The Phillies open a three-game series with the Mets tonight at 7:10 p.m. Roy Oswalt (3-2, 2.77) goes for the Phils, while Chris Capuano (3-5, 5.36) takes the mound for New York. The Phillies are 12-3 against left-handed starters this season and they will face a pair of southpaws in this series (Jonathon Niese starts Sunday).
Biggest surprise/disappointment: After 50 games, who is the Phillies’ biggest surprise (factoring in preseason expectations)? Is it Antonio Bastardo (1.50 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, .161 opponents BA)? What about Michael Stutes (12 of 13 appearances have been scoreless)? Or is it Ryan Madson or Jose Contreras, both of whom have excelled in late relief? Are any non-relievers even in the discussion? What about the Phillies’ biggest disappointment? Dom Brown and Joe Blanton, both of whom have battled injuries, could be part of the conversation. But it hasn’t to be Ben Francisco (.215/.325/.375), doesn’t it?
Identity crisis: After 50 games, what is the Phillies’ identity? Obviously, this is a pitching-heavy team that has an inconsistent offense and a consistent-but-not-spectacular defense. But as May winds down and trade season arrives, do the Phillies need to add a hitter or two? Or is their pitching/defense strong enough to carry a mediocre offense for the next five months? After approximately 150 hours of Phillies baseball, we should have a good feel for this team. How would you describe the 2011 Phillies in 10 words or less?