The Philadelphia Phillies are getting hot at the right time and climbing back into the NL East division race. They overcame a seven-run deficit last night to defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers, 10-9.
Winners of eight of their last ten games, the Phillies are hitting .300 and averaging 5.80 runs per game in the month of August. Their starting pitching has been strong, compiling a 3.82 ERA in the month of August.
Struggling hitters have also come back to life lately for the Phillies. Since the All-Star Game, Raul Ibañez is hitting .371 with a .462 OBP, four home runs and 19 RBIs. Jayson Werth is hitting .375 since the All-Star Game. Carlos Ruiz is hitting .325 with 10 home runs and 10 RBIs in the past 10 games.
Joe Blanton and Kyle Kendrick have pitched well recently; however, they may have some of their starts skipped until the end of the season. The Phillies may be pitching Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels and Roy Oswalt every five days. More pitching appearances by the big three should conceivably mean more wins for the Phillies.
Halladay is simply dominating this season (no surprise).
To date, he is 14-8 with a 2.34 ERA and 1.03 WHIP.
Halladay also has eight complete games and three shutouts. Halladay would probably have almost 20 wins already if he weren’t a victim of a lack of run support.
Halladay has made a complete mockery of the NL East this season.
Roy Halladay vs. NL East
Hamels had a rough start in the first two months of the season; however, he has been a strong pitcher since then. Unfortunately for Hamels, he is the biggest victim of a lack of run support. Since the All-Star Game, Hamels is 0-1 in five starts with a 2.38 ERA and 1.00 WHIP. His loss was a 1-0 loss to the New York Mets.
In addition to contributions from newcomers such as Oswalt and Mike Sweeney, the Phillies have also received help from top prospect Domonic Brown. Although Brown hasn’t hit for a high AVG in his young career, he has delivered timely hitting with 11 RBIs in 12 games.
The Phillies’ good fortune doesn’t end with strong pitching and a revived offense. They are slowly getting healthy again. Chase Utley has been cleared to resume hitting activities. Ryan Howard is off his crutches and walking again. Shane Victorino was activated from the DL. If the Phillies can get fully healthy as they head into the playoffs, they’ll be considered strong favorites again to reach the World Series.