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Well, let's see... earlier, I complained about the Phillies and their lack of solid pitching.

Now that they've rattled off four consecutive wins with some decent pitching outings, I might have to change my tune a bit.

Last week hit a lot of bad notes, starting with Brett Myers' thoroughly wretched line against the Marlins:

 IP    H  R ER BB SO HR PC-ST  ERA
 5.2   7  5  5 1  3  2  94-57  4.66

Ugh. Enough to make you want to freakin' hurl. Five earned runs on seven hits and two homers surrendered. Then add the lackluster offensive performance: eight hits and two solo homers accounting for whatever signs of life the Phils had (and there were not many) in a 6-2 loss. To a pitcher (Burke Badenhop) who has a grand total of five wins (and five losses) in his career. Emetic.

And then the news that we will be losing Myers for the season? Not exactly like losing Steve Carlton, I admit, but the Phillies losing any pitcher with an ERA less than 8 can't be a good thing.

Cue Sj-rantocycloid....

But wait, what's this? Here come the Nationals. But not so fast, my friend. The Phils have proven that they are quite capable of losing to teams they should be beating. Remember a two game sweep against the Padres earlier this season?

But what happens? J.A. Happ throws a gem and the Phils get a tight 5-4 win over Washington.

 IP  H  R  ER BB SO HR  PC-ST ERA 
 5.1 3  3  3  3  5   1  96-62 3.00 

Well, it's not a 2-hit shutout with 9 Ks, but for a Phillies pitcher, it's pretty damned good. And - look at that - offense! Thanks, All-Star Raul Ibanez and your two RBI. Hey Phils - see what can happen when you score some runs?

Next up - a bit of a slugfest, but the Phils come out on top, registering a 9-6 win punctuated by two Ryan Howard homers (one a grand slam) and an RBI courtesy of pitcher Cole Hamels.

 IP  H  R  ER BB SO HR PC-ST  ERA 
 6.0 8  6  6  1  7  1  104-67 5.21 

His line was a bit rough, but it was good enough for the win. And he's the only pitcher I'm not concerned about, so we'll move on to the next game now.

And the sixth time is the charm, as the Ancient Mariner Jamie Moyer nails down that elusive 250th win. Moyer surrendered one run, but other than that, a very good outing:

 IP  H  R  ER BB SO HR PC-ST  ERA 
 6.0 3  1  1  0  4  1  102-62 6.75 

And this game was just what the doctor ordered. Chase Utley drove in a run in the bottom of the 1st, and Chris Coste added a homer in the 2nd to give Moyer the early lead. It's a formula that works. I am hoping to see more of this concoction as the season goes on.

Finally, we get to Joe Blanton, who has struggled a bit this year. And lo and behold, here's his stellar line from a 5-3 win over the Padres:

 IP    H  R  ER BB SO HR PC-ST ERA 
 7.0   6  3  3  1  5  2  95-62 5.86 

I could have done without the two homers (I'm sure Blanton would say the same thing), but if you give up 3 runs in the MLB, you should still reasonably expect to have a fighting chance to win. Utley and Howard provided just the right kind of offense: the home run kind. Utley drove in two runs, and joined Howard in a back-to-back extravaganza.

All this coupled with some Mets losses, and all is right in the NL East again. Thank you, Pirates!

Now that the pitching and hitting seem to be working hand-in-hand, I seem to have run out of things to moan about. Not to worry - this is the Phillies we're talking about. They never seem to go too long without giving me something to bitch about.

And tonight - A debut outing for Antonio Bastardo against the crafty veteran Jake Peavy. Sounds like good fun to me. Go Pirates! And more importantly - go Phils! Don't change a thing.


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