Pick up or Shake Up?

“Sometimes, there’s just no answers. We’re in that area right now where I don’t have any answers.” – Jimmy Rollins.

The Phillies came within one out from suffering their second shutout loss in four games (and their third shutout loss in eight games) in last night’s 5-1 loss to the Padres. After today’s series finale against the Padres, the Phillies play three games against the Diamondbacks in Phoenix and four games against the Cubs at home before hitting the road for six games against Atlanta and Washington.

The Phillies are in the middle of a stretch of 20 games in 21 days with 16 of those games on the road.

They are 7-8 this season, while the first-place Nationals are 12-4 and the second-place Braves are 10-5.

You wonder how those standings will look at the end of that stretch if the Phillies keep hitting like they have. They rank 15th in the league in on-base percentage (.279), slugging percentage (.320), extra-base hits (26) and runs per game average (2.80). It’s not like they need to average 5.5 runs per game, either. The Nationals are averaging just 3.63 runs per game, which ranks 13th in the league. The Nationals and Phillies have nearly identical pitching staffs. Washington leads the league with a 2.34 ERA, while the Phillies are second with a 2.41 ERA. But that 0.83 runs per game average advantage over the Phillies has been huge.

And now the Phillies have even less margin for error with Cliff Lee on the disabled list.

“We’re 15 games in. We’ve got a long, long, long ways to go,” Charlie Manuel said.

It is early, but the Phillies don’t want to bury themselves, either. If the Nationals, Braves and Phillies keep playing like they have, the Phillies could find themselves in a deep hole early next month. If it’s deep enough come late June and early July, it could mean a major shake up for the roster. Remember, the Phillies shopped Jayson Werth before the July 2010 trade deadline while they walked that fine line between contender and pretender. The Phillies were 43-40 and six games out of first place on July 6 that season. They were 48-46 and seven games back on July 21.

Wonder what the front office would think if the Phillies are 40-43 on July 6 this season? Or 46-48 on July 21?

You understand why the Phillies keep repeating it’s early, it’s early, it’s early. Panicking won’t help them. But they also know they can’t continue to play like this, especially with a week-long road trip against the Braves and Nationals coming up. It’s early, but it can get late pretty quickly, too.

*

Jim Salisbury and I co-authored the book The Rotation, which is now available. Check it out here! Here are our upcoming book signings:

  • April 26: Barnes & Noble in Marlton, NJ, 7 p.m.
  • April 29: Citizens Bank Park, 12:30 – 1:30 p.m.
  • May 10: Tredyfrrin Public Library in Stafford, PA, 7:30 p.m.
  • June 2: Citizens Bank Park, 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.

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10 Comments

“It’s early, it’s early…” The last time I checked, they were keeping score and counting games in April. They matter in September.

Agree. But sometimes for one’s sanity you have to look at things with a glass half full philosophy.

The Rangers are 12-3. Detroit is 10-5. Great teams are consistent and win regardless of the calendar. The problem with our ballclub is that their offense has been on the decline since 2010.
It isn’t that I’m agonizing over the first three weeks of the season. I’m agonizing over the trend of the past 2 years.

I think the Phillies would have been able to get through this season staying in contention, but not having Howard just creates a snowball effect throughout the lineup. They are putting ridiculous amounts of stress on the pitching and now the defense is showing cracks. A really bad team right now.

While Phillies overpays Ryan, Cliff (great player but not for 25 million per year), J-Roll, Papelbon, and others, Texas Rangers, Cardinals, Braves and the Rockies are getting good value for what they pay.

That’s the big problem right now.

Phillies have all the resources, but need to rebuild.

ur an idiot u complain when they dont spend and now your complaining that the spend to much, cant have it both ways…idiot philly phan

Very surprised Billy Boy hasn’t been here to run his mouth. Just wanted to check and see how you guys were responding to an under performing team. Note I am not here to “troll”, just curious how you guys are dealing with what the Braves usually do.

Brandon, the Phillies are not “underperforming” right now. They are what they are. When your 3-4 hitters are gone it has a snowball effect on the whole lineup. Lee, Hamels and Halladay have given up a total of 3 runs in their last combined 25 innings and the Phillies lost two of those games.The starting pitching has done their part but they can’t be perfect everyday, and cracks are beginning to show.
They have tried to put players on the field off the bench to provide some offense, but they haven’t performed and their defense has become shakey as well. They need Howard and Utley and they need to get rid of Jim Thome. Not a good team right now, but it’s early. Not ready to panic, but they gotta regroup. The games coming up with Washington and Atlanta will be pretty important.

You can definitely see your enthusiasm within the article you write.
The world hopes for more passionate writers like you who are not afraid to mention how they believe.

Always follow your heart.

With havin so much content do you ever run into
any issues of plagorism or copyright infringement? My site
has a lot of exclusive content I’ve either authored myself or outsourced but it
looks like a lot of it is popping it up all over the web without my permission.

Do you know any ways to help prevent content from being ripped off?
I’d certainly appreciate it.

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