How Do the Phillies Stay Hungry?

Posted: August 13, 2011 in Uncategorized
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At this point in the season the city of Philadelphia knows it, all the teams in the league know it, the media knows it and so does the rest of the country, the Phillies are a very good baseball team. At a record of 77-41 they are 36 games over .500 and 7.5 games ahead of the Atlanta Braves in the NL East. They are coming off a grueling ten game west coast road trip with a 9-1 record. Few teams have the luxury of stepping out onto the field and knowing that they outmatch their opponent in almost every aspect of the game. The way this team is playing, a 100 win season is certainly not out of the question.

But, is 100 wins at the end of this season good for this team or not? Last season the Phillies finished with a record of 97-65 and six games ahead of the Atlanta Braves in the division. In other words, they made it in comfortably into the playoffs. However, once they were in, something happened. A switch seemed to flip and all of a sudden, the Phils couldn’t hit. Of the players with at least 25 at bats, only one of them (Ryan Howard) finished with an average of over .300 (.333). Every other player who was at the plate that many times finished with an average of under .230. Examples? Raul Ibañez .226, Shane Victorino .216, Chase Utley .212, Placido Polanco .207, Jimmy Rollins .206, Jayson Werth .200 and Carlos Ruiz (Señor Octubre) .192. They left men on base and didn’t run when they had the opportunity to. The team made its exit in the NLCS, where they were clearly outmatched and outhungered by the San Francisco Giants who went on to win the World Series.

So, how do the Phillies stay hungry? Well, they certainly should attempt to refer to history and committ to not letting it happen again. Last night, the Braves made up a full game on the Phillies with a win against the Cubs and a Phillies loss against the lowly Nationals. So maybe the Braves make a run at the Phillies here at the end of the season, forcing them to rev up the engine before the season ends. The expectations are high. With this lineup and this rotation, there is no reason the Phillies shouldn’t make it to and win the World Series. Whatever motivation is needed to stay hungry and bring another parade to the city of Philadelphia, they need to find quick. Otherwise we’ll be looking at yet another immensely talented Phillies team who failed to live up to their potential.

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