Plenty of Hope

Here we are. Memorial Day is out of the way as is the unofficial start of summer.

Always felt Memorial Day was a good yardstick for the status of the Phillies.  Just my view, not an official view.  And, nobody ever asked for my opinion including GMs John Quinn, Paul Owens, Bill Giles, Lee Thomas, Ed Wade, Pat Gillick or Ruben Amaro.  Their view is the view that counts.

Anyway, how do the 2012 Phillies stack up as Memorial Day has come and gone?

The strength of the team was supposed to be the starting pitching rotation.  Doc went 3-0 through the first 10 games of the season and hasn’t won since.  Now, today is a day for him to see the doctor about his ailing right shoulder.  A lot of people have their fingers crossed.

Cliff is winless since last September 26.  Cole, the No. 3 starter, has vaulted into the No. 1 left-handed starter in the league.  Vance is on the DL, Joe-B has been hot and cold and KK is coming off his first big league shutout after some shaky early starts.

The bullpen has been inconsistent which can also be said of the offense.  Yet, the offense is having a solid month.  It just seems as if the offense can’t produce enough runs.  Defensively, this team still excels. 

The Phillies have questions but so does every other team. 

Every team in the NL East has a winning record, unmatched in MLB.  So, for all their troubles, the Phillies are just four games out of first place.  Idea is to hang in there until the injured become healthy.

Major League Baseball has expanded the wild-card berth from one to two teams per league.  As it stacks up today, the two NL wild-cards would come from the NL East, meaning three teams from the division would be in the post season.

Yes, it has been a troubling season.  Yet, there is plenty of hope and a long way to go.

Down On the Farm
**Lehigh Valley lost its fifth in a row, 9-8, allowing six runs in the bottom of the ninth at Gwinnett.  RHS David Bush (4-3) had his 21 consecutive scoreless innings streak end when he was tagged with three runs (two earned) in the sixth inning.  RHR Michael Schwimer (2-1) gave up the six-run ninth on four hits and a walk.

**Reading was an 8-0 winner at Harrisburg with RHS David Buchanan (2-5) tossing a nine-inning shutout, his first in pro ball. Seven Phillies had two hits each, including C Sebastian Valle, a triple and his fifth home run.

**Clearwater was idle.

**Lakewood lost for the sixth time in their last seven games, 4-3, at West Virginia.  CF Kyrell Hudson, 2-4, 20th stolen base.

www.phillies.com/alumni
Check it out as there are three new features now on the alumni page and a vintage photo of Mike Schmidt’s emotional press conference.

The Curt Simmons story is a very interesting one.  He’s being honored in his hometown of Egypt, PA, this Saturday.  If you are in the area, stop by for the events that begin with a 10 a.m. parade down Main Street.

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