April is almost over…
And the Phils have an outside chance of being in first place before the month is over. The present third place Phillies have gotten off to a good start this month as they have won 15 games while losing 12, trailing the Florida Marlins, who lead the National League East, and have also won 15 games, by .5 games, and trails the second place New York Mets by .004 percentage points as the New Yorkers have won 14 games.
I’m sure everyone in Phillies land were all hoping that the team would start off the season a lot better than they have during the last few years, but I’m sure that no one would have expected them to win this many games as May rolls around with Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino both being out for a while, Ryan Howard slumping badly, Pedro Feliz, Carlos Ruiz and Geoff Jenkins all hitting below their career averages and Brett Myers’ arm not throwing heat. But we can thanks our lucky stars that while all this was happening that Chase Utley, Pat Burrell, Jayson Werth and Chris Coste all got hot, while the bullpen is second best in the league right now with a combine ERA of 2.77, and Adam Eaton, although he hasn’t won a game yet, has kept the team in games, sometimes in spite of himself.
It’s a good thing that the bullpen is so good right now, since the starters combine ERA, going into today’s game, is 10th best in the league, at 4.29. Hopefully, the starters will get better as the year continue, since they have mainly avoided a repeat of the opening day fiasco, as the pitching staff overall has only given up more than six runs only three times since that game.
The Phillies’ starter for tonight’s game, Jamie Moyer (1-1, 4.05), is coming off of a no-decision against the Milwaukee Brewers on April 24, as he went six innings plus two batters, giving up only one earned run on eight hits, in the Phils 3-1 victory over the Brew Crew. His previous start was a lost to the Mets on April 19 as he went six full innings, giving up two earned runs on seven hits, in the Phils’ 4-2 lost to New York. His opponent, Chris Young (1-2, 3.77), is coming off a lost to the San Francisco Giants, where he pitched seven innings, giving up one earned run on two hits, while losing 1-0. He is trying to snap his own personal two game losing streak.
Correction. The Phils are now in second place as the Pirates have just finished destroying the Mets at Shea Stadium, 13-1, dropping New York to third place at 14-12. If the Phils can defeat the Padres and Florida loses to the Dodgers, the Phils will end April in first. Keep your fingers cross people, especially as the Phils tend to do better in May.