The Phillies have been notorious for slow starts over the years in April. Last year, they got off to one of the best starts they've had in years. The Phils went 8-2 in their first 10 games in 2010. Both losses in the first ten games came at the hands of the Washington Nationals oddly enough last year. In their first 10 games last year, the Phillies played the Nationals 6 times.
The great start last year was in part by a nice 5 game win streak that saw the Phillies sweep Houston in the Astros home town, and then the Phillies won two more against the Nats to run the streak to 5 in a row.
Baseball can be a game of streaks, and when things are running good for a ball club like the Phillies, the sky is the limit.
Of course, things can be streaky in bad ways too. At the worst times last year, the Phillies got mired into a 5 game losing streak from 5/22 to 5/27. The Phils lost the last two games in a series at home against Boston and then lost 3 straight in New York. The Phils then rebounded with two wins against Florida and then promptly went on a 4 game losing streak by losing the last game of the series with Florida and getting swept by the Braves from 5/30 to 6/2. This probably prompted Ruben Amaro's sound of alarm when he really became concerned about the Phillies chances of even making the playoffs at that point in the season.
The saving grace of last year really was courtesy of the last 20 games of the season. During the last 20 games of the season, the Phillies tucked a season high, 11 game win streak into that time period. The team only lost 5 games out of 20 to finish the season out on a very high note. The Phillies swept Florida, Washington, and Atlanta in three straight series in September of last year and had one win in games against the New York Mets series twice to total the 11 game win streak. The mechanics of Hamels, Halladay, and Oswalt came into play at the end of the season, and now the Phillies have even more fire power with Cliff Lee setting this rotation into 'tilt' status if we were talking pinball!
How have the Phillies done to start the season off in previous years?
2009: First 10 games- (4-6) - April -(11-9)
2008: First 10 games- (4-6) - Mar/April - (15-13)
2007: First 10 games - (2-8) - April - (11-14)
2006: First 10 games - (4-6) - April - (10-14)