The Phillies are not helping themselves when it comes to winning ballgames this year, despite how poorly at times this team has played, the team is still really not out of it for the season. The Phils are now 4 games under .500 and a solid 8.5 GB in the standings from the Atlanta Braves.
Things are starting to look like something good might start happening for the Phils, John Lannan is back tonight to start against the Nationals, his old team. Chase Utley is in the wings for a return soon, and so is Carlos Ruiz (he just made a rehab start in the minors).
The players on the Phillies currently just can't get runners home, the team is getting some hits, but there is very little to rally on when you can't score runs. The Phils are currently 24th of 30 teams when it comes to runs this year so far. They are also 21st out of 30 teams for on base percentage.
We're about a month away from the All Star Game, and other than Domonic Brown, I can't really think of another player on the team that should go to the All Star Game besides Brown and Cliff Lee.
More importantly, the trade deadline is also coming up really fast and the Phillies aren't exactly cruising in the driver's seat for a good playoff chance, so it will be interesting to see what the Phils try to do now with a lot of the aging stars that they might like to offer in trade, not healthy currently.
Problems with trading in the past few years is that we haven't gotten a good player in return for the team. Last year's moves were baffling, trade Hunter Pence, who at the time led all of the Phillies offensive categories in great numbers, and trade Shane Victorino who had been a great center fielder for the team. It may have all been for money that they traded both players but who did we get in return?
The season carries on tonight at home in Philly, it's the 2nd place Nationals in for 3 games and then the Mets in for the next 3 games on the homestand. This is where the Phillies have to improve, at home. The Phils are 16-15 at home so far this season.
Here are the pitching matchups for the Nats Series:
Mon. - LH John Lannan (0-1, 6.14) vs. RH Dan Haren (4-8, 5.70)
Tues. - LH Cliff Lee (8-2, 2.55) vs. LH Ross Detwiler (2-4, 3.02)
Wednes. - RH Kyle Kendrick (6-4, 3.76) vs. LH Gio Gonzalez (3-3, 3.40)