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“Maybe it’s the lineup change. Maybe it’s coincidence.”

The title is a quote from Chase Utley who has settled into the number two spot in the lineup and helped the Phillies secure at least a series split from the Rockies with a 9-5 win last night.  This new lineup is certainly corresponding with increasing production with runners in scoring position, but whether or not there’s a direct causal link remains to be seen.  It sure appears that way, but then again it could just be a coincidence. 

A lot of interesting facts came out of my day of Phillies watching and researching yesterday.  Rather than attempting to sew them together in some sort of prose, I feel bullet points may be easier to digest (and definitely easier to write): 

  • A new, if not pathetic fan club was born – Madson’s Magicians.  It was basically a guy and a girl with top hats, capes, canes and a few dances which looked like a cross between the Phanatic’s opposing pitcher jinx routine and Harry Potter and Hermione.
  • Clay Condrey was called up from Scranton just four hours before the game to replace the ill Julio Santana (15-day DL with gastroenteritis, due back May 6).  He pitched a perfect sixth in his first big league outing since May 2003.
  • Chase Utley redeemed the prior night’s error with some nice glove work, especially in Condrey’s inning.
  • Attendance on the night was recorded as a new CBP low, 19,182.  Much of this can be attributed to the Flyers playoff game across the street which outdrew the Phils by 802.
  • Delucci got his second hit as a Phillie (2-12 pinch hitting on the season) as he struggles to deal with his new role.
  • Abreu’s consecutive games with a walk streak continued, now standing at 13 games.
  • David Bell had a 2-run home run robbed by the new wall but responded in his next at bat with a 3-run shot to give the Phils a 7-1 lead in the 3rd. 
  • Businesspersons Special today, game time is 3:05pm
  • Going into last night’s game the Phils were 5th in the league in hits.
  • According to Baseball Prospectus, if the rest of the season was played out a million times the Phillies would make the playoffs 9% of the time.  If you factor in their player projections (PECOTA), the Phils chance jumps to 12%.  So essentially what this means is that the Phils do have a chance!
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