Much has been made this offseason about the Phils' strengths and weaknesses. Their offense and starting rotation make them a fashionable pick as the oft-repeated "team to beat" in the East. Their bullpen makes WIP nervous, their outfield has bloggers wondering who will produce, who will surprise, and who will be gone, while their defense is conspicuously absent in most discussions. People would rather worry about the manager, we suppose.
The season's first game provided a glimpse of what it might take to win the National League this year. The Mets, behind, Tom Glavine, easily disposed of the Cardinals in a re-match of the '06 NLCS. Some teams are ready to start the season, while others aren't. Will the Phils be ready, much like the Mets were with Solid pitching, great defense and relentless offense against of the marquee pitchers in the NL? Or will they stumble out of the gate like the Cardinals, flat at home with 10 hits but only 1 run to show for it, a flubbed suicide squeeze, a runner thrown out at home, and leftfielder who turns an easy out into a costly mistake?
We'll be in attendence at opening day, as we were the past two seasons, to find out in person. This year, Scott Rolen will definitely not ruin our day, at least.