– The Phillies are 29-34 and 9 1/2 games behind the first-place Nationals in the National League East.
– The Phillies have not been 9 ½ games out of first place since they finished 12 behind the Mets to finish the 2006 season.
– They have not been five games under .500 since April 22, 2007, when they were 6-11. But they have not been five games under .500 this late in the season since Aug. 1, 2006, when they were 50-55. The Phillies were nine games under .500 on July 25, 2006, which prompted Pat Gillick to unload Bobby Abreu, Cory Lidle, Rheal Cormier, Ryan Franklin, David Bell and Sal Fasano to rebuild for the future and change the chemistry in the clubhouse.
– The Phillies have a 5.02 ERA this month.
– Phillies starters have a 5.77 ERA.
– Since April 22, the Phillies entered Tuesday sixth in baseball averaging 4.74 runs per game, but 24th in ERA (4.74).
The Phillies pitching staff had been the strength of this team, but for the past seven weeks it has been its biggest problem. The team’s spotty defense hasn’t helped, but overall the pitching staff is not doing its job. Losing Roy Halladay certainly hurts, but losing a host of relievers hurts, too. The Phillies have four relievers (Jake Diekman, Joe Savery, Michael Schwimer and B.J. Rosenberg) that have appeared in a combined 54 games.
Here’s what Charlie Manuel said about the inexperience in the pen:
“Our young pitchers got work in, and that’s good. We have good young arms. They made some mistakes. They have to get their command down. … It’s going be some growing pains there. But they have talents, they have arms, they have good fastballs. But it’s going to take some time to get them some experience, get them in spots where they can command their pitches.”