Let’s Move On
Charlie Manuel minced no words last night.
“We didn’t deserve to win the game,” he said. “We didn’t play good.”
He was right about that. The Dodgers begged the Phillies to score a ton of runs in the first three innings. They scored one. Things got uncharacteristically sloppy in the top of the third, too, when the Dodgers scored three runs to give them a 4-1 lead. If that wasn’t the worst game the Phillies have played this season, it certainly was in the top five. To quote Chris Traeger: There is literally nothing good to say about this game.
A few thoughts before moving on to tonight’s game:
- Roy Oswalt allowed four runs in six innings to take the loss. His velocity has dipped since he returned from the DL (lower back inflammation) last month. His strikeouts are down, too. Is he pitching with some discomfort in the back? Everybody with the Phillies has said he is fine, but that does not mean he is 100 percent. Oswalt got peppered with questions last night about the increase in hits and decrease in strikeouts, which perplexed him. I’m sure he looks at it like this: Last night was just the second time in 10 starts this season he has allowed more than two runs. He is getting results, even if they are not always pretty. Oswalt has a 2.79 ERA in his five starts since returning from the DL. He is 0-3, but that’s because he has had awful run support. But here is what is interesting: Oswalt has a 1.30 WHIP, which is the second-highest average of his career (1.33 in 2007). His 5.3 strikeouts per nine innings easily is the lowest average of his career (6.5 strikeouts per nine in 2007). More hits. Less strikeouts. There is reason to ask the questions (although at one point I thought to myself, “Holy crap. Are we talking to Adam Eaton here?”). Before the DL, Oswalt was averaging 7.0 strikeouts per nine innings and had allowed 21 hits in 27 innings. Since the DL, he is averaging 3.7 strikeouts per nine innings and has allowed 38 hits in 29 innings. I’m not sure what to make of it. If he was getting knocked out of games in the third or fourth inning it would be alarming, but he’s not. He’s competing. I guess we’ll have to let this play out.
- No explanation for Chase Utley‘s shaky throws the past couple games. He’s had stretches like this before. Like Oswalt, let’s let this play out.
- The Phillies have seven extra-base hits in their last six games. No homers since May 31. It seems like forever since we’ve seen a player drive a ball into the gap.
- The Phillies no longer can say they have the best record in the National League. The Cardinals have passed them in the standings.