You don't win the the pennant in April but can can darn well lose it. The last 2 years the Philadelphia Phillies finished the first month of the season with a record of 11-14 and if the Mets hadn't collapsed (sorry Carl) in September last year they would have finished out of the playoffs again. With the win tonight they are 16-13 and in 1st place by a half game.
The biggest surprise to me is the bullpen posting a 2.65 ERA so far holding the Padres hitless for the last 3 innings tonight but the story is the bats. Ryan Howard came to life tonight with a RBI double and a solo HR (6). Pat Burrell has stopped chasing the low and outside pitch and has been a clutch hitter with 26 RBI's. Stop taking him out in the late innings Charley. Then there is Chase Utley batting .357 with a league leading 11 HR's that has had him mentioned as a possible MVP.
And they have done this with last year's MVP Jimmy Rollins and the other spark plug Shane Victorino out of action.
There are a few holes in the lineup like 3rd base that Chris points out.
That could be fixed by doing something that most fans would bust a blood vessel over, trade Ryan Howard. A great post at Phillies Nation makes some good arguments on why to do it. He is coming upon free agency and will probably demand an A-Rod type 7 to 10 year deal at 25+ million a year that the Phillies will never agree to and the payback could be good. So what could you get in return? A starting pitcher and a 3rd baseman that can hit would be a minimum with some top rated prospects as a bonus.
Jennifer has her fingers crossed
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