Phils beat gNats 8-5, reclaim 1st place.
Now for the real story, the Florida Marlins are close to obtaining Manny Ramirez from the BoSox. Manny the Marlin? That scares me. The Marlins already have a formidable offense, and putting Manny (.299 avg, 20 hr, .926 OPS) in the middle of that lineup only makes it stronger while also giving the rest of the team a mental/confidence boost because management isn't sellers at the deadline for a change. The Fish are currently in 3rd place in the jumbled NL East, but that 3rd place is only 1.5 games back of the Phils and 1 game back of the 2nd place Mets (who they just won a series against without Manny). The Marlins would only have to part with outfielder Jeremy Hermida (.257 avg, 15 hr, .772 OPS) and two other nobodies. Florida probably wouldn't stop wheelin'-n-dealin' there either, as they're rumored to be looking for a lefty reliever and a catcher. They've recently just got starters Josh Johnson and Anibal Sanchez back, and have rookie pitcher Chris Volstad KO'ing batters too, so this team is rather frightening.
What about the rest of the NL East? First off, let's just write off the Nationals and Braves, because the Nationals are horrible and the Braves have openly become sellers. The Mets on the otherhand are looking for a starting pitcher and an outfielder, and if this Manny the Marlin scenario pans out count on Omar Minaya making some moves here this afternoon before the Trade Deadline. Phillies? Pat Gillick already made his "big splash" in acquiring the lackluster Joe Blanton, so it's doubtful anything fruitful comes out of today for the Phils, unless of course you consider the Tour de Philly Part Deux of Arthur Rhodes something worthwhile.
*Former lefty reliever of the Phils Matt Smith is rehabbing in Single A and has now made 11 appearances pitching 12.2 innings while walking 5 batters and striking out 14 for a 2.84 era. His control while with the Phils was erratic, so it's encouraging to see him not walking a batter an inning, albeit in the low minors.
*Former 1st round pick Kyle Drabek is also mending in the low minors and pitched for the first time in 2008 yesterday, going 3 innings while only allowing 1 hit.
*Jamie Moyer picked up career win 240 last night.
*Shane Victorino has 6 homeruns over the last 13 games.
*Carlos Ruiz is 8-24 (.333) over his last 7 starts.