Balls, Sticks, & Stuff
A Tale of Two Road Trips
Sunday night the Phillies finished up a 13-game road trip by beating the Dodgers 4-1. Brett Myers turned in a second consecutive performance worthy of his potential by surrenduring only two hits and two walks while striking out eight in eight innings. In recapping the game, Marcus Hayes of the Philadelphia Daily News points out that Myers had a dominating curveball, using it 30 times, missing the strike zone with the pitch only three times.

Technically speaking, it was only one road trip, but there were certainly two distinctly different segments to it as Todd Zolecki summarizes in the Philadelphia Inquirer:
They had just lost a Sunday game to the Chicago Cubs to drop to 1-6 on their 13-game, cross-country trip. It appeared that their manager needed a strong week on the West Coast to save his job. Fans cried foul because the Phillies didn't land an impact player before the trade deadline.

Then they swept the San Diego Padres.

And they won two of three against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium, including yesterday's 4-1 victory behind Brett Myers' eight-inning two-hitter.

"Night and day," said first baseman Jim Thome, asked to compare the clubhouse in Chicago on Aug. 1 to the clubhouse in Los Angeles yesterday. "And for the good. For the good. Let's face it, baseball is a weird game. Sometimes you don't play very good, and sometimes you play well.
"When we left Chicago, coming out here we knew these two clubs were very good. We really stepped it up. In the end, it was a satisfying road trip considering where we started."

Satisfying may be stretching things a bit, however Mr. Thominator. The recent good play has quieted the talk of firing Larry Bowa and the criticisms of Ed Wade, the disappointment in the players has abated, but such negativity is sure to return if the Phillies cannot sustain their good play while at home and make some headway in the NL East Division and/or the NL's Fourth Division.

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