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Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Agree 100%, Weitzel.

The last three games of ineptitude leave me with the taste of bile in my mouth.

Heather, his complete game, 12 strikeout shutout against the Washington Nationals.

Absolutely dealing that game.

But, FWIW, I think it's fair to say that so far, Lee has NOT lived up to the hype and his contract. He's been good, no doubt, but not $125 M good. I expect that to change at some point, but so far, he has no lived up to it. That's not to say it's his fault that the Phillies don't score any runs when he's on the mound.

The lineup I'd like to see,

1. Rollins
2. Polonco
3. Victorino
4. Howard
5. Utley
6. Mayberry
7. Ruiz
8. Francisco
9. Pitcher

Throw Brown in at 7 or 8 if/when he comes up.

Lee wasn't going to live up to that contract...every big-name FA is going to be overpaid, it's just the way the system works. Werth, Crawford, Lee...none of them will live up to the hype.

Lee is an excellent pitcher, but he's not on Halladay's level. He is a step behind that tier of pitcher, even though he's being paid like a top-tier ace.

reposted from last thread:

I realize i'm not in the clubhouse, but if UC is as hands-off with the players as he seems then it's time for a change. This offense has been declining overall for 3 seasons now, and his only solution is to keep throwing the same lineup out there and hope they find their swing or plate discipline.

I realize that it falls on the players shoulders to improve their game and have smart at-bats, but there is a purpose for a manager outside of filling out a lineup card.

Judging from reactions on this board, you wouldn't know that the Phillies do this EVERY year. It's mid May...this is how it works. They will slump for a while, but stay on top or near the top of the division. Then, they will get hot in about a month. Life will be good then.

Even still, this team is in desperate need of a Chase Utley and Domonic Brown injection. They WILL be better than Valdez/Orr and Francisco/Ibanez.

I guarantee.

They do this every year, correct. And they lost the WS in 2009 and lost in NLCS in 2010. It's a downward trend.

Who in this lineup is going to get hot in the 2nd half? And what guarantee is there that Utley's knee will hold up? If anything, this team has shown that they're injury prone

I would like to see:


Frustrating loss, no matter what lineup you put up against Jake Westbrook's 7 ERA going into the game.

Also, Lee's ability to hold the Cards offense to 3 runs while issuing six BBs is a testament to him moreso than a reason to criticize.

Steve, woe is the Philadelphia Phillie fan!!!

How can we endure such a "downward trend"? What other fanbase could endure such ineptitude and complete and utter lack of eagerness to win by their city's baseball team?

Give me a break. They lost the World Series in 2009 because the Yankees were a powerhouse that year, and because Cole Hamels wasn't right in the 2009 playoffs. If he's pitching like he can, we probably win that series. Last year, we were just outplayed a team with pitching as great as ours. They got the breaks, we didn't.

This year, we have the best rotation in the game, and even though some people don't want to believe, a lot of player overcome patellar tendinitis. Brandon Inge did it. Hell, I've overcome it, and I'm a tenth of the athlete that Chase Utley is, with ZERO training staff helping me. Chase Utley will play this year, and, even if he's not the Chase Utley of old, why can't people accept that he won't post a .567 OPS?

Do people really expect that out of him? Really? The NL kind of stinks this year, and the Phillies can and will win this division. They need offensive help to be sure, but even with the second best offense in baseball last year, they still had stretches of ineptitude and trotting out Valdez, Orr, Francisco, Ibanez and a slumping Ruiz ALL in the same lineup. What else did people expect last night?

THE PESSIMISTS WIN! what a glorious day to be a Beerleaguer. how good it must feel to be a fan of a team, forecast that team to suck, then watch it happen with your very own eyes.

in all seriousness, those who prognosticated a disgraceful offense have proven correct. this has become painful to watch. albeit, with some caveats. the lineup as currently constructed is incomplete. and, as others have mentioned, this seems to be an annual occurrence.

the lineup with polly, vic, and utley will be better than last nights dreck. having said that, another power bat seems like a must have.

Rube, go get Carlos Quentin - like NOW!!

Hold up.

I was assured each and every time I said otherwise that Charlie Manuel is one of the greatest managers in the game and that to bring in anyone else would threaten the current Phillies dynasty.

At any rate, it's long past the time that Ibanez and Gload trade places. I don't care what he's being paid - he's a weak bat and a defensive liability and should finish out his contract as a pinch hitter...with Francisco joining him on the bench in favor of Mayberry. It's time to try something new and stick with it for a few weeks.

