Good Trip

The Phillies could have been 6-0 on this road trip.

They blew a big lead in spectacular fashion Sunday in Atlanta and a terrible call cost them runs Tuesday in Cincinnati. If the Phillies had won those two games they would enter tomorrow night’s series opener against the Rockies at Citizens Bank Park at 68-69 and six games behind the National League Wild Card leaders with their next 13 games against teams with losing records (Rockies, Marlins, Astros and Mets). But it didn’t happen that way. And just like fans can say, Man, if they had only held onto that lead Sunday against the Braves, they just as easily could say, Man, we really got lucky Erik Kratz hit that 0-2 pitch for a homer off Craig Kimbrel on Friday. And nothing prevented the Phillies from scoring more runs Tuesday.

It all evens out.

The Phillies have 25 games to play. Finishing the season with a winning record would be one way to salvage a disappointing season. Ninety-four teams have won 100 or more games since 1900, including the 2011 Phillies. Just five finished the following season with a losing record. The Phillies would like to avoid becoming the sixth:

  • 1985 Cardinals (101-61) finished 79-82 (.491) the next year.
  • 1970 Reds (102-60) finished 79-83 (.488).
  • 1993 Giants (103-59) finished 55-60 (.478) in a strike-shortened season.
  • 1931 Cardinals (101-53) finished 72-82 (.468).
  • 1917 White Sox (100-54) finished 57-67 (.460).

It would be a morale victory, but it would be something.

17 Comments

Is there anyone who believes Erik Kratz has not nailed down at least the backup catcher position next year?

Is there anyone who believes this team can still make the playoffs with 25 left? Stranger things have happened. STL collapse, PHI win streak!

Their current chance to make the Wild Card playoffs is 0.1% (www.coolstandings.com) They need St. Louis, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, Arizona and Milwaukee to lose. Much different than the situation you cited.

Will the Phillies give players like Kratz and Kevin Frandsen a chance next year, or go after expensive, big-name, over the hill free agents? (Anybody remember David Bell?)

I think they will have to give guys like Kratz and Frandsen a chance next yeat. The last few years have already proven going after the biggest names out there doesn’t mean anything. This team has missed the “under the radar” Pat Gillick type moves over the last few seasons, (Werth, Stairs, etc). Guys like Kratz and Frandsen are great examples of small market names that can make an impact.

pherrisphain: I actually agree with you :-) He’s been a pleasant surprise. On the pregame show that other night Chris Coste called his Coste II. I heard he has 17 HRs between AAA and the big league the most he’s ever had. Plus his defensive and calling games have been terrific. It’s incredible to watch such a tall catcher throw from his knees.

I’ve heard the FO does not consider Frandsen an “every day player”. Why I don’t know. The bullpen has looked a lot better since the trades. Cloyd looks to be a revelation. Have to wonder if Kyle can continue this level of pitching next year or if this is just a blip. If he can, and the Vanimal gets right during the offseason, this team will be tough next year. I am extremely unimpressed with papelbon – right now, he does not seem to be much of an upgrade over Lidge. He gives up way too many hits and walks too many folks for a closer. But they are committed to him now, you just hope he bounces back and settles in next year – right now you cannot count on him with a 1-run lead against a good team. But some tough choices still await this team, and the directions they take with those decision will ultimately decide where this team goes next year and beyond. They need to get a good plan for the infield (Utley, Frandsen, and Galvis, or maybe a vet via FA?) and the entire outfield (anyone really believe in any of these guys yet?). I think they need one good bat to come in – someone who hits closer to 300 than anyone they have now. Not sure they have that guy on the roster at any level right now. This lineup is still subject to periods of anemic hitting, and the BA’s show it.

But overall, I feel much more confident about this team since the trades – they are playing much more clutch. Errors have to decrease, but a lot of these are young guys – the errors will drop with confidence.

There is a good reason the Phillies don’t consider Frandsen an “every day player”. It’s because he’s not. He has a history, you know, beyond the last 33 games. He’s not a kid, he’s 30 years old and has never been able to stick in MLB. He’s a lifetime .260 hitter, he has no power, he has no speed and he is a mediocre defender. He should make a nice utility player, as he can play 3B, 2B and little OF, but they would be making a big mistake if they go into next spring thinking he can be an everyday third baseman.

Frandsen has been a nice surprise, but let’s not forget it was him misplaying the ball hit to third in Sunday’s game which gave Chipper the chance to bat. He makes that play (like he should have) and they have a 5-1 road trip.

He has also made several plays that saved runs (and games) so, let’s dwell on the negative, shall we? Cripes.

I agree, but my point was more sharing the blame for that Atlanta meltdown since everything you read slams Paplebon. Cripes.

muleman, I hope you are not seriously suggesting that Frandsen is an everyday player.

phan52: Did I say Fransden was an everyday player, or are you just trying to pick a fight? I said he has made several plays that saved runs (and games). Period. Go peddle your fish.

Thump Bump: Papelbon makes $11 million and Frandsen makes $410,000. And, who threw the pitches? Papelbon still has to get Jones out.

the problem with this years team is relatively simple. Poor planning by RAJ who didn’t bring in replacement for Howard for 1st half or have replacement for Poly if hurt (after last year, not unforseen). Utley’s inability to be honest with team about state of his knees. A bullpen closer heavy relying on young, untried arms, people (trying to) return from surgery, and a FA who throws batting practice, and a manager who is not able to use the roster he has to its best ability. RAJ’s moves to strengthen the bench were great, if the regulars were playing, but none of them are everyday players-which is what they were asked to be. Hopefully next year he does a better job–for someone else and the Phillies have a real GM who knows how to build a team

It’s a shame that it took so long for people to do anything with Kratz… he is a 10-year minor leaguer, yet he had superb numbers in college with lots of physical talent. What is the DEAL? In this post-steriods age, young talent is going to rule the day, it is a rarity to find a player in his mid 30s who hasnt already started his decline. Each season is just too much of a grind. So you have to get these guys worked through the minors more quickly and bring them up before they peak, because the downhill is steep on the other side (e.g., Howard, Rolins, Utley, Polanco, Lidge). The Phils farm system has done a lousy job dealing with college players– why did it take them so long to get Howard up? What is going on with Kratz? If a guy plays college ball, he is 22 when done, so why treat him like an 18 year-old? Get him up before it is too late… Howard hit 37 homeruns in one minor league season– what a waste! How many people paid to see those dingers? Anything less than 44,000 (each) is a shame.

Kratz wasn’t in the Phillies system until 2011 when they signed him to a minor league contract.

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