Sunday, September 05, 2004

Finally, Some Things to Cheer About

Finally, some things to cheer about in this otherwise lost season. Heralded rookie Gavin Floyd won his major league debut Friday night; on Saturday much-maligned (including by this observer) Cory Lidle pitched his second consecutive shutout; and the Phillies proved they could beat a team other than one named the Brewers by taking two straight from the Mets.

Floyd pitched well, going seven innings and allowing one run on four hits. At times his curveball buckled the knees of some seasoned veterans prompting awe from his teammates. Lest we forget, many Phillies pitchers including Brett Myers, also won their major league debuts in impressive fashion, so while I am as excited as the next fan, speak to me after Floyd has made a few trips around the league.

One other cautionary note as I watched him pitch. Floyd’s delivery is somewhat awkward. It seems to me he derives his power largely from the arm and shoulder rather than drawing equally from his legs and upper body. That way lies arm trouble, a misfortune too many Phils pitchers have suffered of late. It remains to be seen whether or not Floyd’s mechanics will betray him, too, but for now he is off to a very good start.

Lidle has forced me to stock up on far more crow than I anticipated after his first few outings in a Phillies uniform. At the moment he looks like Cy Young on a staff desperate for innings, quality or not, from its starters. On top of his pitching, Lidle is also driving in runs in each of his last two games. Last week he homered; last night he hit a three-run double. The guy eats innings and hits, too! Make room on the bandwagon.

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