The good that will come from this slump is that it might spur Reuben to pick up an outfield bat when/if one becomes available later in the season. The Giants don't win without Cody Ross last season. Hopefully, Reuben can do the same type of thing and pick up someone who gets hot for 2 months.

The Phils are the best team in baseball. Listen to and read what baseball people throughout the sport are saying. The real debate isn't the Phils at #1, it's about who the 2nd best team is.

Thats not to say the team doesn't have room to improve, but think about that for a second. This team is nowhere near full strength and they're almost universally regarded as the best team in baseball.

I would like to see:


There is no historical data to support that Manuel will do anything but wait it out. He's not going to bench Raul, play Gload, or bat Utley 5th when he arrives. His faith and patience have been rewarded in the past, despite many opinions (including my own) that he is more stubborn than he should be.

Marv: What is the historical data on whether or not Rube will wait it out with Charlie. The game has quite clearly moved beyond his ability to keep up. He's become the Commandant Lassard to the Phillies Police Academy.

"We live in a society of laws! Why do you think I took you to all those Police Academy movies? For fun? Well, I didn't hear anybody laughing - did you?"


I'm one who believes that Charley has been in the right place at the right time, and being a "players' manager" has worked for him here; the results are certainly in his favor. Personally, I wouldn't hire him to RUN a Mini-Mart, but John McGraw couldn't win with last night's lineup. The fact that you and I believe that RAJ should be considering a change is irrelevant. It's just not going to happen.

I would like to see
Hamels - P or LF
Lee - P or LF
Worley- 2B

No, Lee hasn't pitched like a Cy Young candidate, or even an All-Star, or even the Phillies' No. 2, but you can't continue to ask your starters to pitch without any margin for error.

Most important line in the header. Absolutely, 100% spot on. Lee has most assuredly been a "disappointment" so far this season. But, other than an awful game in Atlanta, he's kept this team in every game. I expect a little more from him than "keeping them in every game," too, but it's not like he's starting the team in a hole.

The offense is horrendous, and has been all year, regardless of the lineup construction. It can't be easy for a pitcher knowing that he has to pitch a shutout and hit a HR to win the game.

Ibanez is hitting .327/.340/.538 this month 2 HRs in 52 ABs. He has been 'ok' this month. Tonight is the kind of night he should sit vs. a tough LHP with Mayberry in LF. With Vic hurt though, it means Ibanez plays.

They were also without their two best hitters this year in the lineup last night (Vic, Polanco). Any lineup would look fairly inept missing 3 of their best hitters.

Just going to have to manage to get through this stretch and scratch out a ~.500 record.


is a top 5 offense in the NL

"The fact that you and I believe that RAJ should be considering a change is irrelevant. It's just not going to happen"

There was a time when Cliff Lee's return was equally impossible.

LIne up I'd like to see:

Billy Hamilton CF
Sam Thompson RF
Chase Utley 2B
Dick Allen LF
Ryan Howard 1B
Mike Schmidt 3B
Chooch Ruiz/Dutch Daulton C
Jimmy Rollins SS

Substitute Pete Alexander for Joe Blanton, Tug McGraw for JC Romero, Chris Short for Kendrick, and Bedrosian for Baez.

I'd like to see some rainouts.

First, Victorino is our best leadoff hitter, and has been since he joined the team. Jimmy is either #3 or #6.

Second - Yes, that damn Charlie Manuel, completely inept, leading them to a 25-15 start, and 4 playoff appearances in a row, including a WS win clearly indicates a lack leadership over the players.

Charlie's getting lemons right now. He'll do his damndest to make .500 lemonade, and anyone calling for a change in manager should go become a Mets fan or something.

Ole Cholly is going to be the Phils manager until he dies and is buried underneath the left handed Batter's Box.

He's literally the best manager the Phillies have EVER had.

Andy -- Now that's funny! Ritchie Allen batting cleanup is cool -- I still think that when he was in his prime, he could hit a ball harder than any man alive. However, who the heck are Billy Hamilton and Sam Thompson?

Criticism of Cholly:

Yeah he has to deal with the pieces he has but why does he hit the likes of Mini-Mart/Valdez in the 2-hole? Valdez is ice-cold and hasn't hit all season.

He needs to try to bunch his assets together to maximize their chances to score. Hitting Valdez 2nd doesn't do that. It was a tactically poor choice.

Did the Phils' try to bunt either with a mediocre-fielding pitcher in Westbrook & Pujols at 3B with one of the better bunters? Nope. It was Valdez.

Understand this lineup has some serious limitations but is Cholly doing what he can to maximize his team's chances to score? I would argue 'No' with the lineups the last 2 games & his in-game strategy last night.

"anyone calling for a change in manager should go become a Mets fan or something."

Yeah, because Charlie Manuel is the reason we all became Phillies fans.


cut - Look'em up on b-ref. In fact, look up the whole 1894 Phillies team.

I might swap out Ashburn for Hamilton (or at least have him on the bench). And I might play Delahanty over Thompson. But Jim would be the perfect super UT.

Blah blah 'Cholly is the greatest' blah blah. It doesn't change the fact that hitting Mini-Mart or Valdez 2nd the last 2 games has been a pretty suspect move.

Of course, any time you do that kind of team you leave people out. I suppose I should have Nap LaJoie at 2B, Chuck Klein in RF and Lefty O'Doul in LF.

-joe -- Earlier in the season, Charlie was Midas. However, I'm withholding judgment until we see a run deep into the playoffs.

Charlie's homer-happy, and may not have the "chops" (musician’s term) to manage a team of scuffling pop-guns (except for Howard and maybe Victorino and Mayberry).

What Will said.

"The game has quite clearly moved beyond his ability to keep up."

Another gem from Schweitzer. Absolutely no basis for the comment, just worthless foam from the mouth.

Andy -- I'm all for Ritchie Ashburn leading off. Isn't it true that he had the most hits throughout the 1950's (more than Mays, Musial, Williams et Al)?

The whole line-up thing is funny. If you want the best "by-the-numbers" run producing line-up, you arrange the thing by OBP. Highest to lowest. Get the most ABs to the guys who get on base most often and you'll score more runs over a long period of time. But even that doesn't necessarily work in the short term.

It's a long season, folks, filled with statistical aberrations and luck-fueled events. (Look at the first run against Doc a couple games ago, for instance.) In the end, the luck pretty much evens out, pitching dominates, people get back to hitting around their career numbers - or slide off into obscurity, which might be the case for Raul (we always knew it was a suspect contract).

It's much too early, considering their record, to be THIS worried about the Phils. So lighten up.

Even his supporters will admit that Manuel isn't (nor was he ever) a ML manager because of his "tactical" abilities. This isn't going to change.

cut - The problem with replacing Hamilton with Ashburn is that Hamilton had higher BA, OBP, and SBs. As good as Ashburn was as a lead-off hitter, Hamilton was better in his day. Both give you good defense too.

MG, I totally agree that those weren't good moves, but it's a big leap to then start to call for his being replaced, the game has passed him by, etc. Not that you are making that leap, mind you. People just need something to blame, Cholly tends to be an easy target (which in return brings out the Cholly defenders). It was clearly a mistake batting MM and WV, but I don't see how any of his other options were that much better.

To say it differently, if you're on the board today clamoring for Cholly to be replaced because he batted Valdez second or is failing to play Ross Gload, you are overreacting. As much as I like Ross Gload, he's Ross Gload.

Yeah, calling for Manuel's head is incredibly premature. BUT...

If you're going to be a fringe AAA starting infielder in the two hole, why not put Orr there? He's twice as fast as Valdez, he's left handed (he can get out of the box faster), so he would probably be the best choice there since he'll have a better chance to beat out a DP, he can lay down a bunt down the third base line, and probably be 3/4 down the line by the time Pujols even gets to the ball.

Just strange batting Valdez second last night.

I can imagine that it's pretty demoralizing for the the starting rotation when they know they have to pitch a shutout just to win anymore.

Fatty, I can't disagree with your logic, it's sound. But it's Pete Orr. These are all legitimate disagreements, but they are around the margins. It's just too hard to get that worked up about it.

Two game wraps & no mention of how old, slow & generally over-matched J-Roll looked in the field last night. Granted, everyone has a bad game now & again, but it has become an alarming downward trend w/ Rollins.

MG - Nobody is calling for him to be replaced. Just to not hit his worst hitter in the No. 2 spot.

Did MG just respond to....MG?

GTown: Agree. Stunning.

MG is now talking to himself (above). That's what this slump does to BL posters.

MG, are you talking to yourself again? And I think a few people are calling for him to be replaced.

MG wants to replace Charlie with Charlie

Cliff Lee's 3.84 ERA sounds good, not great. In reality, it is neither. It is dead average. Hence, his 100 ERA+. His peripherals are obviously well above league average, so there's good reason to believe that his ERA will drop going forward. But in terms of the actual results so far, he has been exactly average.

Be that as it may, he deserves better than to be winless over his last 6 starts. So please resume the rant-a-thon about the Phillies' offense. It is more than justified.

LaRussa woulda batted Valdez 9th. Mighta batted Lee 6th or 7th. Putting your worst hitting, best GIDP guy in the #2 hole is silly.

G'Town Dave - Rollins' fielding and baserunning are the things I find most disturbing about their most recent games. They need him to do those things well. His hitting is fine, by his standards.
I need two hands to count the number of things he's done , or failed to do, over the last week or so that left me thinking "that's not Jimmy Rollins."

Failure by the offense over a stretch of games is to be expected and no reason to panic (or fire the manager). Just have to ride it out until June. Although, I agree with Fatti and MG - Orr (puke) should have been moved up against Westbrook to try to get some speed at the top of the lineup.

Baron - Nah. Just a typo.

Hugh: Good point RE: base running. With Pujols playing 3B for the first time in years, the Phillies absolutely needed to test him. Since Vic was out, the seemingly obvious choice ought to have been Rollins who, despite his practically notorious unwillingness to do so, can lay down a bunt. Instead, Phillies fans had to witness Wilson damn Valdez attempt the same, w/ predictable results. In years past I would have chalked up Jimmy's failure to even show bunt to selfishness, but after watching him come up a step short time & again in the field this season I have to wonder if Charlie thought he simply wasn't capable of beating one out.

It looks like Jimmy has a sore back... he let an easy grounder get under his glove last night because he didn't bend over enough and his throws to first have been a little off.

He probably just needs a day or 2 off and he's not going to get them

Now Jimmy needs a day off! Good call.

Polly got his day off yesterday, so I expect him to start raking again today. Or did the fact that he played last night a little bit ruin his day off.

I think Valdez needs a day off now. Clearly that's his issue, just needs rest and he'll be fine.

curious why it seems most here advocate for Utley being slotted in the 5 hole?

I would think an argument of moving him from 3 to 2 would be more of a debate, but 5? He has the best career OBP of anyone on the team, why are we thinking dropping him in the lineup is best case scenario?

" In Ibanez, I've completely lost patience"

When did you ever have patience with Ibanez? As with your ode to Pat Burrell a couple of weeks ago, your loyalty to Burrell has always prevented that. How is Pat doing this year, anyway?

I also thought that it looks like Jimmy has a sore back. He didn't want to bend down to pick that one slow roller.

I think a lot of our guys could use a day off. In fact, Cholly really ought to consider giving them the rest of the season off.

Andy, you beat me to it... How are people criticizing the lineup and then posting lineups with utley, dom brown, polonco and vic...

Who from this list would people have accepted as last night's 2-hole hitter:
ben fran

because THOSE were the options and as far as I can tell Charlie didn't choose to leave half his team on the DL/Bench

PhillyJoe, Orr, easily. Of that group, his speed and left handedness play best in the 2 hole.

Is Orr a 2 hole hitter? Hell no!!

Of the group you listed, is he the best option to bat 2nd in the lineup?


I don't know about Rollins and his back - that would explain some of what we see but, how many bad backs would that give this team?

I agree with whomever said they need some rainouts.

My f'in back is killin me, btw. I keep falling asleep on the couch trying to watch this team.

Al Hrabosky: Cliff Lee has just walked a 6th batter in a game for the first time in his career.

Hugh Mulcahy: [knocks beer over on coffee table] ZZZZZZZZ . . . FART . . . ZZZZZZZZZZZ

The fans need a day off from watching this horsesh*t offense.

Take Berkman, Holliday, and Rasmus out of the Cards' lineup and tell me how many runs they would've scored last night. This team is nowhere near full-strength...let's not forget that.

Chris, agreed.

Until then, I stick by my theory from last night. Everyone in the line up should bat from the opposit side of the plate and see what happens.

Fatty, it's the use of the word "absolutely" that is hard to get on board with...listen, I agree with you, nothing wrong with the logic. But it's Pete F. Orr. Can you really get that worked up? Do you really think the results would be that different? It's not like he had an outstanding game yesterday, he looked like a fool getting picked off of first yesterday...I like the guy, rates high on the Epstein-gritty factor or whatever, but he's Pete Orr.

