Runs! The sight of the men in Red and White crossing home plate has been something of a rare one in recent days, but Phillies fans have been treated to it a whopping 11 times over the course of the last two games. OK, so maybe that's not really that extraordinary--that's just 5.5 a game, when the Phils scored over five a game on average for all last season. But considering that 11 is also the sum total of runs the Phils had scored in the six games prior to that combined--and that we'd gone about half a month without ONCE scoring more than three in a game--we'll take it, and we hope to see the trend continue tonight against the Padres.
Of course, the mild uptick in offensive production hardly means that the team's woes are over. Despite the five runs scored in last night's game, the Phils still lost 6-5 in extras, with the NLFCs stranding a whopping 19 men on base over ten innings--including two in the bottom of the tenth, when Jayson Werth went down swinging with Chase Utley and Ryan Howard perched on first and third for the game's final out. But with some of the team's long-dormant big bats finally starting to wake up--most notably, Ryan Howard, who's cashed in five runs the last two games--you gotta think/hope/pray that this is just the beginning.
Lost amidst the whining about the team's recent lack of run production has been the fact that several of the Phils' starting pitchers have put together some nice stretches of late. Last month, Cole Hamels was every bit the #2 starter the team needs, going 4-1 with a 2.45 ERA for the month of May, never giving up more than three earned in a start. After an abortive performance in Atlanta last Tuesday where he gave up a three-run homer to Troy Glaus before getting his start rain-delayed, Cole gets his first full start of the month tonight in the fourth game of Philly's series against San Diego.
7:05 first pitch from CBP. With a national audience watching on ESPN tonight, certainly wouldn't mind a nice old-fashioned drubbing of the Pads and starter Wade LeBlanc to take the series and hopefully make up some ground on the Braves. Give us something to get the 48-hour pre-gaming for Game Six going.