Just Like Old Times

phillies 0608 2010.jpg

Do we detect life from the Phillies offense?

They scored 10 runs last night in a victory over Florida. It had been a while, hadn’t it? Phillies fall behind, slowly come back, lose the lead, come back again and win. It felt like forever, which is why somebody asked Jayson Werth if it reminded him of an “old style” win?

“Old style?” he said. “You mean like ’50s and ’60s?”

Good answer, but the Phillies hadn’t had a night like this since they beat the Pirates on May 17, 12-2.

There were some encouraging signs:

  • Raul Ibanez went 4-for-5, his first four-hit game since May 15, 2009.
  • Chase Utley had a couple hits. I’ve been told Utley is healthy. He’s just slumping.
  • Ryan Howard had two hits and homered.
  • The offense has scored five or more runs in three of their last four games. They went 12 consecutive games scoring three or fewer runs before that.

The middle of the lineup has been an abyss in recent weeks. Little to no production. I’ve been getting a lot of e-mails and questions from people via Twitter and Facebook about the Phillies’ problems and how they can solve them. The short answer: the big guys need to hit and they need Jimmy Rollins healthy. Shaking up the bench won’t do anything. If the Phillies think adding a new bench player is going to save the offense they’re nuts. They simply need Utley, Howard, Werth and Ibanez to start hitting. And they need Rollins back. It’s that simple. Well, it’s not simple. Hitting a baseball is hard, but you know what I mean.

*

Werth isn’t happy at all that Charlie Manuel said his impending contract might be weighing on him during his slump.

*

The Phillies are very close to signing first-round pick Jesse Biddle. An announcement could come as early as today.

*

The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter. His Phillies book “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly” is available online, and at Delaware Valley bookstores!

17 Comments

Todd, there is one thing that I would do in shaking up the bench when JRoll gets back. Jettison Greg Dobbs. If you look at his career numbers, 2008 was an anomaly. He is really a .230 hitter and is stealing money. They will be better off if they just keep Wilson Valdez going forward and let Gload be the lefthander off the bench. Dobbs has become an automatic out on the level of Eric Bruntlett.

Last night’s win really lifted my spirits (I’m losing my job at the end of the month :-( )

Nice to see the offense put up crocked numbers in runs/hits. I think Polanco being back in the line-up has helped.

Phan52: Agree about Dobbs. WIP mid-day guys are soon going to initiate “Dobbs Time” like they did last yr for Brunlett since he’s BA is so low.

My candidate to go is Fransisco. Every ball hit to him is an adventure. Valdez has played some outfield in his career and could do it occasionally for the Phillies when needed. Next time Valdez has to be moved, I am not so sure he will make through waivers. So Utley is not hurt he is just slumping? And, this entitles him to special treatment, why?

Sorry to hear about your job, karen. I hope you can get something else lined up.
Yeah pherris, Francisco is scary out there in the outfield. Plus, he missed an opportunity to score on a SF by Ruiz because he wandered down the line and wasn’t ready to tag up. Baseball IQ is missing a little bit there. But he redeemed himself late in the game.

I agree with posters about Dobbs, I saying this for some time. I do like the idea of keeping Valdez. He has earned it

All of the comments about changing the bench’s make-up are not related to the lack of hitting we’ve witnessed the last month, but to the fact that JRoll won’t be able to play every inning of every game for the rest of the year. We will, therefore need a real backup at SS who can play on a somewhat regular basis (sort of like the backup catcher who plays once a week at least). Therefore, the reason to keep Valdez is not his hitting but his fielding and his ability to play ss. DObbs plays OF and 3b, where we have enough backups already. SInce his bat is not earning him a roster spot, and his fielding isn’t earning him one, he is the odd man out. Francisco needs to learn how to be a bench player (which he never was before) and this includes learning how to play defence when you only play the field rarely. Putting him in to replace Ibanez in late innings may be a way to help him do this. In any case, he’s only on his 1st or 2nd year of arbitration and is much cheaper then dobbs going forward.

thanks phan52. one positive is being able to have the summer off.

