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In Amazement: Phillies 13-Games Over .500

Posted by Pat Gallen, Mon, August 09, 2010 11:20 AM | Comments: 108
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Excuse me if I’m a bit stunned by this seemingly underwhelming stat, but the Phillies are at a season-best 13-games over the .500 mark. It’s a plateau some believed would not come this year with the way things had been progressing.

Consider this: They are two games behind the Atlanta Braves in the NL East, but if you’ve been paying attention to the rest of the league, they are also two games behind the Texas Rangers who have been one of the most productive teams all season. Hell, a little over a month ago – July 7 to be exact – the Phillies sat six back in the division and were three behind the second place Mets. Now, the Mets are nine back in the NL East, SEVEN games behind the Phillies. Amazing.

Obviously, everyone should be enthralled by the team at this point. They’ve overcome adversity at every stage of the season, only to position themselves for a playoff run. A month ago, few believed a rebirth like this was possible, but here we are – witnessing an epic revival of a team gasping for air, hooked to a ventilator a mere 30 days prior.

With the good news of being just two behind the Braves comes more good news. Shane Victorino is about to begin a rehab assignment and could be back by Friday. Chase Utley has stated he should be back by months-end and has actually added three or four pounds of muscle since hitting the DL. Ryan Howard has been walking with a bit of a limp and still has swelling, but he too believes he can be back quickly. The makeshift roster will soon turn into a full collection of the talent that made back-to-back World Series appearances. Add them to a red-hot Raul Ibanez and Carlos Ruiz, a .300-hitting Jayson Werth, and a pitching staff that has more than held it’s own – both starters and relievers, and you’ve got yourself a contender.

So, pardon me if I’m a little thrown off by their 62-49 record, which is just one game off the pace of a year ago and a game better than their record in the World Series winning season of 2008. Perhaps I shouldn’t be so caught off-guard by what has occurred. This is a team that has scratched and clawed for three-plus seasons, I guess we shouldn’t have expected anything differently this time around.

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About Pat Gallen

Pat Gallen has written 1667 articles on Phillies Nation.

Pat is Editor-in-Chief of Phillies Nation. He also covers the Phils for 97.5 FM in Philly.

 
 
  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    All we have to do from now til Sept 1….is tread water. Just stay 1-3 games back. Then….Utley and Howard will be back and the Phillies SHOULD be fully healthy….and poised for a Sept sprint to the finish line.

    (We could use a lefty out of the pen, too. Bastardo?? he’s coming up??)

     
  • Posts: 0 Wis

    How sweet tit is!

    I want every fool on here to take back what they said about Rauuul and Werth a mere 3-4 weeks ago.

    You fickles need to realize everyone in baseball goes through peeks and valleys. except maybee Dobbs.

     
  • Posts: 0 Wis

    YOU SUCK DOBBS

     
  • Posts: 0 Bart Shart

    I take back what I said about Raul. I admit that his hitting has kept us afloat. ANd I did think he was on a very sharp decline. NICE WORK RAUL !!!!

     
  • Posts: 0 Manny

    I know, right?! It’s amazing Pat.

    And some were calling for Werth to be traded, or Raul released… yikes.

     
  • Posts: 0 Wis

    all is so forgivin! 8)

     
  • Posts: 0 JAY-AKA-PHILLYBOY

    IT REALLY IS AMAZING WHAT THIS TEAM AS DONE WITHOUT THERE BIG GUNS.IF IT WHERE ANYBODY ELSE(2009 N.Y.METS)THEY WOULD HAVE FOLDED!!!KEEP IT GOING GUYS AND I CANT WAIT FOR THE STRETCH RUN WITH THIS TEAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

     
  • Posts: 0 Manny

    Wis: Dobbs too goes through peaks and valleys.. haha Just give him a few more at-bats! He’s definitely NOT a sub-.200 hitter.

     
  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    I’m not trying to be an a$$….but count me as one of the ones who WASN’T calling for Raul or Werth to be released or traded.

    Raul was one of the main reasons we made the postseason last year….and he very well might be THIS year as well.

    Jayson Werth is now hitting .301 !!!! I still think 25 HRs and 90 RBIs are within reach for him. If you combine that with a .280 – .300 avg….that’s a pretty good season!!

