With a win this evening in Florida, the Phillies can move to 42 games above .500 for the first time in franchise history. They just swept the Reds in a four game series in Cincinnati. Cole Hamels, Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, and Vance Worley have looked fantastic. Hunter Pence has been a revelation. Shane Victorino is putting up MVP numbers. Ryan Howard is looking at the calendar and seeing it read "September."
So there aren't exactly a lot of pressing questions facing this team as they cruise into the postseason. But there is Roy Oswalt.
A question raised on DNL on Thursday was one without a clear-cut answer. If the playoffs started today, would you start Roy Oswalt or Vance Worley as your fourth starter? Lil Roy obviously has the pedigree and the playoff experience, but the Phillies have also won a remarkable 13-straight games in which Worley has started.
It's an interesting water cooler discussion, but the real question isn't who you would start today, it's who you would start come October. That's why the next month is important for Oswalt and the Phillies.
It was just a few short weekends ago down in Washington, DC that Roy Oswalt pitched a beauty of a game against the Nationals, but in the only game of the hurricane-shortened series against the Marlins at CBP a week ago he did not look nearly as sharp.
Phillies beat writer David Hale takes a deeper look at Oswalt's situation and asks "will the real Roy Oswalt please stand up."
Lil Roy's next month or so will clearly be one of the more interesting story lines to watch for as this version of the Phillies try to bring that second parade down Broad Street.
Oswalt will take on left-hander Brad Hand this evening down in Florida.
Tonight's lineup: Victorino, Polanco, Utley, Howard, Pence, Mayberry, Ruiz, Valdez, and Oswalt.
Enjoy your long weekend, people, and thanks for reading The700Level.com. Continued success.