If the three games since the All Star break are any indication of the rest of the season, my concerns about the Phillies' starting pitching probably were overstated. Jamie Moyer pitched 7 magical innings in a shutout effort in the first game back, Hamels pitched five good innings until a long rain delay forced him from the game, and today, J.A. Happ pitched 7 strong shutout innings. The Phils took 3 from the Florida Marlins this week (not counting last night's rainout) and have now won eight in a row. They are now 13 games over .500. They are the only team in the NL East over .500 at 51-38, and are presently enjoying a 7 game lead over Florida and Atlanta. The Muts are 43-47, and are 8.5 games behind.
The Phils got really good starting pitching this week, for probably the first time all season, and the team ERA is down to 4.55, and getting lower each game. Happ is now 7-0 with a very respectable 2.68 ERA, and has to be considered a strong contender for Rookie of the Year. The Cubbies come to town next, with Rodrigo Lopez getting the ball tomorrow night as he keeps the 5th spot in the rotation until Pedro Martinez is ready to go.
After the strong pitching by the staff this week, I'm feeling good about the stretch run. Unless something goes dramatically wrong, they should win the division easily. The question will be what happens in the post season.