The Phillies have moved into second place, that's the good news! Thanks to a four game losing streak by the Atlanta Braves, the Phillies have found themselves in a strange position of second place even though they have only won 1 game of each the last two series since sweeping the White Sox. The Phils have mustered only one win against Detroit, and one against the Cleveland Indians with both wins coming on the middle game of the 3 game set. This ended the Interleague series for this year and now the Phils are back to their regular league opponents.
The news was not good either as Jon Leiber will probably miss the rest of the season. So two of the Phillies pitchers who were originally penciled in as the starting rotation are now missing. Kyle Kendrick has moved into the starters role from the minor league and so far he's done a great job to keep the Phils in ballgames. Adam Eaton had another of those 'rough outtings' yesterday as he gave up near his era of 5.67 with 6 runs given up to the Cards in 5 and 2/3's of his innings pitched on Saturday. It is tough for a team like the Phils to have to score more than 6 runs a game when Eaton pitches just to get even with the other team. Maybe the Phils call ups will produce another Cole Hamels type pitcher that is in the Phils minor system when they get their call up to the bigs. That is the best we can hope for now, as the Phillies have said that they will fill Lieber's spot internally.
Lieber hasn't been a 'lights out' pitcher for the Phils so far this year, he's 3-6 with a 4.73 era at the time that he is going on the DL. So the prospect of having a decent minor leaguer doesn't really scare me all that much. I would like to see the Phillies change direction with both Lieber and Garcia and go with a younger pitcher that has great stuff. I feel both Lieber and Garcia have already pitched the best games and I'm not impressed with either of them.
The Mets funk appears to be over for now, their slide over the past 15 games has been dramatic compared to the way they started off. The Mets just beat Oakland again yesterday and go for the sweep of Oakland today even with those wins the Mets June record going into today 6/24 is: 6 - 14 . That is incredible that the Mets have held onto first place and the Phillies haven't been able to capitalize on this. Is the Mets slide over? Or is Oakland just a terrible team?
After today's game with St. Louis, the Phils head home with an off day on Monday, then the Reds come to town for three games and those NY Mets come into Citizens Bank Park for a four game set, a series that can great possibilities for the Fightin' Phils!
Rich Baxter / Fightin Phils 2007 Blog