Five Reasons Why the Philadelphia Phillies Will Win the N.L. East

C KSenior Analyst ISeptember 9, 2008

With the Mets leading the division by 1.5 games heading into tonight, I was surprisingly satisfied.

When I woke up this morning, I had a thought in my head that just kept telling me the Phillies were going to win the division yet again.

Then I tried to back up my thoughts with reasons, and I wrote them down, thinking I could eventually turn it into an article. Here is that article and my five reasons why the Philadelphia Phillies will win the National League East.

1. The starting pitching for the Phillies has been much more consistent than that of the Mets.

Even though that may not matter too much now, it still shows me that the Phillies' starters have more reliability to go out there and perform well. Don't get me wrong, consistency doesn't mean they will go out there and perform like they had in their previous starts. But it does give you a little more trust in them that they will.


2. The Phillies' rotation is turning it on at the right time.

Joe Blanton came to the Phillies, and while he hasn't pitched like CC Sabathia, he has pitched well enough to get the team a little further. He was a huge upgrade from Adam Eaton, and he's been even more than we imagined (we didn't imagine too much, and he's giving us quite a few quality starts).

Also, Cole Hamels has been Cole Hamels in almost every start, and Jaime Moyer isn't showing any of that luster he showed last year at this time. But what stands out the most to me is Brett Myers.

Myers has statistically been the third-best pitcher in the national league since his call-up. Only CC Sabathia and Rich Harden have been better. Having the trust that you can put Cole Hamels and Brett Myers out there and trust them to win both games does wonders for the club.


3. The Phillies bullpen isn't breaking down like it should be.

Sure, Chad Durbin has had a few rough outings, and so have J.C. Romero and Ryan Madson. But not many of those rough outings cost the team. Yes, the two notable collapses were the first two games against the Cubbies, but besides that, the bullpen hasn't lost games for the Phils. That means Durbin, Romero, and Madson have all had chances to work through some kinks, and they're starting to get out of it.

Having Brad Lidge doesn't hurt, either.


4. The Phillies have that resiliency that the Mets do not.

Mets fans can yell and scream at me, but you know I'm right.

You look at this Phillies team, and you see a team that does not give up.

I believe they are still second in come-from-behind-wins this season, and they led the league last year in come-from-behind wins.

Then you look at the "wow" factors the Phillies have that the Mets do not.

The Mets have one player who manufactures runs all by himself: Jose Reyes. The Phillies have two and a half. With Jimmy Rollins swinging the bat like he used to, he has brought back a "flow" to the offense that wasn't there. He gets on, steals a base, and scores.

Same thing with Victorino. He gets on, steals a base, and scores. Who's the half you ask? Jayson Werth. Werth has recently been given the right-fielder spot for the rest of the year, and I love the move. Jayson Werth can hit the ball all over the ballpark, but his secret weapon is his speed.

Let me take you back to when he stole second and third (without a throw) off Billy Wagner in the last game of the Phillies' four-game sweep of the Mets last year. And he's done it numerous times this year as well. He brings that X-factor to the table and makes you pay attention to him.


5. The Mets remember.

In the back of every Mets mind is, "I hope we don't lose this thing again!"

I don't blame them; I would be thinking the same thing. It's hard to forget the worst collapse in sports history.

But they do remember. They remember it all.

They remember the look on the fans faces, the look on their own faces, and worst of all, the look on the Phillies' faces.

Some might think of that as motivation, but I think of it as a burning memory that eats you up and takes over. Because if the Phillies can pull even with the Mets soon, that memory jumps to the front of their mind and that's where the destruction starts.


So that's the list.

I'll bet many of you disagree, but what can I say, I'm trying to be positive about my Phillies.

Now it's your turn; tell me what you think. Will the Phillies make it, or will the Mets make it?

Or will they both make it (Phillies play four against the Brewers coming up...)?


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