Monday, June 12, 2006
Road Trip Post-Mortem: The Phillies went 6-5 on their road trip, splitting a four game series with the Dodgers, sweeping their three with the D-backs and dropping three of four to the Nats. Despite their poor performance in the Nats series, I’d have to say that the road trip was a success: emerging better than .500 having to play eleven games in eleven days is pretty good.
The Phillies have an interesting road to haul in the coming weeks. Tuesday they kick off a three game set with the Mets, whom they are currently six and a half games behind. After that they don’t play another NL team until the week before the All-Star break. Yes, it is time for inter-league play! The Phillies get the D-Rays, Yankees at home, the Red Sox (again), then they go to Camden Yards to play the Orioles and they visit the Great White North to play the Blue Jays. It used to be that you hoped the Phillies would play the AL Central, but no longer: the White Sox and Tigers own the two best records in the AL. (They’d own the best in the NL too, but the Mets are a game better than the Sox.) Sure, the Yankees, Jays and Red Sox are pretty good teams, but the D-Rays and Orioles are sacrificial lambs. I think the Phillies will fare well in inter-league play this season.
In the mood for a little Schaudenfreude?: I noticed that the Braves are slip-sliding away from contention. Ten games out right now, and they’ve lost nine of eleven games in the month of June. Maybe their G.M. should change the title of his book to “Built To Decay”. There isn’t a whole lot of good news for the Braves either: it isn’t as if they’ve been unlucky: they are batting above the league averages in batting average with runners in scoring position (.269 vs. .266) and batting average with balls put into play (.306 vs. .298). And their FIP ERA is lower than their “real” ERA. This team has had opportunities and it has played to its level of talent. But they haven’t been successful.
Meanwhile the Oakland A’s are en fuego. They’ve won nine of their last eleven and their last three wins were a sweep of the vaunted New York Yankees. Peeking at just the right time.