Phillies Phocus: Goliathes Howard and Halladay Hit Their Spring Stride

So Temple and Villanova look like the nerds in the corner of the Big Dance and your bracket is probably busted harder than Dwight Gooden snorting and driving, again.

The NFL owners meetings are heating up on the golf course with a much needed new change to the overtime playoff rules (just playoffs?) while Donovan McNabb is looking better in trade talks than he ever did in the playoffs.

Don’t bite on the trade bluff McNabb’s gonna stay like that rash Homer got during spring break ’96.

And finally you can pick your poison as far as recent sports entertainment: “Dancing with the OchoCinco” or “Gilbert Goes to Jail.”

Not exactly Starz on demand.

Not exactly Major League Baseball.

Enough with the shenanigans already! Let’s get the season underway already.

Never has a Phillies season been so anticipated and never has the off-season drug out so much (yes that’s a high and tight one at you Ron Washington.)

The Phillies(10-7-1) in the Grapefruit League have had back-to-back walk off hits in their last two games and are picking up their stride right on time for Opening Day on April 5 in Washington D.C.

Although the Phillies have basically the same team on paper they look nothing like the boys of 2009.

High Hopes is going to focus on two Phils a day, well that’s the intention, barring McNabb doesn’t get traded or Allen Iverson gambles away his kids then we’ll flatten out a bit like a 2009 Cole Hamels fast ball.

Offensively:
Ryan Howard is having one of his best springs ever. The slugger is standing closer to the plate allowing him to drive off speed pitches on the outside of the plate to left and with a rigorous off season workout schedule, which finally included losing weight, he has more guns than Arenas. He is driving the ball to all fields, including a pair of dingers to left and right field Tuesday in the Phillies 4-3 win against The Rays(13-7) who currently sit atop of the league standings. Howard has better plate cover batting .356 with 3 bombs and eight RBI’s in 16 games so far this spring. He also has five walks, perhaps his first ever sign of patience at the plate just in time for free agency.

With all the TMZish rumors of a Howard/Pujols trade it’s obvious that Ry-Ry has taken it personally as he looks to terrorize the National once again as the most prolific power hitter in baseball since 2005.

Pitching:

Obviously were talking Roy “Boy” Halladay. He’s everything the organization dreamed he would be; unhittable.

With Seattle Mariner and former Phila heart throb Cliff Lee out for at least the first week of the regular season with a strained abdominal, the Halladay/Lee trade is looking better than ever.

Halladay is getting his innings and freak on in this spring. His velocity is better than it has ever been and his control is pinpoint. He has so much movement on his pitches that hitters cannot pick them up. Adam Eaton’s level of bad is the exact oppisite Halladay’s level of good and Eaton was bad.

Real bad in fact he was down right god awful.

Halladay is 1-1 in spring training, mind you these are games just to get players back in the groove for the regular season, with a 2.40 ERA. Halladay has had only one rough three-run inning against the Tigers on March 20, but besides that he has proven that he is the best pitcher in the game. As an added bonus, Halladay’s strikeouts are way up, not up like the UConn girls racking up a 90-36 score against Temple in the tourney, but up like two more K’s/ 9 innings.

Perhaps the best thing Halladay brings to Philadelphia besides an Opening Day starter not named Brett Myers, is a willingness to work with Hamels. Great news for the Phils who need a dynamic one-two punch in the rotation if they want to get back to October greatness.

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