You can't say they're not entertaining. In Tuesday night's 15-3 victory over the Dodgers, the Phillies set a number of personal milestones and presumably kept the clubhouse staff busy deep into the night bagging and tagging baseballs destined for McMansion mantlepieces. Among the accomplishments:
- Emergency fifth starter J.D. Durbin earned his first major-league victory with six innings of one-run ball, collected his first three hits, and scored his first career run.
- The resurgent Pat Burrell (.452/.571/.871 in 40 July plate appearances) hit the 200th homer of his career. He's now seventh on the team's all-time HR list, and a scant week after multiple calls for his outright release Burrell has his season OPS up to .826.
- Aaron Rowand had his first career five-hit game, including a homer and three doubles. Rowand has raised his batting average 23 points since the all-star break, and now sits at .333/.404/.528 for the year. Not coincidentally, he's four walks shy of besting his previous season-high walk total (32), in 239 fewer at-bats.
- Shane Victorino had his second career five-hit game, and his second triple in as many nights. Victorino's 2007 OPS now sits at .795... which is sixth among Phillies regulars (seventh if you count Greg Dobbs).
- Ryan Howard had his second multi-homer game of the season, and ninth of his career. Howard has raised his batting average each month this season: .221 in April, .225 in May, .280 in June, .302 thus far in July.
- The team's total of 26 hits was one shy of the single-game record: 27, set in the famous 26-7 rout of the Mets on June 11, 1985.
The team's best hitter, Chase Utley, had a quiet night in context: 3 for 6, with two doubles. Utley did drive in three runs to take over the league RBI lead, with 79; his two doubles extended his lead in that category to 39, putting him on pace to set a new franchise record with 68. The old mark is 59, set by Chuck Klein in 1930.
Among the 30 MLB clubs, the Phillies are now 3rd in runs scored (499), 2nd in OPS (.809), 3rd in home runs (116), t-3rd in on-base percentage (.351), 1st in stolen-base percentage (87), 2nd in hits (906), and 2nd in total bases (1499). They lead the NL in all of those categories except home runs (Milwaukee, 131). While I still think they should be moderate sellers, this is a historically potent offense; the mindset that with two more pitchers (one of which could be Brett Myers) they could do great things remains hard to shake.