Saturday, August 29, 2009

One For The Offense. One For The Staff

Over the last fifteen games the Phillies overall record is 11 - 4. Looking a little more deeply into those numbers they are 7 - 4 - 4, that is, seven wins courtesy of 24 players, 4 outright wins courtesy of Ryan Howard, and four losses.

The usual death and taxes comparisons have been invoked when speaking about Ryan Howard's customary late-season surge at the plate. The only thing out of the ordinary this season is that Howard began his run earlier than in previous years. The Big Piece, as his manager calls him, has been the difference between a mediocre August and one in which the Phils have opened an eight game lead over their two chief division rivals this season, Florida and Atlanta. If the BP is just getting warmed up, September promises to be a month to remember.

Meanwhile, Jamie Moyer may have griped publicly about his "demotion" to the bullpen when Pedro Martinez joined the club but he cannot be unhappy with his two appearances since then, both ironically in relief of Martinez and both impressive performances and wins for the ancient one.

Ruben Amaro and the Phillies brain trust deserve a lot of kudos for the Martinez signing and decision to move Moyer to the pen. Going into the stretch run and likely playoff appearance, the Phils have an abundance of pitching, which as everyone knows can never be too much. Moyer not only provides an additional starter should doubleheaders be necessary, he has also spelled relief for the middle of the bullpen. He may not be happy but he certainly hasn't allowed his displeasure to affect his work.

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