Is There Time to Right the Ship?

The Phillies celebrated fan appreciation night tonight at Citizens Bank Park, and the fans booed.

It’s tough to blame them. The Phillies have the best record in baseball, but have played like the Houston Astros since clinching the National League East on Saturday. They have looked deader than dead, losing six consecutive games and getting swept in their first three- or four-game series since Aug. 2010.

The Phillies have six games to play before Game 1 of the NLDS on Oct. 1.

“That’s definitely enough time, but we do have to pick it up,” Charlie Manuel said. “It’s time for us to kick it and get ready for the playoffs.”

If you watched tonight’s ugly loss you know Roy Oswalt pitched much better than his line indicated. He looks ready for the postseason. But the offense looks like it’s in the early stages of spring training. Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino and Chase Utley were a combined 0-for-36 with five walks in the series against the Nationals.

“I’ll give a bat to anybody that boos and if they want to go up to the plate and think it’s that easy I’ll be glad to give them my bat,” Victorino said. “We hear the frustration from the crowd. They’re deserving and (they have the right to) feel frustration, but as a player you can’t sit there and mope about it.”

It hasn’t helped the Phillies have been without Ryan Howard and Hunter Pence. Howard will be back in the lineup tomorrow night in New York. He will not play Saturday, but Manuel said he will turn Howard loose Sunday. Pence should be back Saturday.

Maybe that gets them going. Maybe the Phillies can just flip the switch.

Oswalt doesn’t sound like he’s a big believer in “flipping the switch.”

“I’ve seen teams with the best record get beat in the first round,” Oswalt said. “It’s really the hottest team going in. Hopefully the next six games we’ll turn it around and start playing a little bit better, but teams that are hot when the playoffs start are tough to beat.”

16 Comments

Polanco, Pence and Howard out again. That is one third of our lineup. Too much to ask especially with others struggling. What I was the the most upset with was Davey Johnson. What the heck was he doing changing pitchers with two outs in the 9th inning, a six run lead, and no one on base. I’ve lost all respect for the man, and I’ve followed both the Orioles and the Phillies since I was a kid. He lost his shutout and Chooch gets three hits. Best hitting average on the Team … Pence and then Chooch.

Where are the “4 Aces”? I thought a losing streak like this was not possible with the “4 Aces”? Thank you, Roy, Cliff, Cole and Roy. Such a Herculean effort.

Well, Mr. Todd Zolecki, why don’t you give us your Insider insight into WHY this homestand has been such a disaster instead of just stating the facts that we read everywhere else? Or are you too afraid to point fingers and name names lest the powers that be feel you’re being too hard on these Prima donna millionaures? Isn’t that the same reason the 3 TV booth stooges keep saying ‘a little bit’ the whole season. As in, this team is struggling a little bit. At what point does it become a major problem? 10 straight losses. 20? Harrumph.

When they actually play a MLB lineup its a problem. Otherwise when 1/3 of the lineup consists of Pete Orr, John Bowker and Ross Gload, then you take it with a grain of salt.

You’d think, though, that they’d eventually win a game by accident. It’s one thing for them to relax a bit after clinching the division, but this is a bit worrisome.

Shane really didn’t say that did he? The people booing aren’t paid millions to play baseball, they PAY big money to attend baseball games. We know it’s not easy but that’s why we don’t play baseball. When we lose to the worst teams in the sport there is something wrong.

Wow…Really people? Act like you been here. Stop jumping of the wagon. They will turn it aound when they need to. This sounds like the start of the season when everyone was talking about how the bats were asleep…then they woke up and hold the best record in baseball. Stop acting like a bunch of spoiled prima donnas. Just relax and enjoy the show. LETS GO PHILLIES!!!!!

act like YOU’VE been here. What about the last 2 years? There is no switch to flip.

The last two years? Last year, they hit a red-hot Cody Ross and a very, very good Giants team. Weird things happen. But 2 years ago? They had a great playoff and went to the World Series with Pedro as their game 2 starter! C’mon, now. Get a grip.

Maybe Shane should have been in the batting cages instead of cutting ribbons at his boys and girls club. That kind of crap is what January is for. To blame the fans for being passionate? MAYBE you should take a page out of their book instead of offering up your spot in the line up to them because I can go 0-fer too (at a deeply discounted rate).

Crap? You’re probably the first one to complain about the outrageous salaries that players are paid, but when one of them takes $900,000 and puts it back into the community, you’re all over that, too. Perhaps, during your work day, you could spend less time texting your friends about nonsense, surfing the web or pondering your weekend and instead, do your frigging job. That should equal things out, eh?

Excuse me,

That kind of generous, charitable, kindhearted act of selflessness could have been done in the off season.

Excuse YOU: Your stupid text messages and mindless nonsense could be done on your own time instead of during work or while you are driving. What f**king difference does it make when the guy decides to donate money? Grasp at straws much, Jesus? You’re the typical idiot who leaves mindless comments on blogs and makes the rest of us look bad. Keep your moronic ideas to yourself.

They need to get Pence and Howard back in the lineup – but once they are, are they healthy enough to contribute?
Utley has been useless, and the top of the order looks like they should be at the bottom of the order. Regardless of who is or isn’t playing, 0 for 36 out of the top 3 is inexcusable.
If they face the Cardinals in the first round, it will be a very interesting series. And, as far as switches are concerned, there aren’t many games in a 5-gamer to flip one.

Let’s keep this simple. If then can get that lineup back together, and if they continue to get the kind of pitching they’ve had all year long, they’re going to be just fine. There’s no question that they’ve had a post-clinching slump, but I don’t think that’s unusual or even surprising, given the breakneck schedule they’ve faced the last month. I wish Cholly would literally sit the entire team for a game or two just to get them some rest. But I think that in the Atlanta series, they’ll get their heads back in the game, and that will carry over into the playoffs.

Hmm … even though I’ve been on and off this page for the past 2 hours, I had to go to Yahoo Sports to find out that the game had been postponed.
Nice job, Todd. This site is becoming more pointless every day. Stick with Twitter and your regular Internet sources, gang – and you’ll do just fine. Leave Todd to his book promotions and radio gigs. This doesn’t seem to be a priority.

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