Do or Die

A few (unfun) facts about the Phillies:

  • They have lost 12 of 15.
  • They are 4-12 in June.
  • They are 5 1/2 games behind the second NL Wild Card team with four teams ahead of them in that race.
  • The Phillies rotation has a 5.40 ERA since Roy Halladay suffered his back injury May 27. That ranks 14th in the National League and 27th in baseball.
  • The Phillies bullpen has a 3.48 ERA in that span, which ranks 8th in the NL and 18th in baseball.
  • The Phillies offense is averaging 4.74 runs per game in that span, which ranks 4th in the league and 9th in baseball.
  • They are hitting .269 with runners in scoring position, which ranks 7th in the NL and 15th in baseball.

What should we take from those numbers? First, if the Phillies fall much further behind it won’t matter when Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Roy Halladay come back. I think the Phillies can still get on a hot streak, when everybody is healthy, but if they’re 12  behind when they go on a run it’ll get them within — what? — six games? Five games? They have to stay within striking distance. Yes, the Phillies were 7 back with 17 to play in 2007 and won the NL East. Yes, the Cardinals were 10 1/2 back of the Braves on Aug. 25 and won the Wild Card. But two things happened there: the Phillies and Cardinals played out of their minds, and the Mets and Braves suffered historic collapses. You can’t count on both things happening again. If you’re hanging your season on, well, the Cardinals came back last year you’re in trouble.

I pin much of this on the rotation, which still has Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels pitching 2 out of every 5 days. Those are two pitchers you would have said before the season started, “One of them could win the Cy Young.” Is the bullpen too young and inexperienced for a team that is trying to win a sixth consecutive division championship? Absolutely. Could the offense be better with their situational hitting? Yes. But look at where they rank in the league and in baseball during this stretch in those categories. The offense actually has been pretty good, fourth in the league in scoring. The bullpen has been average. The relievers have hurt the team, but I keep going back to the starters. It was the strength of this team before the season started. It was supposed to keep this team in games when there were injuries. Instead, the rotation is the biggest reason why this team is pushing Ruben Amaro Jr. closer and closer to unloading some of his top talent before the trade deadline.

It is getting late very early in Philadelphia.

*

Phillies broadcaster Gregg Murphy will be guest bartending at Botto’s Italian Line Restaurant tonight to raise money for Team Murphy, his Irish Pub Tour de Shore bike team. The fundraising happy hour starts at 6 p.m. Eagles defensive end Jason Babin also will be there. The night includes a raffle, featuring items from each of Philadelphia’s sports teams.

Botto’s Italian Line Restaurant is located at 1411 Kings Hwy, Swedesboro, NJ 08085.

13 Comments

Just goes to show games are still won or lost on the field and not on paper. It sucks to witness, but it is the reason I love this game!

Get people healthy, no need to rush anyone back for this season. Start rebuilding for 2013 and do what needs to be done to stay relevant the next 5 years. I can’t see any player(s) saving this season now whether through trade, callup or return. Too many holes and nothing to repair them with on the fly.

I don’t see any single player saving the season either, but they will be far more interesting to watch with an intact defensive infield and a full pitching rotation. Replacing Halladay with Kendrick is a killer, but Lee and Hamels have to start pitching to their potential. They can still make things interesting down the road and offer some hope for 2013. Howard’s health and Hamels’ contract are the real keys.

LMFAO. My how the mighty have fallen. You tried to be the Yankees for a few years and the most you have to show for it is a WS loss to the greatest team there ever was. Eat it allllll day phan52.

Still the creepy predator on the internet, Phonies69? Remember, don’t be showing your stupid picture if you really expect to get a date that way. That would scare off the most desperate spinster in all of NYC.

Agree that I don’t think any of the returning players from the DL can save the season at this point. There might be slim, slim chance they can be the 2nd WC. This season really goes to show you how much in particular Howard is missed. Despite how frustrating he can be at times, his presence in the line up makes a world of difference. For example; they’ve survived before without Utley for periods of time. Also with Lee and Hamels having several bad outings hasn’t helped much either.

My hope at this point is to at least end over .500, enjoy a few fun games to watch, not sell the farm, and hope the Nats don’t win. Then we can retool and think 2013.

I guess we will all have to become both Yankees and Braves fans.

Phillies phans aren’t frontrunners and bandwagon jumpers. That’s the reserve of Yankees, Braves and Dodgers fans.

bite your tongue (or cut off your typing fingers) SteveJeltz

Maybe Phonies and Idiot are right…………NOT!

Looks like the hype of dominant starting pitching was all smoke and mirrors. Ha ha, I love it…love the talk of writing off this season already in the middle of June. Heck, summer has not even officially started yet for these boys of summer. June swoon indeed!

There is enough up-side that this season can still be interesting, but a lot of things have to go right.

Blah, blah, blah, Yankees. How many WS appearances in the Mattingly, Winfield, Guidry, Righetti, era? Zip. Nothing for 13 years. That’s a lot of money for nothing at all.

The most amazing thing in recent baseball history is the Braves 14 straight div. titles. The second most amazing thing was how fast their fan base crashed once the streak was over.

Just as hard to believe is that the Braves won only 1 WS with all of those division titles. And the fanbase didn’t crash; they were never really there. Could you imagine being able to walk up and buy a ticket to a playoff game the night of the game? Obviously, not in Philly. But in Atlanta? Happened all the time.

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