Thursday, May 5, 2011

Phillies remain best in NL after sweep of Nationals

The demise of the Phillies offense has been greatly exaggerated. On Thursday, the Phillies finished off a sweep of the Nationals by beating them 7-3. While the Phils continue to get great starting pitching nearly every time out, the offense has awoken after a slow stretch, averaging 5.6 runs per game in their last 7. That's a big improvement over the 2.7 runs they averaged in the 11 games prior to that.

Raul Ibanez, of all people, has led the offensive resurgence, picking up 8 hits against the Nationals in 3 games. Raul, who was hitting an abysmal .154 before playing Washington, saw his average rise 60 points to .214 since Tuesday. He was quite the run producer in the series, hitting 3 doubles, 2 homers and picking up 5 RBI. Ibanez has been a streaky hitter throughout his career so hopefully this is the first step on the way to respectability after a miserable start.

While they looked great in sweeping the Nationals out of town, the Phillies next 9 games will tell us more about them. With 6 against the Braves and 3 against the Marlins over the next week, the Phils will be facing the two teams directly below them in the standings. It will be a nice early test and a good chance for them to create a little breathing room in the NL East.

No comments: