Want to be a bit positive about the new Lob (left on base) City after the Phillies rolled last night over Miami and have a legitimate opportunity to sweep a minor league team that features Placido Polanco and Greg Dobbs in the heart of the lineup. If they can manage it, they’ll be right at 16-16 through 32 games and in the thick of things in the NL East as the season approaches the quarter mark. I’d like to feel good about that because there are actually a few reasons to be optimistic. The Carlos Ruiz that doesn’t hit .083 should be returning any day now, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard are beginning to produce together, and Delmon Young hasn’t committed a hate crime since being activated on Tuesday.

But here’s the problem. The Phillies can bash teams like the Mets and Marlins and that’s all good, but excluding their 8-2 record against those teams, they’re 5-14 against the rest of the league. That’s not going to work. Nor is scoring two runs or less in 41 percent (12 of 29 games) of their games and it’s hard to imagine warmer weather and Delmon Young making that much of a difference. Nor is a middle relief featuring Chad Durbin, Jeremy Horst, and Raul Valdes.

The Phillies have a great chance to even things up this weekend and help wash away a bumpy start, but these games won’t be nearly as telling as their seven-game west coast swing next week against San Francisco and Arizona. Based on the first month of the season, there’s not much reason to be optimistic.