With their four-game series in the rearview mirror, the Philadelphia Phillies and the Atlanta Braves have completed 40 percent of their contests. However, the other six games are before August’s end, and the trading deadline may not affect their current rosters unless either club acquires pitching prior to Aug. 30.
Two New Obstacles:
For the Phillies and Braves, the keys are avoiding injuries caused by the lack of a player’s usual routine and/or downtime exposure to COVID-19. To illustrate, Joe Girardi has indicated in his interviews the important differences are management’s and the players’ approach. Ergo, healthy talent wins!
IN OTHER WORDS:
“There are no traffic jams along the extra mile.” - Roger Staubach
For the third consecutive summer, winning the National League East boils down to four organizations with the potential for the divisional pennant. But it requires good fortune and health even under normal circumstances because you can’t pull the wagon over the finish line without the horses.
In ‘20, stars must have the discipline to avoid risky situations off the field, and the skipper must keep them from doing too much. Even so, some Phils fans may question Girardi’s bullpen moves by, for instance, counting one pitch Hector Neris threw but ignoring the 30 warmup tosses before the save.
In 2019, I had questioned Mike Soroka’s workload, and some Braves supporters obviously disagreed. Including all frames --minors, majors and playoffs-- the rookie had worked 56 ⅓ innings in 2018 and accumulated 191 frames in 2019. I don’t know, but did more than tripling his innings lead to his injury?