Nearing the season’s quarter mark, the Phils dropped the final game of their road trip, losing to the San Francisco Giants 4-3 on a two-run home run by backup catcher Steve Holm.
It could be the weather, or Monday morning or watching my team get beaten by a 28-year-old catcher who spent last season in Double-A; in any event, I sit here, look at the Phillies 21-18 mark and realize they’ve only been okay. They haven’t dug themselves into an early April hole, which is fortunate. They're hovering, and there's nothing wrong with that after 39 games. But I look at how they’ve managed to win and see a bullpen that needed to be perfect, a rotation that may be getting lucky and an offense that isn’t producing.
The offense part should take care of itself if Ryan Howard and Shane Victorino get on track, and if a few others can show a just a little improvement over the first month. It’s the pitching that scares me. The pitching, quite frankly, could have been smoke and mirrors for a month. Jamie Moyer gets shelled Saturday and J.C. Romero, who hasn’t been the spotless pitcher everyone says he’s been, gets tagged by Holm. Even Hamels got hit around Friday night. This against a Giants’ lineup generating less than 3.5 runs coming into this series.
The front office understands there’s still work to be done. They’re looking around and shuffling prospects in hopes of uncovering another lefty to add to the mix.
To take nothing away from Arizona, the Phils have run up against a string of teams that can’t hit: San Francicso, San Diego, Colordo is struggling, Milwaukee is struggling, Pittsburgh doesn’t scare you. Now they face Atlanta, a big division opponent, where the heart of the order goes Escobar, Chipper, Teixeira, Francouer and McCann. I can barely recall the Giants' lineup besides Rowand.
This week, we'll start to see what the Phillies are truly made of.