The Philadelphia Phillies might be well placed for the season, but their success in 2013 ultimately depends on the strength of their pitching. That’s the lie of the land according to Dino Ciliberti of the Ardmore Patch, who suggested that pitching will be just as important for the Phillies’ chances this year.

The Philadelphia Phillies are pinning much of their hopes for the season on Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley. The power three have a demonstrable record of scoring for the Phillies, and fans and commentators alike have pinpointed these boppers to spearhead the charge.

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But the alternative point of view is finding increasing favor. Cliff Lee, Roy Halliday and most notably Cole Hamels represent the main thrust of the Phillies pitching threat. With a tough season ahead, it could well be pitching prowess that proves the difference towards the business end.

Hamels in particular has had a few shaky appearances for the Phillies, and there’s some concern that he still needs to step up to the plate and prove his worth. But the guy’s definitely got ability – Hamels was World Series MVP in 2008, and his reputation for the game’s best change-up precedes him.

Lee has started the season well, containing the Braves tightly. If he can pull together with Hamels and the force that is becoming Roy Halliday, there’s no doubting the Phillies could have a chance. Ciliberti believes the way “these three perform throughout the year will determine whether they are the Three Aces or the Three Amigos.”
But whether it’s the pitching or the batting side that poses the best chances of success for the Phillies, the fans are in an expectant mood. ABCTickets, which handles ticketing for the Philadelphia Phillies-baseball team, said that fans were expecting the Phillies to mount a challenge in 2013, fresh from the distractions of the previous season.

“Last season the Phillies took some crucial injury blows, and the contract wrangling over some of its biggest names definitely shifted the focus. This year, the fans are expecting the Phillies to come out fighting in all areas of the field to become more serious contenders this season.”

The Phillies, who play their baseball in the famous red and white stripes, are the oldest franchise in the country across all professional sports. Founded in 1883, they’ve become an institution in the game.

In 2012, the Phillies stepped up to defend the NL East crown, having dominated the division for the best part of a decade. Sluggish performances meant the Phillies lost out on a playoff place for the first time in 7 years, causing fans to wonder where it all went wrong.

The new season is regarded as being free from the distractions of last season. With improvements to the lineup and a renewed focus, the fans are now expecting the Phillies to return to their perceived rightful place at the top of the division.

Perhaps fan optimism should be contained. It’s not as if the Phillies have the easiest starting run to the season, and if they don’t find their rhythm in the opening stages they might find it difficult to mount a credible threat. If they are to get there, the big names will need to step up to the plate and prove their worth once more.

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