The Phils won a game yesterday that, if this team does anything of consequence this year or if anything is to come of them in future seasons, this is the game that might have started it all.
First, Gavin Floyd was amazing, unhittable. His big change froze a number of batters. It may be the best weapon that a Phils pitcher has commanded since Lefty Carlton cominate the opposition with his fall-off-the-table slider. He retired 19 batters at one point. Floyd didn't start stronghe gave up a run in the first and had to strike out Rolen to avoid further damageand seemed to lose it all at oncehe was lucky to escape the seventh after giving up a single to Edmonds and hitting Grudzielanek. If Floyd can continue to pitch this well even Charlie "I Need A" Manuel isn't stupid enough to keep him out of the rotation once Vicente Padilla returns.
The Phils need Floyd to become a big-time pitcher and Wolf and Padilla to return to their previous path to success after an injury-plagued 2004 season. Floyd, Madson, and Hammels are the Phils rotation future as far as I'm concerned.
The other good omen was Chase Utley's homer in the fourth to put the Phils up, 4-1. Utley has to prove himself to Manuel, or rather Manuel must be convinced that Utley's power at second makes him indispensable.
Finally, Pat Burrell was out of his mind going 4-for-5 with a monster shot in the eighth that put the Phils up, 10-1. Burrell took the NL lead in RBI on the hit and ended the night batting .550 for the year. Burrell is an extremely streaky batter. However, if he starts the season on a good streak, maybe the pressure that he, the Phils management, and the fans dump on him because of his massive contract will be lessened a bit.
Also, Jose Offerman, pinch-hitter extraordinaire, got his second at-bat of the season flying out for the pitcher in the ninth with the Phils up 10-1. Maybe someone somewhere in the organization will realize the insanity of keeping a superfluous has-been like Offerman on the bench while the entire outfield is being backed up by just Jason Michaels. Then maybe Marlon Byrd Phase IV might re-start and maybe he could even resurrect his moribund career.