Phillies Blog – Davey and The Statman Contributors - Phillies blog will feature renowned Sports Handicapper Davey Sharpe and his partner Mike the Statman.  Combined they operate a successful sports handicapping business together and are both lifelong Phillies fans.

Buchanan is BOSS – and CHA CHING!!!!

David Buchanan finally had the start everyone knew he could have.  And everyone that followed our wagering advice cashed a nice payday with the Phillies as a nearly 2-1 underdog.  CHA CHING!!!!!!!

Buchanan went 7 and 2/3 scattering 4 hits, allowing only 1 run while striking out 4.  That was enough for the Phillies offense as they went on to beat the Cardinals 4-1 in the series opener in St Louis.  Unfortunately, our hot hitting, substitute 3rd baseman, Reid Brignac sprained an ankle sliding into first base in an attempt to beat out a throw.   Luckily Cody Asche is on his way back.

Philadelphia is now 4 games back, they are on a 4 game winning streak, and have gone 8-2 their last 10.  Is this a good sign?  Yes.  Will this give the front office something to think about at the July negotiation table?  Yes.  Should we block off vacation days to get to Citizens Bank for the playoffs?  Not just yet.  

But for those that think “4 games back” – is a fictitious and meaningless number, let’s examine.  

Wash, Miami and Atlanta are the teams in front of Phila in a bit of a log jam in the NL East   Currently, the Braves and Washington are in a 4 game series that will likely split 2-2.  Miami is in a 4 game stretch with the Mets.  All 3 teams ahead of Phila are basically playing .500 ball the last 10 games.  And when all these series’ wrap up on Sunday – Miami moves into Phila for 4 games – followed by the Braves.  If the Phillies can split the series with St Louis on the road, and the Braves/Wash go 2-2, and Miami splits or loses 3 of 4 to the Mets (Miami already down 1-0) – The Phillies will be PRIMED to get 7 division games IN A ROW at home vs teams that are currently ahead of them.  And Washington meanwhile goes into Milwaukee for a 3 game stretch.

Bottom line is – if Philadelphia can continue their hot hitting and overall great play, they COULD. . . COULD be in first place by the time fireworks are going off on 7/4.  

That said, I am afraid we could be looking at a loss tonight in St Louis.  I mean, we can’t win EVERY game, right?  But we are going against Jamie Garcia of St Louis.  The guy allows practically NO baserunners.  His WHIP for the year is UNDER 1.00.  That is going to be an uphill battle.  Combine that with the fact that Phila averages an abysmal 2.9 runs per game against lefties – and I think we are going to be in for a brutal night.

However….from the eternal optimist point of view. . . 

AJ Burnett is coming off 2 excellent starts in a row.  He seems to have found a groove – going 8 and 7 and a third in his previous 2 starts – and allowing only 3 and 2 earned runs respectively.  Combine that with the fact that Ryan Howard OWNS St Louis (his hometown), and the Phila offense has found a way to manufacture runs even against great pitching – and the bullpen can now keep any game close until the offense explodes - - - and you DO have a way that the Phillies again can win the game as a 2-1 underdog.  

8:15 and I will be in front of the TV rooting these guys on.  And I guarantee the excitement that they are generating will be enough to see a LOT more seats filled during the next home stand at Citizens Bank.  I know you will be able to find me in the Diamond Club – rooting the heck out of the Phillies to whoop the Braves when they come to town.

Let’s get those rally towels out everyone.  The Phillies are making their move!!!!