An Encouraging Thought
This stat is from an article by Todd Zolecki: After July 31st, the Phillies played .600 ball even with a sub-standard Halladay, an injured Chooch, and trading away Victorino and Pence. This tells us a few things. First, Victorino and Pence were not that good last year. Also, during that time Cliff Lee turned things around and had a 2.16 ERA during that span. Kyle Kendrick’s ERA from when he stepped into the rotation in early August to the end of the year was 2.48. Another factor was the bullpen not being horrible as they were for the first half of the year. I don’t have any stats for you with that one, but I do know they improved.
So, .600 ball over 162 games equals 97 wins, which would be an excellent year. If Doc can be more like Doc (not exactly like Doc, because I don’t think we’ll see that dominating guy anymore on a consistent basis), if Howard can bounce back to hitting 35-40 HRs, if Utley can hit .275+, 15-20 HRs and play in at least 145 games and Chooch can play well without Adderall, then we are in store for a very good year. The .600 clip was without a good bit of that. So there is reason to believe the Phillies still have another year left in them to make a run at it.