     
  • Posts: 0 Jeff of Nova

    I think when, Vic and Ryan come back that will be the end of Dobbs be honest with you, Sweeney is a better hitter, and Gload takes Dobbs lefty spot. Ben is there and Valdez when Utley is back and of course schneider, guessing Dominic will stay up through the regular season then be on stand by like Lou Marsen was. the year we won

     
  • Posts: 0 Wis

    manny is right. I don’t know why I dislike him so much. we all have em, I guess.

     
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  • Posts: 0 bfo_33

    Big credit has to go to Rube also. The 2010 injury bug is as bad as the Mets 2009 – the big difference is the Phils had more depth in starting pitching, and a far better bench (not great at pinch hitting, but Valdez, Gload, Ben Fran, Schneider & Sard., Ransom, have all filled in nicely. I’ll also go down as being someone who has supported Ibanez, but critical of Werth at times. Victorino coming back – not sure it makes the team any better. I’m pretty good with Werth in Center, Ib in left, Brown or Fransico in right. It’ll be great to get Howard and a rested bulked up Utley back by Sept.

    With the exception of a quick trip to CitiField, home until the last week of the month. Phils have one of the best home records in the majors. They should be able to keep it close, and may actually make up some ground before the west coast swing. Who’d thunk it?

     
  • Posts: 0 NickFromGermantown

    Isn’t it amazing? Our expectations are so high that this season feels like a failure so far even though it clearly is not. That horrific slump has tainted our view I feel. Quite frankly, the grit and resolve of this team has shown through. They could have collapsed, but did not.

    The 2010 Philadelphia Phillies are a remarkable story. Let’s hope they take what they’ve done as inspiration and make it that much more remarkable with a World Series win.

     
  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    I’ll tell you why I dislike Dobbs so much…

    Case in point:

    My 12-yr old son and I were at Spring Training this past March. We have this 2008 trophy photo that we’re trying to get all 25 WS roster guy’s signatures on.

    Dobbs is there, behind this fence and there’s maybe five of us asking him to sign. His response is something like, “Not now guys, I’m kinda busy” Ok….that’s fine. But he’s really arrogant about it as if to say, “Not now guys, get the eff out of my space.”

    Another time he’s leaving the complex, walking to his car. Same thing. Blows everybody off like he’s something really special. Gets into his fancy car and speeds off.

    Now I realize that players can’t sign all the time and that’s cool. In fact, it really pisses me off when fans expect too much out of some of these guys. I understand if players get burned out on all of that.

    But Dobbs is just a jerk about it. Walks aound like he’s hot sh*t all the time.

    The fact is, he SUCKS. Not that anybody should act arrogantly towards fans….but Dobbs doesn’t even have the goods to justify that kind of attitude.

    I’ll root for him as long as he’s wearing red pinstripes…but I can’t wait for him to be gone!!

     
  • Posts: 0 The Original Chuck P

    First… as soon as you count this team out, they prove you wrong.

    Second… the injuries may have saved our season. With all of the injuries, the other guys have found a new importance of playing with purpose and desperation. They realized the opportunity was there to solidify this “team” as one of the greatest of all time. I put team in quotation marks because, regardless how we might feel during some of their uber-slumps, Ibanez and Werth are important cogs in this machine. We all knew Ibanez was capable of putting up better numbers (he showed us that much) and many of us felt like it was a matter of time. Maybe some of us called for Werth to be traded to obtain a pitcher… the fact that we were able to keep him and still land a top tier pitcher made us all fist-pumping happy. He’s a great player.

    Third… the injuries are what made it imperative for us to get another starting pitcher without giving up Werth and because of that we’re better equipped to win another NL pennant. Gotta love this team…

    Does D-Bro stick once Vic gets back? I think that he will but it will be tough to see him sitting on the bench… I guess he’s given them enough at bats to feel good about where he’s at.

     
  • Posts: 0 psujoe

    Phils will have some tough decisions to make. If nobody else goes down and we assume Utley won’t be back untile after 9/1 they’ll have 2 guys on th eroster not eligible for the playoffs. I would guess one would be Dobbs and then they have to chose one of Herndon, Baez or Bastardo. I think they have to keep Sweeney and Brown up.

     
  • Posts: 0 Dave

    I love this team heading into September with a healthy lineup. My only concern (and it’s a big one) is Brad Lidge. I just don’t have any faith in this guy facing the Cardinals, Reds, Braves and especially the Yankees in a potential WS rematch. In fact, I don’t have faith in him facing The Sisters of the Poor in a softball game.

