Adam Eaton (7-5, 5.67 ERA) will pitch in the Phillies’ final game before the All-Star break this afternoon at Coors Field. Right-hander Aaron Cook (5-5, 4.54 ERA) will try to finish off a three-game sweep for the Rockies.
Preview: The break couldn’t come soon enough. This has been the worst stretch since the beginning of the season, and for my money, the team hasn’t been the same since a hard-fought series at home with the Reds (which they won). They haven’t won a series since, and haven’t even made it close.
They have no bullpen. That’s the 10 cent reason. The offense, which usually spoils us, hasn’t been able to bail out the poor pitching. Walks and meatballs - yesterday being the rare exception. A look at the roster shows they have too little experience or too many miles. They're not underachieving; they're meeting expectations.
If the Phillies lose today, it will be their 10,000th loss in franchise history. More importantly - for me anyway - it would drive them below .500. There have been few worse lulls during the 2007 campaign. This is down there with Charlie Manuel’s altercation with radio host Howard Eskin.
The silver lining is they’re staying in it. They’re 5 1/2 out of the division. The Mets haven’t been able to separate themselves and are dealing with their own issues with their pitching staff.
Some readers and columnists believe the Phillies are a quality arm away from contending, but only if Brett Myers and Tom Gordon can come back healthy. As mediocre as the division suddenly looks, they might be right, even if it's wishful thinking. In any event, leave part one in Colorado, and get on with part two.