The first team to reach 40 wins this season was also the fastest to 50...go figure. The Phils moved to 20 games above .500 last night with their 50th victory of the season. Pretty damn impressive, especially considering the amount of injuries they've endured.
So this Cliff Lee guy is alright after all. 3 straight complete game shutouts is pretty good. I've seen better though. My boy Corey once went an entire Little League season without surrendering an earned run. Of course tons of runs were scored on errors, but that's neither here nor there. Lee is amazing and has put any early seasons concerns behind him. Far behind him.
Deserving Reader Comment:
The following is from yesterday's comment section in which loyal reader Preserve Jon laid out the following...
After Victorino's homerun, I made a conscious decision to relax and enjoy the rest of the season. At 50-30, the Phils are 20 games above .500 before the midway point in the season. They're on their way to 100 wins and possibly the best record in franchise history.
Sure, the bullpen is up and down and shows signs of leaking some oil with all the injuries. Sure, Oswalt has a balky back and will be out until August. And Blanton? Who knows, but he'll make a solid 4th or 5th starter on this team upon his return. Sure, they could use a power-hitting right-handed bat. But you know what? I'm not going to gloss over the minor problems this team has, but in 2011 every team has problems.
I've said it before, but over the past several years, this team has produced better in the second half. So I fully expect a team of the Phils' caliber, with the Phils' experience to play even better. The pitching is everything we hoped it would be in the offseason. Halladay, Lee and Hamels have the three best records in all of baseball and are right up there in ERA as well.
I may complain here and there, but I've decided to just sit back, watch some great baseball, and enjoy this great, great baseball team. Not to get too sentimental, but in the future I think a lot of us agree that we'll be telling our children about watching this team, much the same way my parents and grandparents told me about the teams of the 50s - early 80s*.
I'm so happy to be a Phillies fan right now. I wouldn't have it any other way.
*SirAlden later noted that should include mid 70's through early 80's.
Last night the always brilliant Sarge commented on Placido Polanco's leading of the NL All-Star vote for 3rd basemen. He said that Polly is the best because no other guys are really doing any better. Really? Might want to check out some quick reference stats there genius!
Placido Polanco/PHI - .289/.707
Chase Headley/SDP - .303/.808
Aramis Ramirez/CHC - .291/.790
Ryan Roberts/ARI - .254/.779
Chipper Jones/ATL - .252/.754
It is true that the usual suspects (David Wright and Ryan Zimmerman) have been dinged up and unable to produce All-Star quality seasons, but Polly isn't the best that the NL has to offer at 3rd. Then again it's all a popularity contest anyway for an exhibition game, so who really gives a shit.