A Laboring Weekend
If you’re reading this, hopefully you’re reading it from your phone on the beach, your laptop on your porch or just before you head to a barbeque this afternoon. Today is a day to relax and have fun before work begins again tomorrow.
But if you’re the Phillies you’re just hoping to leave Houston with a win. It has been an ugly weekend for the Phillies, who have lost the first three games of this four-game series against the Astros:
- Brad Lidge blew his Major League-leading 10th save Saturday. Charlie Manuel has expressed his confidence in Lidge throughout the season, but the postseason starts exactly a month from today. Manuel has a big decision coming if Lidge continues to struggle. I have agreed with Manuel that as long as the Phillies continue to win and as long as there is time, he should stick with Lidge because a good Lidge gives this team its best chance to win. But time is running out. If Lidge continues to struggle, Manuel will have to push his loyalties aside and go elsewhere.
- Chase Utley fouled a ball off his foot and missed Saturday’s game. He returned Sunday.
- Shane Victorino has been bothered with a knee injury and missed Sunday’s game.
- Raul Ibanez went 2-for-4 in Sunday’s loss, which he hopes is a sign of better things to come. His struggles have resembled Jimmy Rollins‘ struggles earlier this season, when Manuel benched Rollins four consecutive games. Rollins hit .205 in 307 at-bats in 70 games through July 1. His average was the fifth-lowest average out of 100 qualifying players in baseball. His .250 on-base percentage ranked second lowest and his .319 slugging percentage ranked eighth lowest. Ibanez has hit .217 in 166 at-bats since he returned from the DL on July 11. He has the 10th lowest average out of 171 qualifying players in baseball. His .301 on-base is 26th lowest and his .386 slugging is 33rd lowest.
- Because Pedro Feliz plays such great defense and because he hits seventh in the lineup he gets lost in the shuffle. But he has hit .197 since July 27.