The Philadelphia Phillies have been having a great year. They lead the MLB with a 57-34 record. Their three aces—Roy Oswalt, their fourth, is out—Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, and Cole Hamels, are performing very well. Vance Worley has filled in for the injured starters and has been superb.
The Phillies bullpen has gone above and beyond the expectations. With Brad Lidge, the Phillies closer, out from the start of the season, no one expected the other relievers to come through like they have.
Jose Contreras filled in for Lidge at the start of the season and was great until his injury.
Ryan Madson, who is now injured, was the Phillies closer for a time and was just as good.
After his injury, pitchers like Antonio Bastardo and Michael Stutes stepped up. The Phillies bullpen was expected to be their weakness, but has now developed into an important strength.
The Phillies are currently first in the MLB with just three blown saves.
On offense, core veterans like Jimmy Rollins, Placido Polanco, Carlos Ruiz, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Shane Victorino are great when they.are healthy, but each has been either playing hurt or out for an injury at one time or another.
When they don't have multiple core veterans playing good at the same time, the Phillies offense isn't capable of scoring more than one or two runs a game.
The Phillies have the ability to continue to win for the rest of the season if their core veterans can become—and stay—healthy. They have great relief pitchers, great starting pitchers, and some great veterans in their lineup. The Phillies had a lot of injuries in the first half of the season, and whether or not those injuries continue will be the deciding factor for the outcome of the National League pennant.