The Philadelphia Phillies have been hot recently. Everything has come together for them.
At this time last year, the Phillies were in a struggle with the New York Mets for first place in the NL East division. They had just acquired under-the-radar pitcher Joe Blanton from the Oakland Athletics.
It sounded like every other Phillies season. Except last year, they won the World Series.
Now everything has changed... for the better.
This year, they are leading the division and are threatening to run away with it.
Their pitching has settled down from the start of the season and is now heating up while their bats are just the same.
Someone should call the fire department because the Phillies are on fire.
The Phils are arguably the frontrunners to win the World Series this year, especially since they recently acquired last year's AL Cy Young Award winner Cliff Lee.
That gives the Phillies the best one-two pitching combo in baseball.
If the Phillies continue to pitch the way they have recently, they will have the best rotation in baseball.
J.A. Happ, who has been great so far this year, has a record of 7-1 with an ERA under 3.00.
Joe Blanton has been extremely dominant recently.
In four July starts, he is 3-0 with a 1.21 ERA. He has one more start this month against the San Francisco Giants.
Cole Hamels is finally becoming the pitcher he was during the postseason. He pitched a great game yesterday against the Diamondbacks.
Jamie Moyer has also pitched well recently including a great game against the Diamondbacks. He’s won five of his last six games.
Newly added Cliff Lee had a shaky start at the beginning of the season but quickly turned things around. He is 3-0 with a 1.14 ERA in his last three starts with Cleveland.
The Phillies bats have been hot this month as well. Maybe it has something to do with the All-Star game? Who knows?
All I know is they are “hotter than the Phoenix forecast.”
The only thing holding the Phillies back is their bullpen, but don’t look into that too much. Though if you do, you will see they are going to turn around.
How you ask?
They have three pitchers on the DL in J.C. Romero, Chad Durbin, and Clay Condrey. Romero is expected to be back next week, and the others will quickly follow.
Also, Brett Myers could be back by late-August. He said he is willing to work out of the bullpen. That will definitely help late into ballgames because remember, he was their closer in 2007.
Finally, the Phillies have Pedro Martinez. He may not get a shot at the rotation, and if he does, he probably won’t take a spot away from the others. He can be used out of the bullpen as well though.
There are two months left in the regular season, and the Phillies are first in the division. If the Florida Marlins or Atlanta Braves want to challenge the Phillies, they will need to step it up quickly.
But if they don’t, the Phillies can relax in September for the first time in a long time.