Phillies hit the challenging portion of the schedule

Shane Victorino celebrates his two-run home run with Jimmy Rollins in the third inning. (Steven M. Falk/Staff Photographer)

The Phillies did what they had to against the less challenging part of their schedule. At 21-9 after Thursday’s 7-3 win over the Washington Nationals, the Phillies now face one of their more difficult stretches of the season.

Of the first 30 games, only five were against teams that currently have a winning record, three against the Atlanta Braves and two against the Florida Marlins.

Beginning with the weekend series at Citizens Bank Park against the Braves, the Phillies will play 20 straight games against teams currently with winning records.

In that span they play six against Atlanta, three at Florida, two at St. Louis and then host Colorado for two, Texas for three and the Cincinnati Reds for four.

After Roy Halladay, who has been the Phillies’ best starter so far?

  • 10 (0.8%)
  • 1095 (83.7%)
  • 48 (3.7%)
  • 88 (6.7%)
  • 68 (5.2%)
  • 1309

Of course with all the injuries, the Phillies have done well to jump out to a 21-9 start, regardless of the competition.

Plus when one considers how inconsistent the offense had been prior to this three-game sweep of Washington, then winning 21 games at this stage is no small feat.

The Phillies haven’t played their best baseball nor have they competed against the best of schedules. Then again, there are still a total of 24 games left with the Nationals and New York Mets, 12 each so there will be more chances to fatten up on the bottom teams in the N.L. East.

The Phillies were talking after Thursday’s win about how all games are important and that is true, but this upcoming stretch will give them a true chance to gauge where they stand. At the moment, they stand tied for the best record in baseball, with none other than the Cleveland Indians.

Cleveland’s ascent is shocking. The Phillies are expected to be where they are, and to stay there, even as the schedule should bring on some serious challenges over the next three weeks.

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