So the Phils split the double header today with the Marlins, gaining ground on the Braves (thank you pirates!) and losing ground on the Giants.

Some observations:

  • I don't like how Ryan Howard admires all of his home runs.  I really don't like when he thinks he hit one, admires it, and then has to hustle to second so he doesn't get thrown out on a double hit off the center field wall.  Its bad showman ship.  You already are one of the top paid major leaguers.  No need to puff out your chest everytime you do what you are paid to do.
  • Vance Worley looked nervous early but got it together in time to salvage a decent start.  Yes, he gave up 2 earned in 5 innings, but I'd take that over Kendrick any day.  Besides the home run and first inning RBI base hit, he didn't pitch badly and struck out 5.  Maybe he'll be good enough to crack the rotation next season. 
  • Mike Stanton.  Oh shit.  This guy is already good and he's 20 years old.  Already in a division with phenoms Stephen Strasburg and Jason Heyward, Stanton looks to be the next big time sluggers that the majors is gonna see.  He's on track to hit 24 home runs in only about 100 games.  That's about a 36/37 home run pace for a kid who's not old enough to drink and is still SEVEN years away from his peak power potential.  We could be looking at a guy who is going to be a lock for 40 homers a year for the next 10 years.
  • Mike Zagurski.  His stuff is there.  He just needs to learn how to pitch.  Despite looking like a fat kid who just ate a whole cake in the clubhouse, Zagurski has good movement on a low 90s fastball and may yet turn into the back of the bullpen arm the Phils hoped he'd be.
  • Phils finally scored some runs.  Everyone keeps desperately awaiting this team to explode and you hope that every outburst is the beginning of such an event.
  • Brad Lidge.  At the trading deadline on 7/31, Brad had an ERA of 5.57.  He has pitched so well since then that his ERA is down more than 2 full runs to 3.47.  Even more interesting, is tha this WHIP is down to 1.21, LOWER than it was in 2008 when he was perfect in all of his save chances.
  • The Giants are probably not a factor in the wild card.  I say this because the Padres have finally done what everyone thought they'd do this year: fall apart.  If they lose tonight, they are tied with the Giants and they will be chasing up for the WC (which we lead by 1.5 games right now).
  • Today began a crazy last month of games.  After tonight, there are 23 games left and ALL of them are against the division.  You have to love it.  No matter if the Phils or Braves win the East, they will have to earn it.  I am obviously rooting for what would be a 4th straigh division title.
  • Lastly, Roy Oswalt won his 11th game of the season tonight.  That means that in 7 starts with the Phillies, he has 1 less win than in 20 starts with the Astros.

Congrats to my buddy Brett for locking it up!