Phillies continue to win on Left Coast

Usually, a Phillies trip to the West Coast is something akin to a Bataan Death March. The Left Coast has not treated the Phils well in recent years.

That's why I expected this team to slide into oblivion with this early-season road trip to Denver, L.A. and Phoenix. But that's not the way it has played out.

The Phillies won again last night, 7-3, with Carlos Ruiz again playing the hero.

The win allows the Phils to climb back to .500 again at 11-11.

The Phils took three of four from the Dodgers, rallying last night in the 9th inning.

With the return of Cole Hamels to a starting rotation that already features Cliff Lee and A.J. Burnett, the Phils will have the ability to be competitive.

The problem is two-fold. Their starters have a tendency not to run deep in games, Lee being the exception to that rule. Last night they got just 5 and 2-3 innings from Kyle Kendricl. That leaves them at the mercy of their bullpen. And that's going to be a problem.

The Phillies entered last night's game with a bullpen ERA of 5.64. That's the worst in the majors.

Beat writer Dennis Deitch notes that right now, the Phillies bullpen just isn't good enough.

But I'd be lying if I told you I expected them to play this well, and sit at .500, on the current West Coast Trip. On to Arizona.