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Sunday, May 07, 2006

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Bats have come alive over this 7 game winning streak, but to me the big story is the relief pitching led by Tom Gordon. Gordon has 4 saves over this winning streak and he has not given up a hit or earned run in his last 8 appearances going back to April 19th. This is probably the most dominant stretch of relef pitching by a Phil I can recall. In the last 7 games, the Phils relievers have given up only 1 earned run over 20 innings. The pen is getting the job done.

Agreed that pitching is the biggest reason for it (just didn't feel like writing on it this morning). The veterans in the rotation have settled in, and it's a major plus that the team was able to plow through Floyd and Madson's starts and keep the streak going. Relief pitching as you've mentioned has really turned it around, not to mention Cormier. It helps that the starters are going deeper into games, but what Gordon and the rest of the pen has done has been exceptional.

Bullpen and improved offense have been the keys to the winning streak. Still, the starting pitching is struggling besides Myers and Lidle.

Madson must have sacrificed a bucket of KFC to Jobu last night to only give up 1 run over 6 innings. He was awful the first 3 innings but somehow the inept Giants didn't score. Madson should be given another 3 or 4 starts. If he can't show something, he needs to go to the pen.

Most discouraging thing about Madson is his lack of control. He has now has more BBs than Ks with a WHIP over 2. Ugh.

Mets are starting to look really thin in their starting rotation too. Zambrano is done for the year and they have a few other injuries. So desperate for a starter today they recalled Josa Lima. Funniest thing about Lima is that his age is 33. Try +5 years.

Good points MG. As much as the game last night was entertaining, Madsen was very lucky -- helped by several double plays and a caught stealng. The Phils really need Lieber to pitch better to have any chance to win this division.

John Lieber has the perfect opportunity to pitch "his" game tonight. National audience, against the offensively challenged Giants, and with the Phils in the midst of a 7 game win streak that he would like to see continue. His big thing has been "the inning". He still has good stuff like the old Lieber, he just shows the new flabby one for at least an inning a start and it haunts him. Time to pitch a quality game the whole way through, and by that I mean 7 strong innings.

Santana is back with the team now. He needs to prove himself quickly, because Booker (minor league strikeout artist) doesn't have much more time left and the Nats would take him back in a heartbeat.

I like the fact that the bench-at least the Victorino/Dellucci part of it-is starting to hit. This should mean Manuel can rest Burrell more. If the Phils can straighten out the 4th and 5th spots in the rotation, they can beat the Mets, with their age, dubious rotation, roster spots wasted by Franco and Inning-Endy Chavez, and the sheer Metness that surrounds them. I see the Mets as a team likely to have a weak second half. If the Phils are within 5 or 6 games come July 1, they've got a good shot.

As of now, the Mets rotation is Martinez, Glavine, Trachsel, bum, bum, and the first three are all older and/or injury prone. The Mets can't possibly keep up their current pace throwing Jose Lima and Darren Oliver out there every time through the rotation.

Going to my first game of the season tonight! Will anyone else be there? So excited, I'll take my camera and get some pictures.

Breaking News:

Cole Hamels gave up one run in 7 IP today. He K'd 10 batters, walked none and gave up 5 hits.

UNLEASH KING COLE.

Jeez, Cole Hamels. He could be the difference-maker if it gets close for the Phils in the division. And suddenly, it's getting closer. I still can't gst used to the fact that they're a good team again. They were horrible for an entire month, and boom, 8-game win streak.

Too bad they're off tomorrow. You don't want anything interrupting a roll like this. Bring on the Mets!

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EST. 2005

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