The typical person would be unable to count past 5 on one hand. Have no fear, Antonio Alfonseca is here. Our plump setup man is ready to break out Finger #6. This afternoon Cole Hamels and company take the field at the Cit in an attempt to complete their first sweep of the season, extending the winning streak to 6 games. So, get ready for the ungodly looking extra digit to be waved in the air after the Phils are victorious. Hell, Alfonseca has enough fingers and toes to count up to 24...now that's a winning streak!
From commenter Jacobin- "Coming up with something for six shouldn't be that hard, I mean there are plenty of things containing or relating to the number six. Six is Bert's favorite number (from Sesame Street). According to Genesis, God created man on the sixth day. James Bond is part of MI6. A coffin is traditionally buried six feet under the ground. There are six dots in a braille cell. Six degrees of separation...or six degrees of Philadelphian Kevin Bacon. There are six Australian states (for our Aussie Phillies fan). The Latin prefix for six is SEX!!! But perhaps the two most important sixes to Phillies fans would be a SIX PACK (as in beers to consume in the parking lot of CBP) and our number SIX- Ryan Howard."
Thanks for the number six references, as I was going to stick with the lame gimmick razor joke, because the Fusion actually does have a 6th blade. Anyway, I don't care that the Phils are playing lesser competition during this current 5 game ride, wins are wins, and they need plenty of them. Lets take a look at 6 positives- Utley now has 13 doubles and 5 hits last night, Rollins has 8 homeruns, Rowand is batting .365 and Burrell .344, Lieber has only given up 2 runs in 2 starts, and the bullpen is improving.
Another positive, our #6 is starting to stay on the ball when he swings and that means hits and most importantly homeruns will follow. I've seen a different Ryan Howard since returning from the 3-day break. He's made some nice defensive plays and his approach at the plate seems more disciplined. When this offense has Utley and Howard clicking in the middle with the others doing their jobs...yikes!
The Phightins' record stands at 9-11, meaning a winning April is still possible. I'm not crazy enough to think it will actually happen, but it sure would be sweet. A week ago I was worried about being 10 games out of the NL East lead by mid-May, but things are turning around. Fact remains that the Phils dug themselves into a big hole early and now have to keep winning by playing fundamentally sound baseball in order to get out.
Speaking of getting out of a hole...the Phils need to bury their competition in one. Through the first couple weeks of the season, the Phils had one foot in the grave, but now have done a Lazarus act, so our attention is on putting the opponent six feet deep...and Cole Hamels is the henchman sent to do the execution today.
Matt Smith is the Ace of Walks. Every time he takes the mound his stats worsen, now standing at 9 games, 4 IP, 11 walks, 3.75 WHIP, and 11.25 ERA...Oh Canada! That's right, he should be immediately optioned to Ottawa to work out his control problem, because right now he makes me sick. His erratic-ness is not limited to the strike zone, as he botched an easy double play by almost throwing the ball into centerfield...thankfully J-Roll was able to at least get the out at 2nd. In a more positive walking fashion, Adam LaRoche came through with a walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the 16th inning to help the Pirates win.