Saturday, September 5, 2009

Hitting A Wall, Or Hitting Awaits?

What you make of the Phillies' current hitting struggles depends on your perspective. There's supporting evidence for optimists and pessimists alike.

For pessimists: The Phillies have scored just seven runs in their last six games--a run of ineffectiveness unlike any stretch this season or last. In 2008, the team twice scored just seven runs over four games, but they had nothing approaching such a bad six-game swoon.

In fact, the Phillies weren't shut out over the final 47 games of 2008 on their way to a World Series title. And in all of September, they scored less than three runs only once.

Now, for the optimists. The 2009 Phillies have scored at least seven runs in a game 37 times this season and still have 30 games left to play. Last year's world champs scored seven or more a total of 42 times, so this year's team is on pace to top last season.

Plus the 2008 team was shut out eight times last year; the 2009 Phillies have been shut out just six times and, with two shutouts already in September, would seem to have topped their quota for the month.

So, do the struggles of the last six games signal the just the tip of a season-dooming iceberg? Or are the Phillies about to break out for another epic September slash through the National League? Optimist or pessimist--history's on your side either way.

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