Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Phils split double header, 0.5 GB

The Phillies' up and down season continues, but after splitting yesterday's double header against the Marlins, they find themselves just a half game behind the Braves.

After a 1-0 victory on Friday, the Phils wrapped up yet another series behind Roy Halladay on Saturday in a 5-4 victory. Halladay allowed a career high four home runs in the game.

Then, the bats went quiet again; scoring a total of three runs over the next two games, both losses. Last night, the Phillies rallied against the Marlins and Anibal Sanchez by staying patient and hitting line drives. The 7-4 victory puts the Phillies just behind the Braves and leaves them a game and a half in front of the Giants in the wild card race.

The Phillies have been winning lately, but they still don't look quite right. With the exception of Placido Polanco and Carlos Ruiz, the offense is still struggling and every other player in the lineup could be considered as having a down year. Ryan Howard has hit a few home runs here in September, but thus far is not having nearly the month he typically produces this time of year.

Getting hot at the right time is the key to postseason success though. If they can stay afloat down the stretch and beat the Braves, they'll make the postseason for a fourth consecutive season and then it's anyone's game. Things are coming down to the wire and the significance of each game increases every time the calendar turns a page.

Joe Blanton looks to bounce back from him rough outing against Colorado tonight against Chris Volstad. Volstad beat the Nationals in his last start, and was involved in that benches clearing brawl with Nyjer Morgan.

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