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Kings Of the Road

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The 2009 Phillies have become a tale of two very different stories. On the road they are warriors that come in and knock the home team around and put up runs. At home, with that 2008 banner casting a tremendous shadow over this team, they play tight and show absolute disregard for concepts like working a count or a nice level swing on the ball.

If you remove the wins at home over the woe-full Nationals, the Phils are only 8-22 at home. This is beyond unacceptable and needs to be reversed if the Phils are to have any hope of repeating as champions. As pathetic as they are playing, it is amazing they are still 2 and a half games up in the division. That is only because the Mets are a completely disjointed wreck of a baseball team.

At home the Phils have scored 164 runs, but are getting beat up with 199 runs scored against them. The even more pressing stats are the home averages: The Phils are at a .246 clip, while the road team they are playing on average hits 40 points higher than our home heroes.

After the last homestand, the two best things that could happen to the Phillies did: they got a day off.....and then they got to play the Rays on the road. They won.... and won big. When they play on the road they as a team have 192 hits and have only allowed 137 hits to fall in. They also have a .273 batting average and hit 14 points higher then the home team.

On the road the Phillies seem to work more counts, stop making fringe pitchers look like Cy Young, and when they fall behind in the count, seem to focus and fight till they get a pitch to drive. Over the course of this season, we can hope that things start to fall into balance and they find that same desire and hunger at home that they have on the road. It is at that point when they will show the incredibly loyal home fans that they have what it takes to win it again.

photo: www.sbnation.com