They managed just five hits and a scrap run in a 5-1 loss to Texas, making it six series losses in a row, dropping their record against the American League to 4-11.
With the interleague schedule complete, it only gets easier, right? Or wasn’t this series supposed to be the calm after the storm? I guess it depends whether you think Eric Hurley and the Rangers rival Boston, Los Angeles and Oakland. In my estimation, the Rangers had nothing, but the Phils had even less this weekend. I saw highlights of their lone win; Vicente Padilla served it up on a silver platter. Before that, Brett Myers didn’t give them much of a chance. Then yesterday was more of the same from the offense, which isn’t hitting the ball well enough to beat anyone, from any league.
Their offense is unwatchable. You have to dig deep in the Beerleaguer archives to find a stretch when the offense dried up like this. It looks and feels like 2005, when they lumbered along in trips to Seattle, Oakland, then home against Boston and New York. They were powerless. It felt a lot like this.
Jimmy Rollins was on shaky ground back in those days, remember? He wasn’t getting on base and didn’t seem to have exactly the right approach for a leadoff man; many of us wanted to see Bobby Abreu replace him at the top. Back then, J-Roll was hitting .275/.313/.405 with seven homers. Today, he’s hitting 264/.326/.431 with six homers, with time missed.
But it certainly isn’t fair to single out J-Roll. This business with Carlos Ruiz and his .591 OPS is getting tough to take, but the performance of the pitching staff could be the one reason why they'll ride it out. Sitting Geoff Jenkins so he can fix his swing is a problem for me, but they have no choice because of the way he's playing. They’re paying him top dollar to produce in games just like yesterday. Instead, Greg Dobbs and Jayson Werth start, Dobbs at DH, Werth against a right-hander. That’s junky to me. Dobbs isn’t producing in any role except pinch hitter and is making a case why his best spot is on the bench.
And why not lump in ’08 usual suspect Ryan Howard? The Phils are hitting .235 with a .725 OPS this month. Symbolically, Howard is hitting .234/.726 this month with few signs of making adjustments. Maybe, just maybe, it's time to wonder whether the cat's out of the bag on how to handle the former MVP. Stay away, and you'll be fine.