Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Goin' Streakin'

I was kind of knocked out of my sports rhythm last week due to my recent move, but when I got hooked back into the Matrix, I was thrilled to see that my Phils has won 5 in a row. I was worried that it was only because I hadn't been watching, but they continued to produce, and I couldn't be happier. Tons of offense, some ego-boosting wins for the starting rotation, not to mention Chase Utley getting named NL Player of the Week. Dude is seeing the ball right now, and the team in general is finally clicking on all cylinders, as far as offense goes. That game where Utley and Ryan Howard both hit two homers? Killer. And now, they've won 8 in a row, heading into a huge series with the Division rival Mets. Everyone will be paying close attention to this one, and not just because Billy Wagner will be returning to Philly. After seeing the reception Bonds got on Sunday, though, even Wagner knows he's going "to catch hell" once he steps into that bullpen. But this series is even more important, as a sweep (however improbable) would launch the Phils to within one game of first place.

It seems that the Phils aren't the only ones streaking lately though. The San Diego Padres have won 9 in a row, going from 8-14 to 17-15 in the past 10 games. They won their 9th straight yesterday against future Hall-of-Famer Greg Maddux and the Chicago Cubs, who were also swept with the win. The Cubs have been on a streak of their own, but going the opposite way. They've lost 7 straight, including the afore-mentioned 4-game sweep from the Padres. Having lived in Chicago for two years now, I'm sure that the fans here are not surprised in the least, but are drowning their disappointment with Old Style and bratwurst.

Some other streaks worth mentioning: before Sunday, the Arizona Diamondbacks had won 7 in a row, keeping them ahead of the Padres. That NL West is gonna be crazy this year, especially with the youthful Rockies playing the way they have been (they've won 4 in a row, by the way).

The New York Yankees have won 5 in a row, and the Boston Red Sox have won 4 coming into the great rivalry starting tonight. There will be some fireworks there, for sure, and no doubt Lou and others will have plenty to say about that in the days ahead.

That's what I'll be looking at the next three days - the two hottest series in baseball - Phillies/Mets and Sox/Yankees. We'll see whose streak can be extended.

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