     
  • Posts: 0 JAY-AKA-PHILLYBOY

    HATE TO SAY IT,BUT I THINK THEY WILL SEND BROWN DOWN.I REALLY DONT WANT THEM 2 BUT WHO ELSE WOULD THEY SEND??

     
  • Posts: 0 psujoe

    I’d keep Brown up before Herndon. Herdon wouldn’t pitchint he playoffs unless the game is a lost cause. hate to lose him, but it’s about winning the WS.

     
  • Posts: 0 Wis

    chuck: thanks for sharing. The character of the phills squad is so remarkable it pains me to hear that Dobbs was like that. My brother in law met Charlie and some others at spring training this year and they were so happy to chat with him (he’s 21). I see most of them go out of their way for the youngsters (which they should in my OP) but to hear they did it for him was surprising.

    It is then with such poetic justice after hearing your story that I think about all the times I see Dobbs coming into the dugout and philly phans just ripping on him how much he sucks (lol)…I knew there was a reason I still did not care that they were being pretty harsh to one of our own.

    side note, I did actually feel sorry when I heard all the folks in sec102 on friday just relentlessly tormenting Jeff Francoeur…even after he gave a 10 yr old and obvious phillie fan, a foul ball. Reyes on the other hand can suck it!

     
  • Posts: 0 biz

    I’ve never bashed Raul because even when he was struggling he still gives you a quality at bat and takes pitches. Werth on the other hand is the worst hitter w/RISP in the NL. Solo HR’s and doubles with nobody on in a game you’re down by 3 runs don’t help. His RBI totals are pathetic for the 5 hitter on a team that is supposed to be an offensive force.

     
  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Charlie’s a class act. He’s always the last one out to the parking lot in Clearwater and he’ll ALWAYS stop and chat with the fans and sign stuff. He’s great!! And you can tell he genuinely enjoys it. We’ve been down there three years now and it’s become a tradition to wait for Charlie at least one of the days we’re there.

    ———

    Brown will be valuable as a pinch runner in the playoffs and you need that righty bat off the bench with Sweeney. I know Ben Fran has that role, too but I would imagine that Sweeney would be the better pinch hitter.

     
  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Original Chuck P….

    I agree with what you are saying about the injuries “saving the season.” It’s sort of a blessing in disguise in that these role players can step up and be part of a winning team, doing their part to keep it going.

    That’s why you have to feel so good for a guy like Mike Sweeney who comes here after playing on all those lousy teams and just wants to help out, do whatever he can to get the team some wins.

    Valdez has been sooo valuable as well. Great defense, can hit a little (nothing extravagent, but certainly better than Eric Bruntlett!), great attitude. Gload and Schneider, too, have been great additions.

     
  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Vic going down was sort of a blessing as well. It put Werth into a position where he really needed to step up. It also took away any possibility of his being traded which has to help his overall mental state.

     
  • Posts: 0 Dave

    Chuck….maybe Dobbs is disgusted with Phillies fans riding him all the time. It’s a snowball effect…the worse he plays, the more criticism he gets. Thus, the worse he plays…etc, etc, etc. I’m not defending him by any means. Signing autographs is part of the job when you’re famous. I’m just playing devils advocate here. Hopefully, your son isn’t soured by all the Phightins!

     
  • Posts: 0 Andrew from Waldorf

    When Werth leaves we can all thank him for his service. But its needed.

     
  • Posts: 0 Lefty

    I am very proud of this team from the top down. I have in the past and will continue to be critical when I think it is deserved. I have never bashed Raul or any of the players individually. My beef is with Cholly when he makes costly and terrible late game decisions, some of which may yet be our undoing. I realize that it’s easy to challenge managerial decisions and less easy to make them. But sometimes he goes against basic baseball 101 principles to show his players (particularly his starting pitchers) that he believes in them. Maybe- that’s why he took us to two straight series, or maybe it would have happened anyway. But one way or the other I am very proud of the way these depleted Phils keep phitin’ !

     
  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    My son isn’t “soured” at all. He’s pretty in tune with stuff like that. In fact, HE’S the one that came up with the phrase about Dobbs “not having the goods.”

    Not bad for a 12-yr old!!

    ——–

    in regards to Werth:

    The OTHER possibility is that we can thank him for his CONTINUED service when he’s patrolling the outfield for the Phillies next year. (Maybe I’m dreaming….maybe not.)

