Friday, June 01, 2007
The Phillies start a four-game series at home against the San Francisco Giants tonight, which runs to Monday afternoon. Tonight’s game marks the first of thirteen consecutive games for the Phillies, who then have to pack their bags on Monday night and journey north to New York to play the Mets in Queens for Tuesday. The Mets get the Phillies for a three-game set (June 5-7), before the Phillies journey westward to Kansas City to play a rematch of the 1980 World Series against the Royals (June 8-10). After that the Phillies go back home to play the White Sox in a three-game set on June 11-13.
After playing three games against the Tigers June 15-17, the Phillies go to beautiful Cleveland and get the Indians for three games on June 18-20.
Returning from Interleague play, the Phillies get to feast on some creampuffs called the St. Louis Cardinals and the Cincinnati Reds at the end of the month before starting a four-game series with the Mets on Friday, June 29, which is a double-header … I don’t think that the month of June is particularly vital to the Phillies season as long as they do not collapse and utterly fall out of contention. Part of the issue, to me, is that the Phillies play 12 games against the American League this month, which means that the Phillies aren’t playing teams they are fighting over a division with or a wildcard slot with. In a playoff race you want to face-off with teams are in competing with because then you control your own fate.
Looking at the Phillies schedule it strikes me that the Phillies caught a break not having to play the Minnesota Twins and Johan Santana, but their A.L. Central enemies are tough: the Indians are 33-19 and the Tigers are 30-23. Neither of these teams are going to be pushovers. The White Sox are a little under .500 but they are a tough team loaded with offensive firepower. Hopefully the Royals (19-35) are going to be three easy wins.
I like the fact that the Phillies get games against a pair of terrible teams, the Cincinnati Reds (21-34) and the St. Louis Cardinals (22-29). The Phillies have had real success against the N.L. Central this season (9-4), so any and every game against the Central – probably the weakest division in baseball these days – is a good thing.
This weekend’s match-up against the Giants will be interesting, and when I say that I refer to the traveling freak-show that Barry Bonds pursuit of Hank Aaron has become. Thankfully Bonds won’t get a chance to break the record against the Phillies. I cannot believe that he’ll hit ten home runs this weekend, and in any case, I am sure that Charlie Manuel would prefer to intentionally walk Bonds rather than having the Phillies name etched in history as his victims.
The Giants themselves don’t look terribly imposing either – they are a sub-.500 team that aren’t particularly good any phase of the game. A 3-1 series victory is a possibility.
It is a pity that Monday’s game doesn’t match Barry Zito with Jamie Moyer. Instead, the Phillies send Jon Lieber to duel with Zito. I’d have loved to see two soft-throwing, fly-ball oriented lefties going at it.
Have a nice weekend everyone. Next week, in honor of the MLB Draft on Thursday, I’ll be looking at some minor leaguers in the Phillies system and well as providing a draft preview / general notes.
This isnt' about a specific post, but general feedback. It's nice to see a Phillies "Phan" keeping things positive and not always focusing on the negative, like 75% of fans and 100% of the Phil media.
Great blog...you got me hooked!
BTW, it's tough being a Philly diehard living in NYC....LOL