The Philles at the All Star Break 2008
One of the things I noticed about the team coming up to the All Star Break is that they’ve showed a lot of heart through the season leading up to the All Star Game. We are 96 games into the season that leaves only 66 games to go till the end of the regular season. It’s funny how fast the All Star break comes around and the Phillies could be in a worse situation than they are now. For now they are in first place by the slimmest of margins ½ game ahead of the Mets who have put on a run of 9 games won in a row to get to the All Star break almost over throwing the Phillies out of first place for the time being.
The one Phillie player who has played everyday in every game has been Ryan Howard, he has logged play in all the games so far for the Phils, next to him the Utley and Burrell combo has each played in 94 games for the fightins. Utley has been the offensive leader of the team without a doubt although you have the double edged sword of Ryan Howard of 28 HR’s and 84 RBI’s so far despite having an incredible 129 strikeouts through the first 96 games. Look maybe for Howard to get a day off here and there in the next couple of weeks, he may need a couple days off especially if he keeps on striking out – but his 84 RBI’s is an amazing amount of rbi’s to have up to the All Star Break.
Utley leads the team in the following catagories:
Runs Created: 84
Slugging Pct. : .584
Cole Hamels has been the Ace of the staff despite getting a couple of no decisions in his last couple starts that were pretty good.
In the last ten games the Phillies are 5-5 – in contrast the Mets have been 9-1 as they charge for first themselves. If the Phillies are going to stay in first they are going to have to go out and start the next 66 games as if they are all important and they need to win them all. The Mets are going to be there at the end, near the top and they have been surging in the last couple of weeks.
The Phillies have already had 2 million fans through the turnstiles at Citizens Bank Park, they should have 3 million by the time the season is over, so the fan support is there although vocal support can go a long way for the players, where the booing can wear on a player, just ask Chase Utley.
Joe Blanton was added to the staff on Thursday July 17 – what pitcher will be replace by Blanton because Joe hasn’t had such a great year himself lately. Hopefully, this will change but until we see this, it could be another bad pitching pickup by the Phillies.