It's like back in school, when I would get a 75 on a math test and my cousin Charlie von Hayes would get a 77. I suppose if you were building a mathletics team you would prefer him, but I can't see how you are really in that much of a better spot.

Rasmus was out of the Cards lineup. The Phils get burned by guys like Theriot and Punto.

Chris in VT: I seem to recall the Phillies not hitting w/ Vic, Polanco & Utley in the lineup, too.

When Healthy I would like to see-

Ibanez or Mayberry
Franciscon or Brown

You want speed at the top of the lineup and have that with Rollins and Victorino. A great contact hitter like polanco with Howard and Utley hitting behind him will see better pitches. Howard with Utley hitting behind him should also see more fastballs. Ruiz behind Utley is good for his clutch contact hitting and if you can get some production out of the rest of the batters it's a bonus, but the first 6 hitters in that lineup should produce enough for the starters to shut the door on the opponents. I think we need to hope Blanton produces better and can be moved at the trade deadline for a proven closer. I don't want to enter the playoffs without a proven closer and Lidge will have question marks throughout the rest of his career. Madson is best in the 8th inning role. If we can get to the 7th and use Bastardo/Romero and Madson/Contreras in the 8th and get a solid closer that is what won the World Series for them before.

Death, taxes, BL bed-wetting after a 3-game losing streak.

It's like Groundhog Day with the same cast of clowns crawling out of the woodwork and blaming Charlie everything goes wrong. They are too intellectually lazy to look at the big picture so they just conveniently lump the blame on one person (either Charlie or Rube- usually Charlie).

I think Manuel badly erred in his construction of the lineup last night- Valdez is the last guy I'd want hitting #2 and Ibanez should never hit #3. But you people are acting like we should have expected something different out of the lineup we rolled out last night without Vic, Polly and Utley, no matter what order we put them in. We're putting Orr, Valdez, a slumping Ben Francisco, and a completely lost Raul Ibanez and Carlos Ruiz out there. Our only hope in the middle of the lineup outside of Howard is a guy who has been a career minor-leaguer. Try to construct a lineup out of that garbage and come up with enough runs to win the game last night.

Also, I have a suggestion to people who find watching the Phillies boring- stop watching the games. Problem solved.

One thing Manuel does that I generally like is hit Ruiz 8th. It tends to minimize the number of times a pitcher leads off an inning. Of course, he might accomplish that with greater frequency via LaRussa's method.


" I seem to recall the Phillies not hitting w/ Vic, Polanco & Utley in the lineup, too."

Well - that would have to have been last year, when the Phillies were 2nd in the NL in runs scored.

G_Town: was that last year when the Phils had the 2nd best offense in the league, despite missing Utley, Howard, Polanco, Ruiz, and Vic for various chunks of the season? Cause they haven't had a complete lineup once yet this season.

"Take Berkman, Holliday, and Rasmus out of the Cards' lineup and tell me how many runs they would've scored last night."

Good point. When we get Berkman, Holliday & Rasmus back into our lineup, we should be fine.

GTown, that's the best lineup I've seen yet.

BvH, I know. Orr is garbage. This year, though, VAldez is MORE garbage. Orr is left handed and fast. Even if they both suck, Valdez has hit 72% of his balls on the ground this year. Does anyone understand how insane that number is?

For comparison's sake, Orr has only hit 44.9% of his balls on the ground, and Orr is a terrible offensive player. Valdez is that much worse than Orr, and that's really saying something.

Look, Manuel didn't even bring a knife to a gun fight last night. He brought a can opener, That being said, he didn't bring his best can opener.

BAP - the Phils were w/o their best leadoff hitter, their best overall hitter, and their best situational hitter last night. Are you really disputing the dramatic impact that has on a lineup?

Chris in VT: I'll trade the oft-lauded wonders of Philadelphia's "2nd In The League!" offense for a team w/ more consistency any day.

That "2nd in the league in runs scored" is a fairly misleading stat, considering that we also had an enormous number of games with 3 or fewer runs scored. Not to mention that we posted that stat back when Ibanez was still a near .800 OPS player, & Jayson Werth, with his career-best .921 OPS, was still with the team.

Fatty, understood. I absolutely agree with you.

Iceman is making my point better than I's just so hard to get worked up over these "mistakes." I don't care how good the can opener, I'd rather not use that at all in a knife fight. And it would be hard to blame my knife-fighting skills, after the fact, if I lost the duel. (Doubly hard if I were dead.)