I like Charlie telling the media he thought Werth was too concerned about his impending contract. Might give him a bit of kick in the behind. Plus everyone has been talking about it since the start of the season.

Let’s hope they can string a couple of high scoring games together. Wonder if Mother Nature might interfere w/2night’s game.

Karen, Take your time looking for the next job and enjoy the summer. Acording to Gelb at the Inky, there will be a long delay so the philies don’t loose DOc like they lost Hammels last week

I’m doing the rain dance. I have tickets for tomorrow night, so I’d like to see Johnson/Halladay on Thursday. And it would give me the time to focus on the Stanley Cup game. It’s a division opponent, so they’d have plenty of opportunities to make the game up later.

Agree about Dobbs also. Actually, the bench stinks (except Castro when Rollins is healthy) and is a weak spot for this team, especially when they play AL teams and need the DH. Not only is Dobbs an out at the plate, but he struggles at 3B too.

Dobbs caught lightning in a bottle a couple of years ago, but his production has gone down since. It’s time to get some fresh blood up here, and difficult for me to believe they have nobody in the minor leagues who could replace the sorry group of pinch-hitters.
Ross Gload? Seriously?

I guess next week they go to the Ibanez/Francisco lefty-righty deal for DH? Bench strength is one area where Ruben has failed, IMO.

Francisco is supposed to start again in RF, although they may not get this one in. If it’s nice and wet, Bennie can slip and slide around out there while he misplays singles and doubles into triples again.
And you are right muleman. The shortcomings of the bench will really come forward in interleague play.

OK, so the rain dance worked and I’ll see Halladay/Johnson on Thursday. Be careful what you wish for, right? Strange that they cancelled a game so early. I heard about it on my way home from work at 4:45. Usually, they make us drive over there and sit in the rain until God knows when. How much of it had to do with 2 Aces on the mound, a division opponent, a Stanley Cup game across the street and the danger of unlimited rain delays? Maybe a little of each.

Karen, I’m sorry to hear that you will be losing your job. I hope you can find an better job in the near future or after the summer.

It’s funny posting on this board where the blog title is “Just Like Old Times” and tracking the game today where the Phils enemic offense is rearing it’s ugly head again….
Charlie should have Valdez bunt if there is a guy on firstbase and fewer than two outs. Wilson now has 9 GIDP in 93 ABs (that doesn’t include the line-out DP he hit into the other day). In his career, he only had 9 in 341 ABs before that. He’s a fairly fast dude, which means he’s hitting the ball pretty hard each time- right at an infielder, of course. But he is KILLING the PHILs with his DPs!!!!!!

And Charlie might have been better off letting Halladay and his .122 average hit for himself rather than send Dobbs and his .138 up to make another out. The bench is pathetic. Hamels is hitting .167.

I agree with the comments that Dobbs should go. This is the second year he is not contributing especially in pinch hitting. Seems like contracts are always a problem. Some players feel the pressure before a contract is signed. Others really produce right before a contract is signed and then drop off in a “secure feeling” that what was done in the past is good enough to carry them through the season. Whatever happened to that player (Sorry I’ve forgotten his name by now) who had a great spring training and was then sent to the minors for more experience? Seems like the team could use a hot bat to wake up the other sleeping bats on the team.

The pitchers have to be feeling discouraged. Most of them have pitched great games and lost because of lack of hitting support. Jamie and Doc, I enjoy watching you pitch and appreciate your positive performances even though offense and defense backing you up does not come through the way it should.

Jimmy Rollins has really been missed, but the loss of one player should not be an excuse for all the others to send their hitting skills on a vacation until Rollins returns. I hate to think that the great team we have been following, enjoying, and cheering for during the past couple of years is now history. Come on, Phils, start fightin’ !

JRoll brings more to the table than statistics in a box score. I really think this won’t turn around till he is back in the lineup, or at least in the locker room and the dugout. He will kick some listless, apathetic butt.

if i were manager the way the phillies are going. this would be my lineup for tonight.

victorino
utley
polanco
howard
ibanez
werth
valdez
Schneider
moyer

try it u’ll like it

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 288 other followers

%d bloggers like this: