball.
As always, the Phillies play is dictated by 1-4 in the lineup. Jimmy and Shane Victorino getting on base are crucial as it gives Utley and Ryan Howard a chance to knock in runs. Keep posted for the second part of the blog coming on Friday morning.