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Saturday, April 21, 2012

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The Papa Johns promotion for discount (bad) pizza when the Phillies score 6 or more runs seems like a cruel joke rather than actual advertizing...

who are we firing and/or can we get zac rinaldo to start a fight with somebody to fire the team up?

Yup. As much as Cholly has been scrutinized already and he has had 2-3 really suspect managerial games so far, it doesn't matter right now who he plays and what order he puts them in.

Even some of the guys who were hitting including Pence and JRoll have gone ice cold on this road trip.

Even the most skilled poker player can't do much if he keeps getting off-suit, non-face hole cards. That's what Cholly is dealing with right now.

Our 2 & 3 hitters have .434 and .535 OPS respectively.

Doc has a .545 OPS so far. Our pitcher is hitting better than our 3B or SS.

I wouldn't mind Cholly shaking things up tomorrow by putting Utley's lawn chair (er Pete Orr) at 2B and starting Galvis at SS.

JRoll is just in a flunk right now & could use an off-day right now since they don't have one Monday.

No surprise: Phillies are averaging the fewest pitches per AB in MLB.

Per WPHL postgame.

The bad hitters are bad and the good hitters are pressing. First person who is capable of hitting a baseball available for a trade needs to be picked up ASAP.

***I wouldn't mind Cholly shaking things up tomorrow by putting Utley's lawn chair (er Pete Orr) at 2B and starting Galvis at SS***

He'd probably start Orr at SS before moving Galvis and say something about not wanting to mess with Freddy's confidence.

Because that makes sense, right?

He'd also bat Orr 2nd because Orr is a veteran and thus a better hitter.

Hologram Tupac could hit better than this team.

GBrett: to me, that's at the heart of what all this is about. Just a piss poor approach to offense, top to bottom. And that's something the organization needs to address. It doesn't have to be this bad. I don't mean to sound reactionary, but I have to wonder if it's going to ever change with Manuel around.

The jig is up. There is no defense. Fire everybody post-haste. Start with TMac. Then everyone one else who is not the least bit entertaining.

I think Hologram Tupac has an option left. Let's recall him from AAA Jamaica.

Maybe Manuel can retire and Sandberg could be promoted.

Hey - look at the bright side. We could be Red Sox fans.

This is a f8cking joke. RAJ needs to be called on the carpet for putting this team on the field

Do we...suck?

This offense sucks? No Kidding? Just figuring that out? When Doc gave up the 2nd run I knw the game was over.

On Lee: Tough break for him. Maybe he would have struned his oblique if they would have scored some runs and got him outta there.

And for a team that needs offense right now they call up Savory instead of Brown, with Mayberry doing nothing. Go figure.

Yup. That about covers it.

No surprise: Phillies are averaging the fewest pitches per AB in MLB.

That's not small ball, Sally. In fact, it's in direct opposition. I really do not believe that Charlie grasps the concept.

Charlie isn't going to suddenly convince a 34-year old ballplayer to start taking a lot of pitches.

It is up to the hitting coach, the players themselves, and the GM to put together a team that actually has productive offensive skillsets.

Jack: I get your point, but r00b said outright after the NLDS loss that he wasn't going to be making any moves for that type of player, & the team would have to work on being more selective at the plate as a result. To be dead last in pitches per AB is a complete failure on the part of the coaching staff, Charlie Manuel in particular.

I also find it damning that no one is actually working w/ Mayberry to change his flawed approach ... although I shouldn't be, considering how no one has bothered to tell Howard he might have better plate coverage if he didn't take his ABs from the batters box.

The upshot is, yes, these are poor players, but the manager & coaches are doing a lousy job by not even trying to get them to approach the offensive game in a manner even faintly in touch w/ their minimal hitting acumen.

GTown~ Correct on all points.

"This is a f8cking joke. RAJ needs to be called on the carpet for putting this team on the field".

Abofriggin'lutely. Been saying that all along. But they'll be no shake-up. Not with the GM, Manager, or players. As long as the stands are filled.

And we all what changes/happens when nothing is done.....Nothing.

Jack: At this point, I think "hitting coach" is just a ceremonial title. There's nothing Greg Gross, Milt Thompson, or Ted Williams' Frozen Head could do for the players currently on this roster

Red Sox fan here offering you a deal. We'll take Cliff Lee off your hands right now ... on the DL ... as is ... no physical...assume all his salary so you can use all that money in other ways.
If you want some of our vaunted offense in this offer, take any one of our players except Agon or Pedroia. Do we have a deal??

Nothing to add to the thread title.

Seriously going to principally place on blame Cholly/Gross for these guys not taking enough pitches especially veterans who have been in the league several years?

No way. Amaro is the guy who put this team together. It was a complete cop-out last year after Game 5 of the NLDS when he stated the Phils' needed to fundamentally change the way they approach their ABs.

