As previously mentioned, the Phillies lead baseball in singles. Small-ball is obviously a necessity for the Phightin's if they wish to make another run at a World Series.
They simply do not have the power they have had the past four seasons without Werth, Utley and an aging Raul Ibanez.
What they do have is a lineup that is not striking out often and is making pitchers work (eh, Brett Myers). They have players throughout their lineup that can run and put pressure on opposing pitchers while on the basepaths.
They also have players that have gotten the "big-hit" before. Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino and of course "Chooch" Carlos Ruiz are all players that thrive in clutch situations (I have blocked-out Howard's last at-bat of 2010 by the way).
They have not looked back since exploding in the bottom of the ninth in the home-opener against the Astros.
Besides Raul Ibanez, every Phillies regular is hitting over .300.
Here are the current averages of the Phillies hitters after Sunday's game against the Braves.
Now I am not so naive to believe that seven out of eight starters will hit .300 (especially after last season), but it is encouraging to see players that have been notoriously slow starters (Howard, Rollins Victorino) get off to such torrid starts.
Let's get ourselves a hefty lead in the division before the All-Star break, because with this pitching staff we will not surrender a big division lead like the Braves and Mets have recently.
The Phillies will be extremely difficult to beat in a series throughout this season if they can stay healthy. The lineup has shown in the early going that it can get the job done and the starting pitching obviously will make it very difficult to score three runs against them more times than not.
The bullpen has been outstanding with Madson, Bastardo and Contreras leading the way.
If Utley and Lidge can come back and resemble anything they have been throughout their careers, the Phillies will win a lot of games (I'm superstitious so I refuse to mention any records, but you get where I'm heading here) and run away with this division.
Again, I realize the season is a brutal grind. However, Philly Nation still has reason to be plenty excited. The Phillies have shown through the first nine games that they have the lineup one through eight and the pitching to be a dominant team once again.