The Philadelphia Phillies continue to lead the NL East and sit at an impressive 15-6 in the early going. It seems highly unlikely that this team will finish the season without at least 100 wins.
They have struggled to hit for power and yet they continue to win. They lead the NL East in runs scored with 88 and are second in BA at .265. They have shown that their lineup can play a little small-ball by being in the top five in MLB in singles since Opening Day.
But let's be honest here, the Phillies are not the Vegas favorites because of their ability to hit singles. They are the smart pick to bring home another World Series down Broad Street because of their dominant pitching staff. Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels, Roy Oswalt and Cliff Lee have combined thus far for a record of 9-3 with three of the "Phour Horsemen" posting ERA's below 3.00.
Then there is Big (Fat?) Joe Blanton. While he has looked solid at times this season, his early-season woes and inconsistencies have continued in 2011. We all know Joe Blanton will most likely return to the three- to five-run, six-innings-of-work pitcher he is after every All-star break, but why should Philadelphia wait?
This is the most anticipated baseball season in the entire 121-year history of Philadelphia Phillies baseball, and the Phillies fans deserve better than Joe Blanton and his hefty contract (we'll get into that later) stepping onto the mound every fifth day.
Ruben Amaro has proven in his short tenure as Phillies GM that he can pull off masterful trades when no one thought such things were possible. Let's get creative here and find a way to fix some glaring holes that have poked their heads through already.
A good way to start is by making Kyle Kendrick the fifth starter, and here are five reasons why.