     
  • Posts: 0 The Original Chuck P

    I’m thrilled with the bench overall and the job that our reserves have done; Valdez has filled in admirably across the infield and Gload has been a decent pinch hitter. Schneider, when healthy, has also played a key role in several wins this season… all of those guys have stepped up which is what we have come to expect from our bench players, isn’t it?

     
  • Posts: 0 Dave

    Sounds like your son has a good head on his shoulders. Some kids have bad experiences with certain players and they generalize all players as being jerks. I think there’s still a few good ones around….Moyer, Sweeney, Halladay, etc. He’s right on with Dobbs not having the goods. Hopefully he won’t be re-signed after this year!

     
  • Posts: 0 The Original Chuck P

    Did anyone else hear Werth after the post game yesterday?

    They were asking him about the home run he hit (the one that seemed to carry forever… the one that left Carlos Beltran with his face against the wall and his tail between his legs) and Jayson sounded like he knew that this was where he wanted (and needed) to be… not just this year but every year. He said that this was the greatest place to play and that the fans were the best in baseball and that he loved Citizens Bank Park. It seemed like a candid moment with Jayson where he was really expressing how much he wanted to be here. There was a little sadness in his tone which tells me that he’s not quite sure that’s going to happen but there is not a doubt in my mind that he knows this is where he belongs.

     
  • Posts: 0 Andrew from Waldorf

    Werth is gone and another team will over pay him. The Phillies cannot AKA Rowand. Its the price of winning.

     
  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Jayson WANTS to be here, but if some other team like the Red Sox offers him a contract that he can’t refuse ……and that the Phillies can’t touch….then I wouldn’t blame him one bit for walking.

     
  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    If Ruben Amaro, Jr. even so much as suggests that he wants to re-sign Greg Dobbs I will organize a protest march right down Broad St to Pattison Ave to the ballpark and straight to his office!!!

     
  • Posts: 0 therookie300

    “Solo HR’s and doubles with nobody on in a game you’re down by 3 runs don’t help.”

    Please explain this comment, biz. A solo shot would then make the game a two run game and getting a double gets the Phils a runner on base. So how do those things not help?

     
  • Posts: 0 The Original Chuck P

    Werth is a notch above Rowand for sure… Rowand was a speedy defensive minded outfielder who ran into a lot of home runs here; he benefitted from this park more than any other player, I think. Werth is different because he has more legitimate tools than Rowand; he’s a solid outfielder with good range (and a cannon for an arm), he’s a doubles machine and he’s always been a threat to hit a home run anywhere from left to left center (or dead center when the wind is blowing). He’s balancing out this year and hitting more to the opposite field and I expect him to do more of that as he gets stronger and older. Bottom line… he’s better than Rowand and worthy to be paid like a top tier outfielder. Rowand was a second tier outfielder at best who had a really good season and got paid like a top tier guy.

     
  • Posts: 0 The Original Chuck P

    I don’t know if the Red Sox will be in the mix… Ellsbury, Cameron, Kalish, McDonald, Nava and Drew are all still going to be there next year. Not to mention, Carl Crawford will be the big name free agent this off season, not Jayson Werth.

    The downside… this is Jayson’s only real chance to make big time money; money has to be his motivation, somewhat. I trust that the Phillies will do everything that they can to keep him but I know that it’s very unlikely that we’ll have the check with the biggest number on the table.

     
  • Posts: 0 jeff

    I think when all is said and done, werth will be back. brown will be a starter after raul is gone. brown is going to be a nice player but not a jason werth player. werth and the phillies will come to an agreement. he wants to be here. he wont get what he was looking for to start the season but it will be a fair deal. then raul leaves after next season and brown takes over. imo……this team has done a great job keeping up with everyone. we should be able to take 2 of 3 from LA. Hopefully Doc pitches better against the Mets in the next series. Just keeping winning. We are now like the Yankees. Anything but a World Series is a bad season. Its becoming that with this team. Fun.

     
  • Posts: 0 psujoe

    The only way Werth stays is if Ibanez goes. Not so far fetched an idea now. A lot of teams will take a serious look at a one year contract if Ibanez keeps raking like this.

     
  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    I hope that the Phillies at least don’t embarrass themselves with an their offer to Jayson.

    3 years guaranteed isn’t gonna cut it. Some teams will offer 5. I think the Phillies have to AT LEAST offer 4 guaranteed with some kind of 5th year option for Jayson to even connsider it.

