It took a trip to Florida for the Phillies feel at home again.
It wasn't a nail-biting comeback, but the first win of the season in which they led from start to finish was every bit as satisfying. There was nothing dramatic about the manner in which the Phillies' offense dinked and dunked for their runs today. Florida's below-average defense was also exposed, including a very bad game by left-fielder Jeremy Hermida. It's always a treat to see the opposition beaten so badly that a position player is brought into the game to pitch; outfielder Cody Ross pitched a scoreless ninth.
If you can get past the 13 runs, the big story was Jamie Moyer improving to 12-1 lifetime against Florida and pulling to one win away from 250 for his career. Moyer pitched his kind of game and helped his own cause by reaching base three times, scoring once. Improved starting pitching underscored the winning this series. Brett Myers could have been better, but he battled Friday. Chan Ho Park kept them in the game last night, and as we know, that's all it takes with this offense.
After a miserable end to the Milwaukee series and a poor homestand overall, this little getaway to Florida appeared to be well-timed break from the distractions, and for the first time, it felt like 2008. Somewhere along the way, the Phillies became an excellent road team, too. Now they need to make these wins translate to Citizens Bank Park.
But I think we discovered something about the Marlins, too. Until they fix the severe problems in their bullpen and improve their fielding, they aren't ready to be kings of the hill in the NL East.