Thursday, August 20, 2009

Phillies Sluggers Finding Long Ball Groove

Orioles vs. Phillies

After somewhat of a lull, three of the Phillies sluggers are finding their long ball groove over the past week. Ryan Howard (5), Jayson Werth (4) and Chase Utley (2) have combined for 11 big flies in the last 6 games.

It is no coincidence that this power surge has coincided with the team winning 7 of the last 8 games. The Phillies continue to be a team built to score with one swing of the bat. Four of the top ten home run leaders in the National League reside in spots 3-6 in the team's batting order. Overall, the team is leading the National League with 168 four baggers, 26 more than the next team (Colorado Rockies.)

Howard's recent bombs have vaulted him into a tie for the 5th spot with 31, while Werth now finds himself tied for 7th with teammate Raul Ibanez with 27. Utley is only two behind them with 25 home runs.

Currently, all four players have a realistic shot at notching 35 or more homers for the season. This has to keep opposing pitchers anxiety high as they try to work their way through the Phillies line-up, especially since Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino and Pedro Feliz do not exactly offer an opportunity to let down.

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