Catching up on several issues as we get set for the Met-Phillies series to resume Wednesday night.
For those of you joining us late, the Phils will pitch Cole Hamels on regular rest Wednesday night and push Tuesday's schedule starter, Tyler Cloyd, to Thursday. While the Phils retired to their hotel, St. Louis took care of business in their series opener with Houston. The Cardinals now hold a 1.5 edge over the Dodgers for the second Wild Card. Meanwhile, the Brewers continued their late charge at the expense of the spiraling Pirates. Yovani Gallardo pitched 6 2-3 sharp innings as part of the 6-0 shutout. The Brew Crew trails St. Louis by 2.5 games and leads the Phillies by 1.5. Expect these two clubs to duke it out in the standings until the bitter end.
Meanwhile, Ryan Howard's recent slide and hefty $105 million commitment has been the focus of conversation for much of the week, but evaluating his long-term viability, so soon after surgery, seems awfully premature. Elite power is at a premium and Howard's underrated work ethic needs to be taken into stronger consideration. He's also playing way too much for my tastes.