Frustration mounts as the Phillies dropped their fifth consecutive series yesterday against the mighty Red Sox. The Phils would have turned to Cory Lidle this afternoon, but the game in Boston has been called.
Nothing personifies displaced fan frustration more than yesterday’s game thread, in which stones were cast at backup catcher Chris Coste.
The 33-year-old rookie backup catcher, who starts about twice a week, is at the bottom of the Phillies' concerns. Their most valuable pitcher - perhaps most valued player for the future - was charged with assaulting his wife. They are generating sub-replacement level pitching from at least two spots in the rotation. Their season is spinning rapidly out of control and they’re losing ground daily in the playoff picture.
Playoffs. They are so far from a playoff contender right now, it’s a joke.
Nobody has stepped up this series, but even more troubling is the lack of movement by management to shake things up. The last time the standard starting lineup won a game was over two weeks ago in Washington. When the ship is sinking, isn't the first step to jettison the extra baggage?
That's all that needs to be asked of apologists, like Tom Gordon in today's Inquirer, who still believe the current roster is better than this. It's basically the same one that was hammered opening day, minus their opening-day starter, minus their starting catcher.
Perhaps on some other planet they are flying high instead of spinning their tails. Here on Earth, the Yankees, Mets, Red Sox and Cardinals have shown they are in a different class, as are playoff hopefuls such as the Dodgers, Astros and Reds.
Individually, they have pieces that hold up next to the premier players in baseball, yet on a sliding scale, they are outclassed among the best as a team, from their top starter to the last guy on the bench.