The Phillies are right where they were expected to be at this point of the season – on top of the National League with an inside track to the World Series. The only question right now is; can anyone derail this train that seems destined for a second title in four years?
A team 3.04 ERA, WHIP of 1.17 and a quality start count of 107 are all tops in the major leagues, with opposing team’s batting average of .241 the fourth best total in the majors. This pitching staff is pure dirt. The staff that many thought would control the National League is doing just that, as Halladay, Lee and Hamels are all pitching as you would expect a world series squad to do. But remember, this is how the squad (sans Lee) looked in 2010 before they were side swipped by the Giants
The offense is the Achilles heel of the Phillies. A team that ranks outside of the top ten in all major offensive categories will have to score runs in order for the pitching to do its job. There is not a .300 hitter on the team, Shane Victorino the closest with a .280 average. The offense that has been a major uplift of this squad over the last two years seems to be declining, as Ryan Howard sitting at 33 home runs on the season simply is under expectation.
The Phillies have World Champions written all over them, but that was said last year too. Remember when Halladay threw a playoff no-hitter but then the Phils got smoked in the NLCS? The Phillies are like the New England Patriots of the MLB. You can pick them early on in the season, but by the time that they get to the playoffs, they give you enough reason to doubt them. Should the Phillies win the World Series? Absolutely. Will they? Meh….