Again, I notice that you are both ignoring the fact that Utley, Howard, Vic, Ruiz, and Polanco all missed chunks of the season. That doesn't contribute to the inconsistency?

Don't forget to email your lineup suggestions to Coach Manuel!!

When does the Farmers' Almanac say "Hittin' Season" will begin this year?

BvH, it's not a knife fight. It's a gun fight. That's the chasm we're dealing with here. :)

And for the record, I'm not advocating, in any way, for Charlie to lose his job or anything ridiculous like that. But he does make some questionable moves.

Chris in VT: All of those guys were back for the Postseason, right? Here's what they put up --

'10 NLDS - .212 BA / .301 OBP / .273 SLG / .574 OPS

'10 NLCS - .216 BA / .314 OBP / .321 SLG / .635 OPS

Besides which, when you've got a core group of players who are both old by MLB standards & have a history of injury, crossing one's fingers & waiting for everyone to be healthy & productive at the same time seems kinda stupid.

"the Phils were w/o their best leadoff hitter, their best overall hitter, and their best situational hitter last night. Are you really disputing the dramatic impact that has on a lineup?"

Chris: Of course it has an impact. But we're not scoring runs when Polanco & Vic are in there either. Not to mention that Utley is a huge unknown, whose numbers badly declined last year, whereas Polanco already had his stat-padding stretch for the season, & isn't likely to contribute a great deal going forward.

Phargo said it best. You could be a Twins fan right now. Then again, you could be a fan of any other team in the league, and you'd have it worse.
OK, feel free to resume you're regularly scheduled complaining.

"That "2nd in the league in runs scored" is a fairly misleading stat, considering that we also had an enormous number of games with 3 or fewer runs scored."

Oh, right - all those "useless runs." I forgot.

If the Phillies were more inconsistent than other teams that scored similar amounts of runs, how exactly do you translate that into some kind of analysis of wins/loses?

Say they had more games with 3 runs or less than the teams that finished 3rd or 4th in runs scored, did they also happen to win more games when they won, say 7-6, or 8-7?

Or, are you really contending that they scored an inordinate amount of runs when they were already well-ahead, thereby leading to the notorious "useless runs" theory?

It is hard to imagine any stat that is a better measure of a team's offensive ability than runs scored.

"the Phils were w/o their best leadoff hitter, their best overall hitter, and their best situational hitter last night. Are you really disputing the dramatic impact that has on a lineup?"

Acknowledging that ruins the narrative.

Fatalotti, I would actually agree that Orr was a marginally better option... but I still think they lose the game and still think people would be here freaking out about the lineup...

People need to step back from the edge of cliff here, the phils have missed time from their 2nd baseman, 3rd baseman, catcher, backup catcher, center fielder, 2 starters, closer, setup man and loogy

and have the best record in the NL.

...hard to imagine that there is a better measure...

G Town: Aside from getting everyone back and healthy, which you seem to think is a terrible solution. What do you propose they do to make this a formidable team? You're clearly unimpressed with merely the best team in baseball. What moves need to be made to make them watchable again?

Thanks in advance for your hilarious response.

GTown: Taking a tiny sample from the postseason means absolutely nothing...that is the very epitome of small sample size.

And I'm not advocating crossing our fingers and hoping for the best, Im just saying that the kvetching is a little premature and excessive, especially considering their current status as the best team in baseball.

Will everyone ever be back and healthy together with their age and injuries over the past few years? And if they are, can they be counted to last the rest of the season?

This offense has stunk in May. There's no debating that. There scoring 3.54 R/G this month which is 13th in the NL. Phils are still 7-7 this month though.

Giants' offense has been even worse (2.92 R/G) and they are still 9-5.

All along I wanted to see where this team stood after this 20-game stretch. So far they are 4-6. I would have been impressed if they went .500 and won 10-11 games. I will only be a bit concerned if they really hit a tailspin with a 2-8 or 3-7 stretch over the next 10 games.

This isn't there most difficult portion of the schedule though. There schedule at the end of June through the All-Star Break is arguably even tougher starting on June 21st. Dreaded Interleague Schedule with 3 good teams (3 vs Oak, Bos, Tor) mixed in with series vs. Flor, Atl, and StL.

PhillyJoe, I agree. That lineup really doens't have a shot to win many games, regardless of the order.

Still, batting your worst hitter second in the lineup, thus ensuring he'll have more at bats than anyone on teh team other than the leadoff hitter, is indefensible, no matter what the rest of the lineup looks like.

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