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08/01/2004 Archived Entry: "Phillies Journal - 2004"

Phillies Journal - 2004
by Max Blue

JULY 2004

Just when it looked like we might be able to hold first place through July we had to go and lose four straight to the Florida Marlins. Over the past two seasons the Phillies have managed to lose 14-straight games in Miami. Itís a jinx. Thome and Burrell hit homeruns that arenít Ė balls that hit the top of the high scoreboard or the clock. Rollins hits a late inning double driving in two runs for a lead except itís not because the ball bounces over the fence for a ground rule double. And now at the end of the month the Fish do what they did last year at the trading deadline Ė they make deals to strengthen their team. How did they convince the Dodgers to give them LoDuca, a .300 hitting catcher, Motta, a two point something ERA reliever, and Juan Encarnacion a clutch hitting gold-glove right fielder? The Dodgersí General Manager must have been drunk.
And then thereís the Braves. Itís always the Braves. In July they went 20-6. Can you believe it, Harry? The Phillies were 13-15 and ended the month four and half games behind the Braves. Jim Thome hit only four homeruns for the month. Ed Wade traded Ricky Ledee for Felix Hernandez, a right-handed set-up man, from the Giants. Marlon Byrd is called up from Scranton-Wilkes Barre with orders to play centerfield and hit over .300 like he did last year. We also got Todd Jones another right-handed set-up man from Cincinnati.We needed help in the pen because Billy Wagner is on the DL again, this time with a strained rotator cuff. Ryan Madson jammed his pitching hand into the outfield wall shagging balls and is also on the DL.

August begins with a game in Wrigley(Greg Maddux going for his 300th career win) then three each in California against San Diego and Los Angeles who are at the top of the NL West.

The outlook isnít brilliant.

Standing of the NL East Clubs, August 1, 2004

Team Season Record July Record

Atlanta 57-46 20-6
Philadelphia 53-51 13-15
Florida 52-52 11-15 (6-14 v. teams other than Phila.}
New York 49-54 12-15
Montreal 41-63 15-13

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