Getting Closer

Jayson Werth and Ryan Howard bring it in for the real thing after Werth's three-run homer last night at Citizens Bank Park.

We've been saying this since June, but if the Phillies offense can be a little more consistent they have an excellent shot to win the National League East.

They hit last night in an 8-6 victory over the Marlins.

Jimmy Rollins went 3 for 5. Ryan Howard had two hits. Jayson Werth hit a three-run home run. They made up for another poor showing from Joe Blanton, who is 1-0 with a 5.58 ERA in his last six starts. Blanton, who joined the team during the all-star break as an innings eater, has pitched six innings just once in those six starts. They will need better from him down the stretch. But when you have an offense that lives up to its billing, they can work around nights like last night on occassion.

So today the Phillies sit 1 1/2 games behind the Mets in the NL East. They also sit three games behind the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL wild-card race. Ned Yost's teams never seem to play well in the second half, so the Phillies could put themselves in good shape in both races with a good week.


Werth crushed a three-run homer after he took a wrong turn to start the game. He has the seventh-best on-base percentage (.401) and seventh-best slugging percentage (.586) in the National League since the all-star break. He also ranks 10th in the league in homers (10) since the break.

"Werth's home run was definitely the big blow of the night," Charlie Manuel said. "When he hits the ball like that, he looks like an everyday player."


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