Philadelphia Phillies Look Geared to Repeat as National League Champions
Currently four games into the season, the Philadelphia Phillies are looking good, very good.
Just about everything looks great. The starting rotation seems to really have been positively affected by the presence of stud Roy Halladay. Further, Cole Hamels looks like he may be back on track, Kyle Kendrick had a decent outing, and J.A. Happ has picked up right where he left off last season. The starting rotation will only be better when Joe Blanton returns.
While the starting pitching looks very good, the real strength of the Phillies team is their offense. In each of their first four games, the Phillies have recorded 10 or more hits. Their lineup is stacked and one of the best in baseball. Let's go through that red-hot lineup...
Leading off - Shortstop Jimmy Rollins: J-Roll has left the disaster that was last season far behind. He is getting on base more frequently already. In four games he has scored six runs. This is a great sign for the Phillies. They are a much better team when Rollins gets on base and scores runs, a key for any lead-off hitter.
Second - Third Baseman Placido Polanco: Polanco is another guy that is making Ruben Amaro, Jr. look like a genius. He is thriving batting second in the lineup. He is even doing a good job at third base, where many experts worried that he may struggle.
Third -Second Baseman Chase Utley: Does this even need to be written? We all know Chase Utley is a legitimate star. In his seventh season, Chase is off to a good start to the season.
Fourth - First Baseman Ryan Howard: You have to love watching the big man Ryan Howard hit a home run. Howard is feasting off of having runners on base. If the top of the lineup can continue to get on base, look for Howard to have a MVP season.
Fifth - Right Fielder Jayson Werth: Werth is hitting .333, yet he hasn't knocked in a run yet. With power like his, Werth will likely get quite a few RBI before season's end.
Sixth - Left Fielder Raul Ibanez: Rrraaauuulll isn't off to the same start he had last season. He has four RBI in as many games, though. I was worried about Raul this season,for he is an aging veteran coming off an all star season. Sometimes guys just fall off. Raul seems to be fine.
Seventh - Center Fielder Shane Victorino: The Flyin' Hawaiian was unhappy moving from second to seventh in the lineup—maybe with good reason. Shane is off to a slow start to the season. He is struggling to get on base so far. But hey, they've only played four games. He may just need some time to adjust to batting later in the lineup.
Eighth - Catcher Carlos Ruiz: Carlos is probably never going to be a good offensive player. He is great defensively, but his offense has always been subpar. I doubt Chooch will be able to hit the way he did last postseason.
Granted, it has only been four games, but I am excited about this team. There are very few holes in the lineup, or the whole team in general. The only weakness seems to be the Phils' very battered bullpen. Brad Lidge and J.C. Romero will be returning to the bullpen soon which should help. Other than the bullpen, this team is elite.
It may be only four games, but the Phillies appear ready to make a run to the World Series. Can they win the World Series? Of course they can. Will they? Only time will tell.
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