I have no basis for this statement. There are no stats to back it up. But with the way things have been going for the Phillies, winning last night in that fashion, is important. Every win is important, you say. Lately, they just haven’t been coming.
Finally off the road and comfortably in their own ballpark, the Phillies have to expand on last night’s 3-2 victory over the Padres. A few things stood out:
They won without Roy Halladay at his very best. The perfect game was a week ago and Doc won’t be untouchable every outing. He did enough for the Phillies to win and they took advantage of that, something that was foreign to them for about two weeks. Halladay went seven frames while striking out seven and walking one. His 10 hits were problematic only in number; eight of them went for singles and none were very damaging.
Three runs may not seem like an explosion offensively, but it’s a step in the right direction. You’ve undoubtedly heard the futile stats: 14 runs in the last 11 games leading up to last night. Nine losses in their last 11. Two wins on a nine game road trip. Five shutouts in two weeks. It’s all ugly but at least last night gives them a glimmer of hope.
The real issues at this point seem to be Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, and Jayson Werth. Injuries aside, the big three are struggling. Utley is down to an unheard of .267 with questions about his health. He’s been known to hide an ailment or five. Could that be the reason for his slump? Ryan Howard’s average was above .300 for the better part of two months, but that since has slipped to .280 with no power. Ryno has one home run in the midst of this team-wide break down. Jayson Werth is 2-for-his-last-25 after last night’s 0’fer.
As soon as the middle of the order begins to produce even slightly, you’ll see this offense explode. And by explode, I really mean scoring five or six runs in a game. Baby steps.
As for the homestand, they are 1-0. And figure this: they are just 2.5 games off the pace for the best record in the National League after their nosedive in the standings recently. Baby steps is what it takes.