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.


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Chase Utley’s triple was good. It was something anyway.

I think we need a new batting coach even though Charlie is himself supposed to be a hitting guru. The slumps this team goes through are unbelievable. It has to be getting to the pitchers as well. Some great pitching performances are going to waste.

The team is not in a slump. Their offense has been in a decline since 2008. The days of scoring like a pinball machine are over. They are the oldest team in the NL. They are often injured or worn down. Last season they were shutout 11 times, in ’09 7 times. I guess no one remembers the back-to-back series with the Red Sox and Mets when they were shutout in 4 of the 6 games, with three in a row against the Mets?? If they didn’t go on a spurt at the end of last season, they were headed to Wild Card country.

Are they still a very good team? Yes. But they have to listen to the manager and coaches when it comes to altering their approach to batting. Be more selective. Adjust where they stand in the box. Unfortunately, this falls on deaf ears. Ryan Howard said the other day he is not going to change his approach to beat the shift (e.g. hitting the other way or laying down a bunt just to get the opponents attention). Add all this together and is there any wonder why they can’t score with bases loaded and no outs against a shaky rookie pitcher?

We’re still 1st in the East, give it a rest!

Yeah. We’re still first in the East, but this season isn’t about winning the division, making a deep run or even going to the World Series.. it is about WINNING the World Series. If they don’t win it, it’s a failure in most people’s eyes. The offense needs to realize that they don’t need a three run homer. They need a one run single, or a stolen base, a sac and a groundout to get a run every once in while. These pitchers don’t ask for much, but unfortunately we’re not giving them anything. The problem is that this team will snap out of it for four games, score a bunch and everyone will forget about it. But you have to win 11 to win the World Series, not four.

It was an ugly game. Charlie was definitely and rightly pissed at the post game news conference. It better just a blip on the 162 game radar.

The Phils are in a state of limbo. They have 3 good startes and a good bulpen however they have NO offense. No concept of moving runners, scoring 1or2 runs they are looking for the 3 run hr. That includes the manager! A guy walks 3 straight batters and Howard swings at the first 2 pitches and misses. No driving the ball into the gaps, hitting behind the runner to advance, hit and run or even a squeeze play. Gotta come to the realizatipn that they are not a slugging team and start playing smart baseball like the SF Giants did last yeat.

I want a blog post about how the over-hyped phillies pitching staff can’t match the braves staff.

HAHAHA I love your comments Zizou. If the Braves’ rotation is better than the Phils, then if the Phils are ahead of the Braves in the NL East, that surely means the Phils have the better bats and are scoring more runs….. or else how would they be winning more games than Atlanta?

And over hyped rotation? Please, even you know this rotation beats the Braves rotation of old with Maddux and co. Stop crying.

Are you crazy? You think that this rotation beats glavine smoltz and maddux??? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA, thats a good one. Let me know when you have a pitcher who goes 7 sseasons in a row and wins at least 15 games and never has an era over 3 and never pitches under 200 innings? Let me know when you have a guy who wins over 300 games. And let me know when you win 14 division titles in a row. This is getting annoying, your rotation isnt that good. Hamels is unproven and unpredictable, Oswalt is over the hill, and cliff lee had 1 good year. Get a grip of yourself.

Zidane: Please go back to arguing with Billybobreefer on how Euro you are. And stop living in the past. No one here is disputing that ATL won 14 in a row, but that was a decade ago? What have your Braves done for me lately? Absolutely nothing. And, sorry, but the Braves can have the best ERA in the majors. Last time I checked, that doesn’t count towards making the postseason. Only win/loss record matters. Maybe over in Europe that works, but not here in America.

Firstly, I am British not European so get your facts right. Secondly, I didnt bring up the past, CahsemeUtley did. He said your current rotation was better than the old braves one. Which is laughable. Your staff isnt even better than the current braves staff.

“Firstly, I am British not European so get your facts right”

The words of a genius.

is this going to post

The phills don’t have a consistent hitter on the team. When howard is at the plate his swing looks like a rusty gate’ he coulden’t hit a low inside pitch if they were trowing soccer balls!! I just wonder if charlie ever thought of batting Valdez lead off, he’s about the most consistent hitter he has.

Great Blog Todd. My favorite so far!

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