The Phillies did themselves a huge favor with a weekend sweep of the Nats. The competition stiffens today, but is by no means overwhelming, a word best used to describe the entire month of June.
The Washington series might have been ugly, but it served a very important purpose, padding the win column and providing the nice, easy atmosphere for Jimmy Rollins, Brad Lidge and other slumping players to regain traction. Now, as the road trip leads to Cincinnati, they must find a way to keep it going. They have a good shot to do it. The Reds are a promising team, but the kind of opponent the Phils can beat playing the brand of baseball they’ve played on the road, where their record can no longer be ignored. Simply put, they’re better away from Philadelphia. Much better. Anyone can see that, without looking at the records. Whether it’s the distractions of home or some other factor, their heads aren’t it in Philly, and it shows.
So this week represents a decent opportunity to earn some wins, even with a tough task ahead in the Bronx. After that, they’re home against Florida and Washington, more opportunities to win, before a grueling 10-game road trip to start June. Then the interleague schedule hits, and we all know how the Phillies perform against the Junior Circuit.