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Phillies Losing Parts but Still Winning

If Chooch is out, can the Phils keep winning? (Photo:

Some of you want to rip your hair out. As tantalizing as this Phillies team can be, they are equally as head scratching and mystifying.

Before you do rip the follicle from the root, understand that they are one win away from setting a franchise record for April. So as bad as you think it is right now with injuries to Chase Utley, Domonic Brown, Brad Lidge, Jose Contreras, and JC Romero, and the loss of Roy Oswalt and Carlos Ruiz on this past road trip, they are tearing up April in ways never before seen in these parts.

At 16-8, the Phillies tied the record on Wednesday with their series-finale win in Arizona. The 17th win might come as a sour reminder that several players are missing and this month could have turned out to be even more fruitful had they not been. The 17th win – if or when it comes – can also tell you just how resilient and talented this club is.

Consider that Raul Ibanez is in the middle of a career-worst slump; 0-for-23 to be exact. He hasn’t gotten aboard with a base hit since April 18th, a nine-game absence.

Consider that Ryan Howard’s home run on Wednesday was his first in 14 games.

Consider that Cliff Lee hasn’t even scratched the surface of how good he can be (4.18 ERA, 2-2 record).

Jimmy Rollins has had a tough time as the Phillies three-hole hitter, driving in just five runs in 24 games, three of them on Wednesday.

So before you rip the team for an offensive slump – we’re all guilty of it, myself included – or complaining that the bullpen isn’t good enough, or crying that Kyle Kendrick and David Herndon don’t deserve a roster spot, just know that they are still a damn good ball club. Even with all the negatives, so many positives stand out; Polanco, Hamels and Oswalt, to name a few.

Pretty crazy, right?

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