Saturday, September 04, 2010

Striving For First – Phillies Close In On Braves

 Howard has yet to blossom since coming off the DL

The end of the season is little more than one month away, the ‘regular’ season that is. The Phillies have been out of first place since May 30th and now they are only 1 GB in the standings where they are chasing the Atlanta Braves. The Phils have occupied the number 2 spot in the standings for most of the summer although they did dip down to 3rd place during the middle of June to the middle of July. The team finished June 2010 with a record of 13-13 and July with a 15-13 record.

The win last night by a score of just 1-0 over the Brewers gave the Phillies a much needed win when the Atlanta Braves lost. This year, the Phillies have been in many 1-0 games. There has been a total of 20 games now when the Phillies have scored 1 run, they have won 5 of those games 1-0. The Phillies have been shutout 11 times on the season so far, these games they didn’t score any runs of course.

Prior to last night's game, Ryan Howard's stats have been terrible since his return from the DL. In previous 14 days, Howard's batting average has been a terrible .149 and he's had 19 strikeouts in 47 AB's with only 5 RBI. His play has got to step up in September, he's one of the highest paid players on the field and he should start playing like he is.

The home crowd attendance for the Phils is over 3,100,000 on the year now and it’s the best in the National League.  The Phillies still have 15 home games to play in the season, it looks like they may finish with 3.6M in attendance this season.

An interesting fact about the Phillies is that they have the oldest average age of players on both batting and pitching in the NL. The average age of all batters for the Phillies is 31.9 and for pitchers 31.4.

Around the NL, Cincinnati is running away with the NL Central, they are now up big on the St. Louis Cardinals. On the West coast, it’s still the Padres leading the way, although they have slipped a bit in the past two weeks. The Giants could still make a run on the Padres to win that division.

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