I was out of town or asleep for every one of the four-game set in San Diego but I've read a few commentaries suggesting the Phils' overall record is in large measure testament to the inferior records of most of its competition to date.
Well, here's my response to that interpretation: never offer an apology for beating up on the mediocre clubs. The Yankees made a habit of doing that throughout the fifties and they made out all right. Indeed, all winners play the tough clubs more or less evenly while crushing the second division squads. That's how winners manage a clip of .600 or better on the way to a championship. A team that wins 90 plus games loses around 70 other ones.
So the Phils, who aren't hitting much themselves, managed to outscore the Padres thanks in large measure to their superior pitching and somewhat better hitting. And that's what will carry the Phils throughout 2011.
The only question that remains is whether or not this combination will be sufficient. With the news Jose Contreras has injured his elbow and been placed on the 15-day DL pending further examination, the Phils have already lost two closers and it isn't even May yet.
Ryan Madson, a reluctant closer heretofore but perennially the closer-in-waiting, has taken on the role by default. It's time to see just how ready the lanky right-hander is.