What else can one say? Thank goodness Ryan Howard's on our side! I know Ryan Madson was saying that a little more than 11 hours ago.
Speaking of Madson, he did absolutely nothing to alleviate concerns about the closer role on an otherwise set team. Madson ruined Cole Hamels' chance for a win by surrendering a game-tying home run in the ninth inning to a pinch-hitter who entered the game with a grand total of five round trippers up to that point. Madson also ruined his chances of taking over the role Brad Lidge has failed to fill adequately.
Some time back in December or January I declared this was a team that would have to outslug its opponents to take the division title and advance in the playoffs. At that point the starting rotation looked unimpressive but the bullpen did not. Eight months later the starters have been very solid, especially with the addition of Cliff Lee, and the back end of the bullpen has been a disaster.
Maybe Howard, Jayson Werth and Chase Utley can overcome any late inning woes by the pen, but it is a dangerous way to live, one which, incidentally, no World Series team has ever done successfully.
The saga continues with the latest chapter, the Seventh Cavalry's own Brett Myers, waiting in the wings just off camera.