ESPN.com's MLB power rankings list the Phillies at the top of the league for a seventh consecutive week, and the FOXSports.com MLB power rankings have the Phillies on top for an eighth consecutive week. The Phillies also top the MLB power rankings from MLB.com. The CBSSports.com MLB power rankings were not available at the time of this posting.
The week got off to a good start with the Phillies taking two of three from the Arizona Diamondbacks, who are making a push to capture the National League West crown. Arizona stunned the Phillies in the series opener by notching two runs against Roy Halladay in the ninth inning to take a 3-2 lead, but the Phillies outscored Arizona 13-3 over the next two games to win another series.
The series opener at Washington was delayed by rain and ended when the Nationals' Ryan Zimmerman launched a grand slam to left field off Ryan Madson for an 8-4 victory. The grand slam came after the Nationals had scored two runs to tie the game. Sunday's weekend series finale saw another ninth-inning heartbreak when Antonio Bastardo gave up a solo home run with two outs and two strikes against Ian Desmond, and Brad Lidge forced in the winning run in the tenth inning of a tie ballgame.
The bullpen concerns, though rare, were clearly a theme of the week for the Phillies. Despite the bizarre week at the end of the ballgames, the Phillies managed to avoid a losing record for the week, evening their record at 3-3. The Phillies enter the series vs. the New York Mets having won six of their last ten games and are on pace to break their franchise record win total.
The outings of Madson and Lidge are legitimate concerns, but Bastardo's performance was rock-solid until giving up the solo home run. The continued health issues for infielders Placido Polanco and Jimmy Rollins could cause some slight problems, but this Phillies team is still destined for the postseason, and nationally still have the respect of a favorite.
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