Getting Frustrated …

phillies 0625.jpgCharlie Manuel
is tired of it.

The Phillies have lost 10 of their last 12 games following last night’s 10-4 loss to the Rays at Tropicana Field. They have hit .232 and scored 53 runs in that span. The rotation has a 5.24 ERA. The bullpen has a 7.44 ERA. The defense has committed eight errors.

And then there are the mental errors.

“If I’m going to go out there and address (the mental errors), there’s a lot of other crap I should be addressing, too,” Manuel said. “I don’t know where I go from there. It’s building up. The dam bursts and get it all out. What can you say?”

“You know what? You play like that right there, there’s a good chance you’re going to lose some more. That’s not good play. I don’t think anybody in our clubhouse will tell you that they think that’s very good play. We’ve lost some games where we’ve given some away. We’ve lost some games where we’ve played bad baseball. We’ve made some mental mistakes. Mistakes that you’re not supposed to make. Sometimes we don’t score. Sometimes we don’t hold them. We don’t play consistent baseball. We don’t have the pitching and the hitting and the defense together. That’s how you accumulate losses.”

The Phillies have been in stretches like this before, but I don’t recall a stretch with so many mental errors lumped so close together.

It obviously will help once Raul Ibanez returns to the lineup. It will help to have Scott Eyre and Clay Condrey back in the bullpen, too. But strained left shoulder or not, it is clear after watching Antonio Bastardo pitch last night that this team really needs to get some starting pitching help before the trade deadline.

Unfortunately for the Phillies, there is almost nothing available right now.


Another clue Manuel is frustrated: the clubhouse doors opened almost immediately following last night’s game. The doors are supposed to remain closed to the media 10 minutes after every game for a “cooling off” period. But once we got to the doors last night, they opened. That is the first time that has happened since I’ve been on the beat.

Usually Manuel likes to decompress a bit. This time I think Manuel just wanted to get it over with.


Jimmy Rollins declined before and after the game to talk about Manuel’s decision to bench him at least two games.


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Bastardo is now hurting but, IMO, that’s no real loss. He can’t cut it yet as a starter and I don’t want to see him trying to work it out on the major league level anymore. Here’s the guy who should be next in line….…0005691464.txt

I know it’s been said before here, and I argued against it, but I am beginning to think that Bastardo is going to end up as a set up guy or closer. I had thought that his off speed stuff was there, but as a young rookie just called up he was afraid to throw it. Well, we’re 5+ starts into his tenure and he still isn’t throwing them. Either he doesn’t have any other pitches, or he knows their not good enough for the majors. Send him down, teach him a sinker (mabe Kendrick will be good for something afterall) and we have a potentially very good RP to bring back next year.

In the meantime, can we order a SP from the fairy God Mother?

Good to see Chase get fired up, last night! Since he’s a clubhouse leader, maybe he can request a team meeting, and take some of the frustration he felt for the homeplate umpire out on his team mates. Charlie still seems hesitant to do that. Yeah, I know the team’s being beat up with injuries. But the Mutts seem to be able to battle through all their problems. If we keep playing like this, we’re soon going to be in 2nd place. If not 3rd!

I think it’s probably a little early in Bastardo’s career to relegate him to the pen. He definitely needs some more AA/AAA seasoning, and some serious improvements in his stuff, but if he would be more valuable as a starter, so it’s a good idea not to make any decisions like that yet.

Drabek is mowing them down in Reading. His coaches say his stuff is ML ready. He’s hitting 97 on the gun and has a nasty curve that he is throwing for strikes.
Nothing to lose, I say.

I agree about Drabek. Stop babying him and get him up here.

I remain amazed by the fact that absolutely nobody examines why Milt Thompson, baserunning coach turned hitting coach, is unable to do anything positive about our so-called hitting. Players have regressed under his watch, yet he continues to get a free pass from everyone.

I fear the following: I fear that these guys have such big ego’s, they’re not able to be coached anymore. I fear that they don’t ask for help when they need it. I fear they don’t have much confidence in the pitching and hitting coach and that Charlie is the best hitting coach and Moyer is probably the best pitching coach. I fear that some guys might start to personally attack other guys. You don’t see it in the open, but who knows what happens behind close doors. Hard to recover from it. Remember the Bowa era. I also fear that these guys won a World Series, but by not winning now, trades may be coming. I hate when people in this town ask what have you done for me lately, but things are not that good now, so it’s a fair queestion. Yesterday’s winners are failing today and someone has to figure out how to fix it.

I’m hoping that with the return of Ibanez to the line-up hopefully next week, things will start to change for the better. His presence in the line-up seemed to help others. I’m also hoping that Charlie’s “chat” with the team last night will keep the team’s collective “rears in gear”. Another oddity over the last two games has been the reaction of Hamels and Utley to calls made by the homeplate ump. I know I’ve seen Utley give an ump a look when at the plate, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen him verbally “mouth-off”. The same with Hamels. Maybe this frustration will turn into a positive. And maybe with the awful roadtrip they’ll start winning at HOME!!!

Meant to say will get the team’s collective “rears in gear”

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