Another Beat Down

hamels 0701.jpgCharlie Manuel searched for something positive to say last night after an 11-1 loss to the Braves.

Maybe, he said, the positive could be found in the negative.

“They took it to us,” he said. “They hit us and they outplayed us. We got beat pretty bad. … Sometimes if you’re going to lose a game and you get beat up, that can help you. It’s never good when you get beat. But at the same time, if you get beat bad enough, you see if you can come back. We’ve always been resilient. We’ve always managed to hold our own. Hopefully, that’s how we’re going to come out and play tomorrow.”

What else can he say at this point?

The Phillies have lost 13 of their last 17 games and hold just a half-game lead over the Marlins in the National League East. Jimmy Rollins is hitless in 27 at-bats, which is the longest hitless streak of his career. (He went hitless in 25 at-bats from June 18-24, 2002.) Cole Hamels is 4-5 with a 4.98 ERA. (Hamels said he is healthy.) They have the worst rotation in the National League and now the bullpen is struggling.

If J.A. Happ can beat the Braves in the series finale tonight, the Phillies will return home 5-13 in their last 18. They had a 5-13 stretch June 10-29 last season, when the starters had a 4.66 ERA and the bullpen had a 3.27 ERA. The Phillies also hit .227 and scored just 76 runs (4.22 runs per game) in that stretch.

The Phillies have hit .233 and scored 74 runs (4.35 runs per game) in their current 17-game slide. But the starters have a 5.42 ERA and the bullpen has a 6.21 ERA.

The big difference between these two skids is last season the Phillies felt confident the hitting would turn around and combine with good pitching. This year the Phillies are confident the hitting will turn around (it will help to have Raul Ibanez back in the lineup), but the pitching remains a major concern.

The Phillies turned it around after a 5-13 stretch last year. It can happen again. But just because it happened once, it doesn’t mean it will happen twice. Especially if the pitching doesn’t improve. It must.


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So far this year, I’ve stayed away from the “the sky is falling” gang. Well, today I took out my hardhat and am constantly looking up to see what is going to fall next. There are serrious problems with this team. I don’t mean hitting and pitching (we all know these problems come and go over 162 games) but attitute. If I was on a team what had lost as many in a row as the Phillies I’d be throwing things in the dugout, breaking things in teh clubhouse and generally walking around with my head hung and eyes downcast. Not out team, though. Eveything is great, they seem to be saying with their attitude. No one gets upset, no one yells or does something to get the adreniline flowing. “We got beat” charlie tells us. Thanks Chollie, I hadn’t noticed..How about doing something to shake this team up? Last year you sent Myers to the minors and woke the entire team up–no sacred cows. How about sending Rollins to class A to learn to take a pitch every year or two. How about benching the next player who does a bone head act because he wasn’t mentally in the game? Time to shake the team to thet core and get them playing ball again. otherwise we'[ll be WFC again–World F-ing CHumps

Not sure if I’m quite ready to join “the sky is falling” gang. But I’m pretty close.

FIJ: In regards to players’ attitude, as I’ve said in previous posts, I thought it was really interesting to see our California cool players (Hamels & Utley) “mouth off” to the umpires. I was listening to WIP this a.m. and they said once again Utley appeared ready to blow his cork last night when Hamels left the game. Just maybe he’ll be the one to give the team a piece of his mind especially since he’s usually so tightly wound and in control. Just maybe he’s had enough.

I agree with Todd in his assessment of what Charlie had to say after the game. Not much else he could say. I think the all-star break will be a welcome break for our Fightins especially the bullpen.

The pitching is falling completely apart. Combine that with JRoll’s epic slide and it translates to what we are seeing on a daily basis. It’s completely amazing that they are still in first place; says a lot about the division.
f-i-j, as far as Jimmy swinging at the first pitch, his batting average when making contact with the first pitch is higher than it is at any other point of an at-bat for him. It’s not great, but it’s better. He is horrible late in a count. Did you see him swing at that 3-2 pitch in the dirt on Tuesday? Pitcher have him where they want him late in the count. Here’s his ‘2009 splits’ page. Scroll down to ‘Count/Balls-Strikes’.

I know what you’re saying, but when you aren’t hitting, and you ae (I don’t know why) batting lead-off, a walk is a very nice thing to get. He needs to let the pitcher put the ball over the plate. I’ll accept more K’s from him if we see more walks. (there is no difference between a pop-up and a K while a walk is the same as a single many times)

That was the only positive for J-Roll last night was that he finally got a walk! I agree is he had more Ks, we know he’s at least watching the pitches better to see what looks good and what doesn’t.

Sam Donnellon has an interesting article on News that the Phils were basically in the same situation this time last year. We just hope that like last year they have a great 2nd half.

Maybe I need to stay on the Braves blogs, but how bout we give some credit to Jair Jurrjens! The guy pitched a heck of a game last night against a lineup that does really well against RHP. Can’t wait for tonight’s game!

Jurrjens did really well last night against a lineup that has been spiralling downward for close to a month. The Braves are playing the Phillies at the right time. Let’s see what happens later in the year.

Wow! No love for Jurrjens? The guy has a 2.73 ERA and has dominated the Phillies over his career. You say he did well against a lineup that has been “spiralling downward”, I say he did well against a team that has the best road record in baseball. I didn’t come to argue, so I’ll leave.

Jurrjens is a solid pitcher. I’m just saying you can’t judge anything by what he does against the Phillies lineup at this point.

Most impotant ??? of all…Does Ibanez start rehab tonight?

While Phan is right that the Phillies havne’t been hitting lately, I’ll gladly take Jurrjens as my #3 starter. He pitched a great game yesterday. However, we’ve seen quite a few pitchers have great games against the Phillies this year, and I don’t mean aces, either.

karen: The All-Star break might be a good thing, except that what follows are 9 games against the Marlin, Cubs and Cardinals. If they haven’t fixed their problems, facing those teams won’t help.

bravesblogbyjake: You probably weren’t around for the Orioles series, where the Phils made Hill, Bergesen and Guthrie look like Palmer, Cuellar and McNally. Granted, Jurrgens is good, but he ain’t “no-hitter” good.

only good thing in the orioles series was that we didn’t have to face (and loose) to Eaton. That just would have been too much even for me to handle

Absolutely. In fact, I had bought tickets to Friday and Saturday’s games in addition to my regular season package, and when the O’s signed Eaton, I saw trouble looming.
But he got cut, which was both appropriate and fun to watch. I’d like to see some of the Phils pitching prospects make the same progress that Bergesen, Albers and Birken have made for the O’s. Of course, Baltimore has nothing to lose by bringing them up, but Bergesen looks like a quality big-league arm.

31 of those 74 runs came in three victories. Take out those games, and they’ve scored 46 runs in 14 games, or barely over 3 runs per game. I’m still flabbergasted that nobody has questioned the role of Milt Thompson in all of this…

Been a long week. Actually, it is 43 runs in 14 games if you remove those three outbursts. That is simply awful, even worse than my math tonight! :-p

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