Signs that its September and the Phils are crusing along:
- Kyle Kendrick allows 4 baserunners in the first inning...and only 7 all game. Yes, KK got his 10th win of the season. Surprisingly, that doesn't even tie his career high.
- Phils methodical offense rolls along. 5 runs were enough on this night, but even more important, they created chances. 3 of the 5 runs were via the longball, but they Phils banged out 12 hits and drew 4 walks while only striking out 3 times on the night.
- The bullpen is going strong. Holds from Durbin and Madson followed by a clean, 8 pitch save from Lidge. Looks like the elbow is ok.
- The team they have crushed 14-3 over the last 2 games is the same team that just took 2 of 3 from the Braves at home, a place they hadn't lost a series since May so its not like they're playing a team that is going through the motions.
- The Phils knocked around a hard throwing righthander. Jordan Zimmerman looks like he's going to be a hell of a pitcher once he's fully recoverd from Tommy John. However, the Phils had his number on this night.
- Ryan Howard has hit 30 home runs for the 5th straight year. If he hadn't missed close to a month with an ankle injury, we're probably looking at his 5th straight season of 40 homers. His 30th homer was also his 252nd of his career. This ties him for 193rd all time with the immortal (and juiced up) Bret Boone. Why is this significant? Well, Howard has averaged 47 home runs per 162 games played a season for his career. Lets not forget, his 22 his rookie year was on pace for 40 over a full season. His 162 game pace this year? 49. He's on pace for about 33/34 homers this year. Lets give him 33 and 255 for his career. At his current pace, he'd average 141 homers over the next 3 seasons. That gives him 396 after age 33, or good enough for 51st all time with a tie of Joe Carter. He looks poised to become only the second Phillie to hit 500 homers if he can manage another 104 homers his final few seasons. Granted, these are all extrapolations at this point, but if he keeps himself in shape, I like his chances.
I also like the Phils chance for a sweep when Joe Blanton takes on some guy named Yunesky Maya. Maya is making his 3rd career start and his given up 8 earned runs in 11 career innings between 2 starts.
Yes, this is how bad it has become for the Mess Mets: