Thursday, September 15, 2005

Bravo, Ramon

Fans or not, the Phillies are on fire and that is the best marketing the team could get.

They have won four straight, including three against the NL East-leading Braves, and are tied for the wild-card lead with 16 games remaining.

Phillies manager Charlie Manuel played a hunch last night and sat slugging first-baseman Ryan Howard. It paid off when replacement Ramon Martinez delivered a grand slam (photo by Jerry Lodriguess/Inquirer Staff Photographer) to give the Phils a 7-0 lead on the way to a 12-4 victory.

Fan and journalists alike (including me) have written off this team numerous times this season, but they keep fighting back, proving they are in the race for good. With three games against the Marlins this weekend, a sweep for either team should decide it. That is not likely to happen.

Next week, there are three more games with the Braves. Could the Phillies actually make a run at the division? It is there for the taking.

What do you think?


At 10:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

These past four games, dating back to Sunday's 11-1 rout of Florida, have been spectacular.

They're hitting for extra bases, they're getting on base at a ridiculous clip, they battled back Tuesday night after Gavin Floyd gave up the four runs, and it all starts at the top with Jimmy Rollins and trickles down.

One of the biggest failures with the offense prior to September was that the fastest player on the team - Rollins - was near the bottom on his team in doubles. Right now, he's sitting on nine already in September after hitting two more last night.

It was clear this race would come down to the wire about a month ago. It was also clear the WC lead would change hands a number of times, and it has. There's been no sense getting too up or too down (though the Houston series was pretty low).

Regardless of tonight's result, this series has been an awesome success, and the Phillies derserve some respect for that. They've been mopping the floor with the 13-time division champs.

Just one look at last night's hero - Martinez - tells the story.

At 11:40 AM, Blogger Tom Goodman said...

Take a look at the next post, McNabb's press conference, and therein lies the Phillies' problem. Unlike the Eagles, who stumbled badly in their opener, the Phillies have been playing exciting, winning baseball as Jason and numerous others have pointed out. Still, the Phillies can't get any respect in their own home town let alone anywhere near the attention to detail they deserve. And as the local blogosphere has made amply clear, there are many details adding up to the recent surge by the Phils.

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