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Phillies fall out of first place for the first time since last May

Posted by Kieran Kelly On April - 28 - 2010

It’s crazy to think that a team from Philadelphia can hold onto first place in it’s division for almost a full year, but the Phillies came pretty close to that feat. After their 2nd straight loss to the Giants last night, the Phillies dropped out of first place for the first time since May 25, 2009.

Since it is only April, this is more a post noting the achievement, rather than a post saying “OMG! It’s all over! The Phillies are done!” Crazy as that sounds, there are some peeps out there that are people who think this slump could be the end of the Phillies in 2010.

While not in first place any more, the Phillies are still ahead of where they were last April at this point, and 2009 turned out to be a pretty good year, except for the ending.

It is crazy though how the season has flip-flopped in regards to the offense and pitching. The offense roared out of the gate, leading the league in almost every offensive category through the firs ten games, while the starting pitching struggled. Now, that’s been reversed. The starters have gotten their act together, besides Roy Halladay. Who told him he could lose a game? It’s the offense that is now struggling.

Granted, Jimmy Rollins going down may have contributed to this little slump, but that’s what it is. A slump. Teams go through them all the time.  We all know Ryan Howard isn’t going to go 60 at-bats between each home run for the rest of the season. He’s got to justify that $125 million somehow.

It all boils down to the fact that it is only April. The team team has only played 20 games. (That leaves 142 more for those counting.) It’s going to be hard to break out of their offensive slump going against Tim Lincecum & Johan Santana in two of the next four games, but it will happen. Hell, the way the Phillies have been going, they’ll score a ton of runs against those two and get shutout in the two games in between.

The bats will be back, and if they don’t come back soon, maybe Cholly can take a page from Union coach Peter Nowak and make the team run sprints after losing ugly. Now that’s a coaching tactic I like.

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