Monday, April 23

Better Late than Never: a Phillies Preview

Current season series record: 1-1 (last series: 1-1 ... duh.)

Probable starters for the series can be found here.

Well, so much for not being last in the NL. Bombing the last two in Florida will do that, and moreso when the team looks like it broke out the early-season style beatdowns. Still, the Phils aren't the Marlins (and does that sentence look weird to type); they haven't demonstrated a consistent ability to be ...well, good. Granted, it's not like the Marlins are a bunch of world-beaters, but the Phils have yet to get it going - hopefully that'll hold off for a few days!

There's not a ton here that's different from what it was last week; Charlie Manuel is still insane, Brett Myers is still not starting, Cole Hamels isn't injured (yet?). The Phils do throw a couple of lefties in the series: Moyer on Tuesday and Hamels on Thursday. In between is the slated start of Shawn Hill (more on that in a minute) and Jon Lieber.

Hill's start is only slated; there's no guarantee yet he'll be able to make it, thanks to a bad baserunning call this weekend. That in turn resulted in a strained forearm to his non-pitching arm (you can breathe again); this is a fantastic summary of what happened. If he goes, then the Nats have a great shot of winning ...well, one. I'm not sure they don't get swept here. It doesn't hurt that he goes against new rotation addition Jon Lieber.

So ...yeah. Sweep? Maybe. I don't quite think it's going to be that bad, but I think it could get ugly quickly. To say I was confident in the Nats' chances at this point would be pretty direct folly. I don't have much reason for that beyond reading about the ugly performances this weekend - the less said about them, the better - but I'm not sold they'll immediately rebound, either. Let's hope I'm wrong.