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So, here we are again, with a 1-1 series split somehow against a team in the upper half of the standings in-division. Keeping in mind that the NL East is kind of a garbage division right now, and keeping in mind that winning one out of two is not exactly news, that's kind of surprising for this lackluster Phillies squad. That said, if history is any indicator, we can expect to drop this series today, both because Bartolo Colon is somehow a Cy Young caliber pitcher for another year and also because the Phillies have 3-7 in their last 10, for a winning percentage of 30. Just above their actual winning percentage of 35%, which is close to -- you guessed it! -- 1/3. Math, my friends: who says the season isn't predictable yet.
But let's be clear, winning one and maybe being able to take the series against the Mets this year is no small thing, as they look as legit as the Phillies look inept. It's at least a moral victory to be this close to making them regret going up against a squad of underperforming veterans and unexciting youngsters. And you know what they say: you can't spell "victim of monstrously painful oral surgery" without "moral victory."
Bartolo Colon -- Bartolo Colon is 41 years old. I just turned 30. Bartolo Colon is striking out 7.59 batters per nine, while walking .22. He is walking one-fifth of a batter a game. I woke up today and wondered if I'd be able to get out of bed without a severe psyching up. Bartolo Colon has an ERA under three. I have a cholesterol level that doctors describe as "maybe concerning." Bartolo Colon was pitching his first season of major league baseball in 1997. In 1997 I was trying to beat the Emerald Weapon in Final Fantasy VII and wondering what girls liked.
Edge: Bartolo Colon.
Chad Billingsley -- Chad Billingsley came back from what most people would have described as inescapably career ending injuries, and he stuck with the game through setbacks and failure to end up back in a rotation. That rotation is the Phillies rotation, however, so this is a tragic tale.
Also, I can't think of him by anything other than Bad Chillingsley, so double tragedy.
Ryan Howard -- He's cheap. He'll be unowned essentially. He's hit a few homers in the last week. Bartolo Colon throws slow and he's a righty. Yes, he gives up almost no homers, but he doesn't strike a ton of guys out either. Piece is a decent gamble if you want to spend elsewhere.
Juan Lagares -- Cheap as the dickens and underappreciated. Don't expect another home run, but a few singles and a stolen base isn't unlikely, and that'll get you your money's worth. And there's room for more.