The Phillies play over the last four games was far from perfect. We saw the bullpen falter and the bats fail to really light it up, but as Jayson Werth says below, the hitting was certainly timely, and the outcome of the final four games before the All-Star break ended with four more notches in the win column.
Charlie and the boys seem pretty juiced up about the four game sweep heading into a nice little break for the majority of the players. They're not happy to be trailing the Braves and Mets in the division, but the sweep of the Reds appears to have given them a confidence boost to the point where they feel poised to get hot in the second half.
The team is feeling pretty good, but how about the fan base? It was less than a week ago when these same guys were talking about a lack of "swagger" after tough defeats. Three straight walkoff victories at home should certainly add a little hop to their step, but will it solve some of the bigger, long term issues? The starting pitching, for the most part, has been pretty good as of late, but I'm pretty sure the percentage of people who are confident in the Phillies bullpen, especially the closer, is a very low number. Swagger is not going to turn Danys Baez into a reliable reliever. Swagger is not going to turn back the clock on Brad Lidge to 2008. Swagger isn't going to turn Juan Castro into Chase Utley.
But, you know, swagger helps.
With the team off until Thursday, we'll have plenty of time to sit back and look at where this team stands. Did this four game sweep help you feel a little bit better about the Phillies chances in the second half? Or do you believe this team is too flawed to make a run? What, if anything, would you do if you were Ruben Amaro Jr. come trade deadline?
If nothing else, the last four games reminded us just how fun this team can be when they refuse to give up. I, for one, am glad there's plenty of baseball to be played this summer.