Last night was a beautiful 11-4 victory. In my opinion it was the first complete all-around game of the season. Jamie Moyer pitched like we expect him to, the offense contributed a sufficient amount of runs, defense and base running were solid, and the bullpen did their job. Damn, it sure is nice to watch a team perform like they're designed to.
For the most part, the offense has been clicking this season. J-Roll and Vic are off to sluggish starts, but the rest are performing at (Werth) or above (Howard, Utley, Feliz, Ibanez) expectations. It's the pitching staff that has the Phils deadlocked at .500-land (6-6 record), but Hamels (11.17), Blanton (9.00), Durbin (8.44), Madson (6.00), and Lidge (9.45) are not as bad as they've pitched so far, so that area of concern should improve.
If you take the time to look up at the righthand sidebar you'll see "The Howard" tracker void of Ryan Howard or any other Phillie. The reason for that, the Phils as a team have struckout a MLB low 63 times, and committed a MLB low 3 errors. Howard is still striking out a ton (15 k's in 12 games), but he's only hit 2 homeruns and has performed unexpectedly well in the field thus far.
Don't look now, but the Pirates have the second best pitching staff in the Majors in terms of earned run average at 3.00. They also have a winning record at 8-6. Their past two wins have come against the early season powerhouse Florida Marlins. Do I expect this success to last all season? Uh, no. But if it does, I owe my buddy a case of beer of his choice (if they have a winning record come season's end).