Thursday, April 24, 2008

Burrell leads Phillies past Brewers

(AP Photo/Morry Gash)
Pat Burrell looks like he wants to cash in this off-season. Burrell's contract runs out after this year, and while many Phils fans couldn't wait to see him go, he is silencing all the critics and putting up huge numbers this season. With the score tied 1-1 in the 8th inning of today's game with the Brewers, Burrell added to his league-leading RBI total by hitting a 2-run double that gave the Phillies a 3-1 win. Through 23 games this season, Burrell is hitting .355 with 8 homers and 25 RBI's. If he keeps up this current pace, he will shatter all of his career high numbers. How many people think Burrell, who is making just over 14 million this season, is overpaid now?

Burrell's hot start masks the further struggles of Ryan Howard, who didn't start today's game but entered in the 8th inning as a pinch hitter and got two at-bats, striking out both times to lower his batting average to .176. Every day I worry more and more about Howard and his ability to recognize pitches. While he goes into a funk every season that he eventually works his way out of, it's worrisome that the slumps seem to be getting longer every season.

In today's game, the Phils also got a solid pitching performance from Jamie Moyer, who went 6 innings and, despite giving up 8 hits and walking 3 batters, allowed only one run. The bullpen was lights out once again, with Tom Gordon, J.C. Romero, Ryan Madson and Brad Lidge combining for 3 shutout innings. Lidge was the only one of the relievers to give up a hit.

The Phillies, who are now back above .500, go to Pittsburgh next to take on the Pirates in a three game series. With the way Pat Burrell and Chase Utley (3 for 4 today) have been swinging the bat lately, if the Phillies don't take 2 out of 3 it would be disappointing.

1 comment:

Paul said...

I've definitely been very surprised by Burrell this year. Maybe, he actually is money when something is on the line (the money).