|Yeah, an excited-ish stadium- must have been 2011 Phillies fans in there.|
Which takes me to their team- Werth's an expensive bum who will only hurt them worse, Harper's starting to struggle like I predicted he would, and yet, they have a 6.5 game lead. Their pitching has pushed them to the front of the pack in the NL, and right now they're as good a bet as any to win a weak league (the AL is much deeper). With all of this, they are discussing shutting down Strasburg soon, when he reaches his innings count. There's two ways to look at this-
- The human body has limits, and stretching an already injury-prone guy to his limits to try and win this year means they better get it right. Pushing him to the 200 innings area means risking his performance next season, and his health, for a chance at winning, and one that's not even enough to make them the favorite.
- Chipper Jones won his only ring in his first year, the Phillies won their ring in their second of five division titles, Cal Ripken's only ring was in his second year, and on, and on. You don't get an infinite number of opportunities to win a championship. You get now. With the Phillies freeing up money from their resources, the relative youth of the Braves, and the steadily improving economics of the Mets, this division isn't a given going forward, especially as their pitchers reach arbitration, Werth's contract becomes more of an albatross, and some of their players come down off of career years. Go for it now.