With an offense providing only the bare essentials, readers have zeroed in on the main attraction: a scene-stealing pitching staff that has lived up to the hype. Here's what they said following Cole Hamels' masterwork.
Cole steps up: "Cole was great. He was squeezed by that walk in the 2nd and then gave up that double down the line. He did a great job getting out of that inning unscathed. From there, he was on top of his game, hardly getting into trouble the rest of the way. And he saved our bullpen. That means we'll have all our bullets (save perhaps Madson) for the Blanton start." - CJ
Who needs Lee? "When Hamels can locate his and primarily goes fastball/changeup like he did Friday, you see an unhittable pitcher who used that exact same recipe to win postseason accolades and carry the team to the '08 WS. Yeah his curveball is a bit better, and he has the cutter, but his changeup is still his bread and butter. After seeing Hamels pitch like that and Oswalt Thursday night, I still wonder how this team would look if Amaro had gone after an OF bat and a power arm for the bullpen instead of signing Lee." - MG
Stop whining: "The griping about the offense is legitimate. What's also legitimate: pointing out how miserable of a person you have to be to continue to harp on it day after day after day when we're being treated as fans to the type of pitching we see almost every night. I understand it's been years since the offense has been only league-average, but do you really want to go back to the days when you'd have to count on the Phils to score 7 runs and pray Adam Eaton could go 5 innings giving up only 4 runs? Since '93, watching the Phils pitch was a chore. Now we are absolutely spoiled, and all most of you are worried about is tar and feathering Raul Ibanez." - Iceman
"I use the offense for my bathroom breaks, getting food, etc. It's more fun to watch the pitching." - Jack
The negative art of pitching: "There was a circus aspect to the '07-08 team that I miss -- not as much the dreadful pitching but the prodigious displays of offense sometimes to the point of overkill (dropping 23 on the Rockies one '08 night if I remember correctly). That's gleeful watching. This team as constituted is better than the '07 team and probably the '08 team. But pitching is a negative art: success is absence. It's hard to take as much pleasure in it as one does in prodigious offensive production." - Klaus