    Dollars?? I have no idea any more. The market seems like it has softened a bit. But with a good last 50 games, Werth could put himself into a nice position for a nice contract.

    But it’s not gonna be Jason Bay-type money like was originally discussed earlier in the year. That dude was overpaid BIG-TIME. The Mutts are so stupid!!

     
  • Posts: 0 psujoe

    4 and an option sounds perfect. I agree that Werth isn’t going to see close to 16 per year. Mutts were Nutts. If the Phils can trade Raul I think they be in the ball park at around 4/48. I don’t see them going any more than that.

     
  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    psujoe – respected poster and good friend. No one will take Ibanez’s contract in the offseason unless we pay 3/4 of it. Thats better than the 9/10 of it that we would have had to pay three weeks ago. But that doesn’t mean that he’s not useful because he has been good. May I suggest the time to trade him is “now”? and move Brown over. That would be great. Jeff – Werth will not be back next year. He’s history. And Brown cannot wait out 2011 until Ibanez splits.

    That surprises me about Dobbs. Now I hate him, too. There is a good chance that he is bitter about the way he has been treated this year, being released and getting booed, etc. And of course, as we all know, the only way to remedy this is to act like a smack to well meaning kids who’s parents pay your salary.

    Need relievers! Need relievers! Need relievers!

    The Dipsy

     
  • Posts: 0 psujoe

    Dispy,

    Probably true, but for any realistice shot at Werth Phils need to dump at least half of Rauls salary. Otherwise I just don’t think the payroll will be there.

     
  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    I REALLY wish we could move Vic. Look…he’s got a guaranteed salary, so teams know what they are dealing with for a few years out….they can plan. Teams like that when making trades.

    That way you re-sign Werth, put Brown in right and Ibby in left with Ben Fran again as your 4th guy.

    I’ve always said that Werth is MORE valuable to this team than Vic is. And nothing this year has caused me to change my mind. In fact, every time I see Vic POP OUT on the first pitch I feel more and more that way. He should be a table-setter and he’s not. For some reason he thinks he’s the next Babe Ruth…which he ain’t.

    I know that would upset a lot of the women and kids, I’m sorry, I’m just not a big Shane fan.

     
  • Posts: 0 psujoe

    Chuck, I’m good with the Vic option. He’ll make 7.5 next year. The Phillies run this year might impact the ability to move on the payroll. Going to be interesting.

     
  • Posts: 0 Bob in Bucks

    Good news! The Giants and Braves can both lose tonight!

     
  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    I know this might raise a few eyebrows….but I really think Raul is MORE valuable to this team right now than Shane is. And not just because Shane’s on the DL either. OVERALL….DL aside….Raul has had a better year and helped the Phillies win more games than Shane has.

    The Phillies got to the playoffs last year largely because of Raul’s contribution in the 1st half and very well may this year because of his contribution in the 2nd half.

    I’m not sure you can really say that about Shane. Yeah…he’s a good defensive CF….yada, yada, yada….and that’s not to be discounted.

    I just think HE can be replaced fairly easily and it should be considered…especially since it does seems like we are locked into Raul for next season (which may not totally be a bad thing)

     
  • Posts: 0 BostonKate

    Chuck-

    Your son sounds like a smart guy! When the Phillies were here in Boston, there was a group of about 6 of us hoping to meet some of the players. Majority of us were in our early 20s, with the exception of one small child. Almost EVERY SINGLE player stopped to chat, if only for a second, except for Dobbs and Vic (not surprising).

    I’m not one to expect players to go out of their way and make every fan happy but he was almost rude about the fact that people just wanted a quick signature.

     
  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Thanks for that B-Kate…

    Yeah, my son is pretty astute with a lot of stuff….and he knows his Phillies!! And , I’m not just saying that because he’s my son (well…maybe a little bit…).

    Bottom line is….Dobbs is a jerk. Vic can be that way too but I have noticed he’s signing more at the ballpark before games.

    And that’s all they need to do. Just sign a for a few people once in awhile and make some fans for life. Doesn’t have to be every day….that’s unrealistic. It’s really pretty simple. Nobody is asking any of these guys for the world.

    Like I said….I’ll root for anybody that’s wearing the Phils’ uniform…and that includes Greg Dobbs…….because that what we as fans do. Other than that I will be thankful not to have him on the Phillies team in the future. He’s a jackass and a lousy MLB player.

     
 
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