Monday, August 30, 2010

Hitless Wonders

It's a good thing the Phils pulled off their improbable sweep of San Diego in California because the Braves are starting to resemble one of those miracle teams, not unlike the Phillies of the past few years.

The rule of thumb is take care of business because you can't control what the other guy does and yesterday the Phillies in general and Cole Hamels in particular did just that. Hamels has suffered the fourth worst run support in the league so he went out there yet again and threw a marvelous game. It wasn't long ago this observer was lamenting Hamels' inconsistency and immaturity, but I'm here to tell you I was dead wrong. Hamels has become the pitcher we hoped he would become.

And it's a good thing because the Phillies still aren't hitting. They managed seventeen hits in 30 innings over the weekend, hardly the stuff of legends let alone pennant winners. They got all of three hits on Saturday and only five hits yesterday. Chase Utley continues to struggle as his average has dropped another 12 points since he came off the DL. I am beginning to have that sinking feeling that Utley's intensity, for which we all justifiably admire him, is taking its toll.

Tonight the Phils move into Los Angeles, where they've had success the last few seasons. If they can take two of the next four games -- 3 against LA and one a makeup in Colorado -- they will have had an excellent road trip that will help erase some but not all of the sting of losing four straight to Houston at home. That horrible series marked the low point of the season and may yet come back to haunt the Phillies.

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