Thursday, July 31, 2008

Hitting Again

Why are the Phillies in first place again?

They are finally hitting. Thirty-two runs in their last four games.

Led by Shane Victorino and Chase Utley, the top of the order is providing the spark and the punch as the Phillies have won four straight. We can assume Victorino's latest spurt has finally put to rest the rumors if not the facts that the Phils have considered trading the Flyin' Hawaiian. He is hitting, hitting for some power even (two home runs in his last seven games is an outburst for Victorino), stealing bases and playing his usual superb defense. Give the package-Victorino-for-some-pitching rumors a rest, guys! Even were he to hit .250, his defense is sorely needed in an outfield that includes the always-game Pat Burrell, the decidedly average Geoff Jenkins and the highly overrated (how many times does he start in on balls over his head) Jayson Werth.

As for Utley, even his wife had to weigh in on his supposed hip injury, assuring everyone that her husband is not hurting. Utley weighed in, too, in the only way he knows how: two straight games with two-run homers, the first providing the winning margin.

As for pitching, the Phils certainly didn't get that in the two wins over the Braves last weekend, but in Washington against a much less potent offense Brett Myers found his groove if for one night and Jamie Moyer survived a bad first inning to baffle the Nationals the rest of the way en route to his 10th win of the the season.

Everyone pronounced himself pleased with Myers performance Tuesday night, especially with his command and his mechanics. A picture in the newspaper the next day showed this observer Myers still looking at the first base dugout as he released the ball, but what they heck, results are results. I'll need a few more solid outings before I jump on the bandwagon, however.

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