Trouble with the gloves, bats and bullpen means the 8-10 Phillies aren’t much better than they were last April (7-11). We run down the main offenders and round up the rest of the top stories.
Yesterday, it was the attack of the killer 0-fers: Ryan Howard: 0-for-5, 4 LOB, 3Ks; Jayson Werth 0-for-5, 5 LOB, 3Ks (Werth has cooled off); Pat Burrell: 0-for-4, 3Ks. As a team, they stranded 11.
Offensively, you can point the finger at two primary areas: First and third. Catcher and shortstop earn dishonorable mention. Since Scott Rolen, it's like the Phillies are cursed at third and have to settle for bottom-rung production every season. With Pedro Feliz starting basically every game, the hot corner has produced little (.603 OPS.) The National League average at third is .774. Feliz’s last hit was Tuesday’s game-winner against Houston. How much longer can he ride out that moment? Actually, he’s the team’s worst offender with runners in scoring position, hitting just .067. Compared to National League clean-up hitters, Howard is last in average (.182) and fourth from the bottom in slugging (.394). His 26 strikeouts are six more than Adam Dunn and the most in baseball. Over the last seven days, he has three hits.
Thanks to Chris Coste, the catching stats are respectable compared to the rest of the league. Ruiz alone, just as Eric Bruntlett alone, comes up far below average. But with guys like Russell Martin producing little out in LA, few catchers have produced, and Bruntlett could be back on the bench shorty.
Then there’s the bullpen. For the second game in a row, middle relief couldn’t hold it; this time it was Ryan Madson. Between Howard, Feliz, Madson and the defense, it's enough to drive one nuts. Or in my case, not write another depressing word about it, and end it at that.
Ex-pitchers producing (reposted from Carson):
Vicente Padilla- 4 gs, 2 w, 26 ip, 15 k, 3.12 era, 1.54 whip.
Randy Wolf- 3 gs, 1 w, 19 ip, 18 k, 1.42 era, 0.89 whip.
Gavin Floyd- 3 gs, 2 w, 19.1 ip, 10 k, 1.40 era, 0.88 whip.
Kyle Lohse- 4 gs, 2 w, 24.1 ip, 10 k, 1.48 era, 1.03 whip.
Todd Jones- 7 g, 7 ip, 3 sv, 4 k, 1.29 era, 1.29 whip.
Aquilino Lopez- 8 g, 1 w, 13 ip, 9 k, 0.69 era, 0.92 whip.
Kevin Millwood- 4 gs, 1 w, 26 ip, 12 k, 2.42 era, 1.46 whip.
Nelson Figueroa- 4 g, 2 gs, 1 w, 15 ip, 14 k, 3.60 era, 0.80 whip.
John Lieber- 5 g, 2 w, 11 ip, 5 k, 1.64 era, 1.27 whip.
Trever Miller- 8 g, 5.1 ip, 4 k, 3.38 era, 1.50 whip.
Justin Miller- 8 g, 1 w, 11 ip, 10 k, 3.27 era, 1.18 whip.
Gas Can Geary- 8 g, 8.1 ip, 8 k, 2.16 era, 1.08 whip.
Billy Wagner- 7 g, 7 ip, 4 sv, 6 k, 0.00 era, 0.14 whip.
Justin Germano- 3 gs, 20 ip, 6 k, 1.35 era, 1.00 whip.
Carlos Silva- 4 gs, 3 w, 29 ip, 11 k, 2.79 era, 1.14 whip.
Ryan Franklin- 10 g, 8.1 ip, 3 k, 2.16 era, 0.96 whip.
Marzano dies at 45: Beerleaguer is saddened by the loss of Philadelphia native son and former Major League catcher John Marzano, who died suddenly in his Passyunk home yesterday. Marzano was a regular of 610-WIP radio, Comcast Daily News Live, Phillies Post Game Live, and most recently, XM Radio, where his energy, insight and humor helped bring us closer to the Phillies. He will be deeply missed, and our thoughts go out to the Marzano family, and his extended family at WIP and Comcast.