2011 Philadelphia Phillies Season Preview
"3-2 pitch...got him looking and the Giants win the pennant!" That was the call by FOX announcer Joe Buck on Giants closer Brian Wilson striking out Phils first baseman Ryan Howard to end the Phillies playoff run. It also symbolized the Phillies season, unfinished buisness. Now we know the story of the off season,Cliff Lee is a Phillie again, the Phillies now have one of the greatest pitching rotations on paper in MLB history with Roy "Doc" Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, Roy Oswalt, and Joe Blanton. But like I said, that's all on paper. This season is definately one of the most anticipated in Phillies history because of the Phils rotation. Joe Blanton, if he was on any other staff he could be the number 2 or number 3 starter, so don't forget about him, he's a good pitcher. Even though the season hasn't even begun, the optimism has already gone down with the injury to 5 time all star second baseman Chase Utley. Utley hasn't played a game yet in spring training which leads you to believe he probably won't play on opening day. But don't get me wrong, this team could do something very special this year should the offense play like we know they can and stay consistent. After all we still have one of the best sluggers in the game Ryan Howard and if Jimmy Rollins can play like the Jimmy of 2007 when he won the MVP, the offense should be fine. Another key loss though is that of Domonic Brown, the Phils young right fielder. The loss of Brown pretty much ensures Ben Francisco the starting job in right to replace Jayson Werth who signed with Washington late last year. You can definately expect the booing when Werth faces the Phillies for the first time since his signing on April 12th. Yes I know what you're thinking," but it's a road game." Well one sign made by a Phils fan last year sums it up pretty well, the sign read, "Citizens Bank South" showing at how Phillies fans take over Nationals Park when the Phils play the Nats. As for the Phillies bullpen don't expect great things, who knows how J.C Romero will play this year and how the new guys like Scott Mathieson will do should he make the team. Brad Lidge suffered a minor setback with bicep tendinitis, but nothing too serious. Placido Polanco also suffered a small injury with a hyperextended elbow. I would assume both would be ready for opening day should both injuries not get worse. As for the rotation again, well it's amazing at how good they could be, what's truly amazing is that Cole Hamels, a World Series MVP, is the 4th starter on this ball club. Don't freak out though, I believe Charlie Manuel will be changing the rotation throughout the year if he feels he has a better matchup if someone else pitches. There you have it, my Phillies season preview, hopefully the Phils can get it done this year and make it to the World Series and win. GO PHILLIES!!!!!!!