The world is just a little bit better place when you wake up on a Friday morning and the Philadelphia Phillies are atop the New York Mets in the standings. Because it's Friday, obviously, but also because even in our darkest hours, being worse than the Mets is still really, really depressing. But the Phillies haven't been depressing at all as of late! In fact, they won their fourth straight game last night and now sit a remarkable four games back in the NL East. The NL East is not good. Not one bit. But winning the division seems absolutely feasible this fine morning. The Fightins won their fourth straight on Thursday night thanks in large part to Ryan Howard's continued penchant for home cooking in St. Louis. The Big Piece simply loves playing in his home town and bashes balls like that guy we once knew who hit 58 home runs in a season. [mlbvideo id="33866675" width="640" height="360" /] Howard was 2-4 with a homer and 3 RBI in the Phils 4-1 win over the Cardinals. This wasn't a one night fluke, either. Howard's swing has been looking nice as of late. And Phillies beat writer Jim Salisbury gets to write some happy words for a change:
Howard drove in six runs in the three wins at Atlanta. Playing in his hometown, he had three more RBIs on Thursday night and now has 50 on the season. He singled in a run in the fourth inning and smacked a two-run home run, his third in four games, in the sixth. In short, Howard is carrying this club right now. We’ve seen it before, but not in some time. Howard is healthy and his swing looks crisp. He’s swatting pitches where they are pitched, using the whole field and hitting balls hard.
And David Buchanon put in the best work of his career. 7.2 IP, 4 hits, 1 ER. If he can become a reliable arm in the rotation and Cliff Lee returns in normal Phifer form, who knows... The Phillies don't stink at the moment and are actually playing some entertaining ball. It's the weekend. Enjoy it while it lasts.