Any idea which NL team is now 7th in runs scored? How about 8th in OPS?
Or let's try another tack. How about which NL team is 3rd in runs scored in the month of May? Or 4th in OPS for the month?
A hint: this team is doing that well in offensive stats despite missing its Hall-of-Fame quality second baseman and its slugging first baseman.
I know, you're smart, so you guessed it - it's the Phillies! Yes, the team that struggled mightily in the first month of the season is, whaddayaknow, coming out of its offensive slump. It's scoring runs and making games interesting. The team's completely unsolvable problem in April - an offense that can't score runs - is no longer the problem.
Of course, over the past few weeks, it's the bullpen that's been giving away wins, but despite that, the team is now playing good ball, posting an above-.500 record and sitting only 4 games back from the NL East leader.
I'm not that surprised about this. As readers of this blog are aware, I've been kind of relentlessly optimistic (even while admitting that many games have been painful to watch and enjoy). I've felt this way despite being bombarded in the press, on the radio, on other blogs, and throughout the social-media-verse with naysayers and sky-is-falling types. I'm kind of sick of it, especially now that the team is doing better.
But here's a deal I'll offer you, all the end-is-nigh people (and something I think the Phillies should take seriously): When the Phillies make it to their sixth straight post-season this October, you're not invited to Citizens Bank Park. It'll be like the Nationals' restriction for Phillies games in DC, except rather than being based on where you live, it'll be based on your calls to WIP, your tweets, your Facebook statuses, your blog posts, and your conversations with friends at the bar.
Expressing concern and doubt, that's fine. But, throwing the team to the wolves, saying that there's just no joy in watching or following this team, complaining that all is lost when the season was barely 1/4 completed -- stay home and watch on TV. You're not welcome at the park. That's for true believers.
So go ahead and revel in your misery. And hey, if I'm wrong and there's no October baseball for this franchise, enjoy being right. I know that'll make you feel really good. But, when the Phils are playing in the post-season and I'm at the stadium, I want to be there with the other people who believed in and supported this team.
Phillies box office - make it happen.