I go to Boston for four days and look what happens! If I didn't know better, I'd take this winning- while-Goodman's-out-of-town personally.
The four game winning streak is due to some superb starting pitching and enough timely hitting, two things that haven't always occurred simultaneously of late. Roy Halladay rebounded from one of his worst outings. Cole Hamels pitched magnificently, limiting St. Louis to a single hit over eight innings but once again did not get the win as the Phils waited early and often to score a run. Hamels is maturing before our eyes and together with Halladay provide the one-two punch at the top of the rotation everyone hoped for.
Ryan Howard continues to hit for average and power. Does anyone doubt he's been the Phils most valuable player thus far this season? I'm sure the answer is a resounding YES in some quarters! Placido Polanco returned from the DL to provide the winning margin in the finale against St. Louis. Polanco's absence was keenly felt.
Jimmy Rollins struggled mightily until the weekend series against Colorado. Dare we say for the umpteenth time, "as goes Jimmy....."? Why not.
Remarkably, the Phils are "only" five games behind Atlanta. If they can win against the Braves and Mets going forward, that isn't too much ground to make up.