By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – For the Phillies, six weeks of spring training are over, and starting this afternoon in Pittsburgh, the games count.

After the way last season ended, with Ryan Howard in a crumpled heap in the Division Series, Phillies fans have been eagerly awaiting 2012.

“World Series, baby!” exclaims Lori Kostow of Lebanon. “It’s promising. It’s promising. I think if they can rally and pull out and dominate on their strengths. I am very optimistic for a winning season.”

The starting pitching is expected to dominate, but with Howard and Chase Utley hurt, Lori says the rest of the lineup will need to pick up the offensive slack.

“They’re going to have to. And the guys are going to have to step up to the plate and make some hits, make some runs. And we’ll see in October!”

Even though their number three and four hitters are starting this season on the DL, Stephen Coyle of Douglassville says the Phils will get enough offense to win.

“The runs might be a little low, but I still feel that they have the ability to pull it out every game.”
Reporter: “The team can win with pitching and defense?”
Coyle: “Oh, definitely!”

Today at PNC Park, the quest for October baseball resumes.

“Well, Philly fans are never satisfied until we get the trophy in the locker room. But I think it’ll be a fun season.”

Fan Patrick Freer attended a Phillies advertisers’ event Wednesday that included a team Q&A.

“I think the toughest question was, why are they cutting certain players and how are they going to play — whether ‘small ball,’ or regular ball? And Charlie was very adamant about the fact that — he’s going to play however he feels like.”

Phils’ ace Roy Halladay gets the start today.

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