Ryne Sandberg's Phillies is the oldest ballclub in all of baseball with an average age of 30.5 years.
The Philadelphia organization has come under constant scrutiny from fans in regard to how general manager Ruben Amaro Jr is running the team and signing veteran players (such as the 36 year old right fielder Marlon Byrd) instead of focusing on bringing young prospects to Philadelphia in attempt to rebuild the franchise which enjoyed much success in the last decade.
Much like the Phillies rebuilding policy, the team's on field play has been questionable at best; for the early part of 2014 at least.
Up until last week the team was sitting last in the fairly weak NL East division at 29-38 following a bitterly disappointing weekend series in which the Philadelphia team was embarrassed at home by the Chicago Cubs.
What the Phillies needed was a spark and some time away. Fortunately for them, both of these requirements were met simultaneously this week after the Phillies swept their division rivals, the Atlanta Braves, on the road earlier this week. A series highlighted by the 10-5 win on Wednesday afternoon in which the Phillies offence erupted for a season high 18 hits.
Following the emphatic series sweep of the Braves, momentum and spirit within the Phillies organization was running high. And rather than leave this momentum behind (as they have done several times already this season) the team managed to take it with them to St Louis in which they turned it into taking the first two games on the road from last years National League champions in their very own ballpark.
A large factor as to why the Phillies were so successful in the first two games of the St Louis series was pitchers AJ Burnett and David Buchanan each having their best pitching performance of the year in successive nights at Busch Stadium.
Of course pitching doesn't win games alone and slugger Ryan Howard enjoyed the series opener in which he added to his impressive numbers in his home town of St Louis as he picked up his 14th home run and 50th RBI of the 2014 season.
This is an encouraging sign for Phillies fans in hope that the man they call "Big Piece" is returning to his old, former MVP self.
With impressive recent road form, the Phillies are on a five game win streak,which is the inconsistent bunch's largest win streak of the season. With starting third basemen Cody Asche being reactivated from the disabled list and Phillies pitching finally finding some consistency fans may finally have something to look forward this year.
They may even start to rethink their October plans as they are now just 3.5 games back off division leaders the Atlanta Braves, the same team who the Phillies swept earlier this week.
With the Braves coming into town for a four game series next week, the Phillies could be in with a realistic chance of leading the NL East before the end of the month.
UP AND DOWN SEASON
With that being said,what Phillies team will show up when they return to Citizens Bank Park?
The team on a five game win streak with the previously struggling power bats from the likes of Ryan Howard and Domonic Brown finally coming to life? Or the team which posted one of the worst bullpens in all of Baseball in April and failed to record a hit against an average pitcher in front of their home crowd supporters?
One thing we know for sure is that the Phillies fans are eager to find out whether or not their team is a contender or just a bunch of has been's and former all stars in decline.
Saturday's game will be a good test for the Phillies in which they take on one of the best pitcher's in all of baseball, Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright.
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