Final Month Is Here
Sorry to have been absent this week. Irene left us powerless for 63 hours, creating some water damage but nothing like others who have had their homes really flooded. Last blog’s headline was GOODNIGHT IRENE. Guess the hurricane gods got upset.
Can you believe the calendar says it is September 1?
The final month of the regular season for the Phillies means 16 more road games after Thursday afternoon and 13 home games. At one point, the Phillies only had 10 more home games this month but Irene and another rainout added 3 games.
Phillies have the best road record in the NL (40-24), winning 15 of their last 18. Of the 40 wins, nine have been shutouts and that’s incredible.
Ryan Howard is at his best this month. Over the last three seasons: 24 homers (matching May and July for his best month). His .305 average and 80 RBI are tops.
If his pattern continues, Raul is in for a big September. He’s hit one home run in April, seven in May, one in June, seven in July and one in August.
Let’s hope Cliff doesn’t continue his alternate months. 5-0, 0.21 ERA in June; 1-2, 4.91 in July; 5-0, 0.45 in August.
This season is the ninth time the Phillies have been in first place on September 1: 1915, 1950, 1964, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1993, 2009. Reaching the World Series: four times, 1915, 1950, 1993, 2009.
None of the previous eight teams had pitching staffs that could match the current one.
Different Road Trip
John Bowker, the newest Phillie, was getting ready for a season-ending road trip to Louisville. Instead, he got the news to head for Cincinnati and join the first-place Phillies.
Playing at home for the Indianapolis Indians on Tuesday night, he was preparing for the last home game on Wednesday night. Thursday was a travel day to Louisville and the end of the season on Monday.
Wonder what it feels like to be told you’re not going to Louisville but to the Phillies?
Down On The Farm
Lehigh Valley lost its fourth straight, 6-2, to Scranton/Wilkes Barre. With 4 games left, the IronPigs are 2 games out of first and 1 game behind in the wild card race . . . Reading lost, 6-5, in 13 innings at Akron to fall 4 out of first and 0.5 behind in the wild card race. Phillies have 5 more games, all on the road . . . Clearwater split a DH with Brevard County; Threshers are 1.5 out of first place in the second half with 4 games left . . . Lakewood was idle . . . Williamsport won its fourth in a row, 6-2, over Mahoning Valley to move within a game of first place; Crosscutters are tried for the wild card berth with 4 games remaining.