As we near the quarter mark for the 2010 MLB Season, there have been a fair amount of surprise teams around the league.
One thing that's not so surprising is, as of today, the Phillies are leading the National League in wins with 24; and with seven games before Philadelphia officially hits the quarter-mark of the 2010 season, 24 wins and counting is pretty darn good.
But that's what anyone would expect of a team that's been to the World Series two consecutive years, right?
What is interesting is how the Phillies have arrived upon this success.
Every team has it's fair share of obstacles throughout the long MLB season.
The Phillies have had their fair share—but with their winning record, it's easy to forget most of their obstacles.
From day one, the starting rotation has been a man short with Joe Blanton on the DL; the back end of the bullpen had Brad Lidge MIA as well.
Within two weeks of the start of the season, the team lost prolific lead-off man Jimmy Rollins to a calf strain, while 2009 Rookie of the Year starter JA Happ went down with an injury as well.
To make matters worse, Ryan Madson broke his toe fighting with a chair in San Francisco.
Guys were dropping like flies.
Cole Hamels and Kyle Kendrick seem to still be figuring things out; Raul Ibanez's struggles at the plate, on the other hand, have been duly noted.
Placido Polanco has battled through a few injuries along the way as well, but he has stayed off the DL and is making GM Rubin Amaro look like a genius.
Through all the injuries, the Phillies continued to do all they could do; they kept fighting.
Flip the calender to May.
First, the Phillies get Joe Blanton and Brad Lidge back, but then Lidge goes on the DL a few days later.
Enter newly-minted closer Jose Contreras—one of the biggest surprises of the season.
Next, Carlos Ruiz hurts his knee.
Enter Paul Hoover as your starting catcher for a few days.
And now, here in Philadelphia, we sit staring at our newspaper a little awestruck after a dominating 12-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.
We look over at the box score and see Jimmy Rollins hitting third and batting .400 after his first game back from injury.
We notice Shane Victorino, the fill-in leadoff hitter, leading the club with 32 RBI's.
We notice Chase Utley, who leads the team with nine home runs.
We notice Ryan Howard's HR total is a little lower than usual, though his batting average is higher than normal.
We notice Jayson Werth, who's thriving (and we hope Amaro does whatever it takes to keep Werth in a Philadelphia uniform after the 2010 season).
We notice Cole Hamels and Kyle Kendrick's hard work and progress.
We will remember those clutch hits and plays Wilson Valdez made while Rollins and Castro could not.
We marvel at the high level of performance and consistency Roy Halladay brings to the mound every fifth day.
We dream of a 100-win season for our Phillies, and a possible third trip to the World Series.
Almost a quarter of the way through the 2010 campaign—despite the trials and tribulations—this Phillies club looks confident, focused, and determined to keep fighting to make those dreams for Philadelphia fans a reality...