Funny but who was the guy who acquired the players and put this veteran-laden roster of hitters together in the first place?

Its too early to know if players like Polanco/Thome are indeed done. Just need to play this hand out, hope they can hover around .500, and hope that Utley/Howard get back by June so the Phils can have a pretty decent idea of where they stand at the trading deadline.

MG~ You're right about Amaro coping out. If they wait till the deadline, they'll barely be standing. it'll be too late. And we'll get amother typical RAJ spin on things. The bottom line is he did not do a very good job this off-saeason save the bench and papelbon. The problems is the bench players have to start fr a while.. I've said it 1,000 times, he shoulda got a hitter. He didn't. I f we did our jobs they way he did his we'd get fired. And now we're finding out Cholly isn't very good either. But he'll stay too.

MG: I'm not excusing anyone, & I've made my contempt for r00b's decision making patently clear on a number of occasions. All I'm saying is that the field manager isn't doing his job w/ regard to getting the most out of the players he has, & it appears his approach to the game is in direct opposition to that of the man who constructed the team. It's a recipe for the failures we've been seeing.

I could come up with fifty quotes on the virtues of patience, but I fear it would be lost on much of this crowd.

I'm not sure why the front office doesn't sign Milt Thompson to a one-day contract, just so they can fire him again, because it worked so well last time they did it.

Patience isn't going to transform a bunch of geriatric, free-swinging, weakling bats w/ a nitwit for a field manager & a spoiled egomaniac for a GM into a good ball club. However, it does come right in handy if one enjoys making toothpick models of architectural landmarks.

Good morning, all.

The difference may be marginal, but arranging the lineup so that Pence and Victorino get the 4th and 5th most ABs, respectively, is completely ridiculous.

Ryno needs to take over this team. Give it a new voice and new approach to the game. Uncle cholly ain't got the team anymore. Throw brown and Luna up on squad. They cant do any worse then some of these stiffs now. Also stues back to AAA and start bringing up young guns. Jake, schims and or aumont.

Underdog is here to save the day...Mini Mart returns soon.....Now that i got that out away...This is bad..How to fix it i dont know..Rollins has this dejected look on him...I dont like the chemistry or emotion of this team or lack there off...Changing the line up probably wont help much...In all fairness to Rube he possibly didnt know about Utley..He did try and move Polly..Ah well we had a nice run folks....I like Jimmy but sometimes i have felt he doesnt give his all and seems to have this whatever attitude at times...

Weitzel, You should leave this thread up until they score four runs in a game. Yesterday's game was hard on the eyes right through that joke of a double Wigginton hit in the 9th.

I like the idea of firing people, starting with Tom McCarthy. I haven't even heard him broadcast a game in a week and, his amiable babbling is still rattling around in my skull.

MG~ You're right about Amaro coping out. If they wait till the deadline, they'll barely be standing. it'll be too late.

Posted by: DPatrone

So it's been 15 games, we have 147 games left, we're playing ~.500 ball.

We'll barely be standing by the ASB? How do you know this?

Do you realize at the 2011 ASB the Cardinals, Dbacks, and Brewers were playing ~.500 ball, right? Was it too late for them?

Too many people freaking out.

Is there any way we can blame this on Ed Wade?

Since we probably won't be able to sign Cole Hamels anyway, let's offer him to TB for Evan L.

Rube can wait until the trade deadline and find another guy who strikes out a lot and can't play defense.

Rebuilding is going to take a long time with the contracts for Utley and Howard to wait out.

"I like the idea of firing people."

Must be a Romney voter.

Time to trade Cole Hamels and Vic (if there is any value). This season is over haha.

Just thought of another bright side to having the Phillies lose:now we get to read arguments at BLer over who is most to blame.

That is second on my favorite arguments list - just after reading arguments over which end of the bench backup is worthy of the most contpt.

I do think the BL blame game in past years could get pretty awful, and it's still early, but I think some blame is warranted.

F8ck all of you. I am not going down for this. I set Rube up for a WFC and was cast aside like some of Sarge's old "lady friends" in each MLB city. I created this team, I let Gillick do his thing, I sat in Houston awaiting my laurels, my recognition as a baseball genius. It never happened.
This guy writes big checks and takes whoever is available. I had Travis Lee and Mark Whitten, Omar Daal and Ed Vosberg.
I intend to sell Charles and Rube out to the press as an inside source through my good friend (last name: atrone) and give other info to that clown with the bow ties. And I don't mean Hurricane Schwartz.
As for the players, none of them are as business savvy as Nails and you see how I railroaded him. I will get Utley, Howard, Rollins and Doc out by November. Then I rebuild.
I will clean house and then sit back and take one rightful place in history.

Does "this offense" suck, or is it "these players" who suck?

Or, are these players due to play better and right now they're just sucking?

Oh, and I blame Charlie for some of it.

He's mis-using players and putting them in positions that they have historically not done well.

The most notably example is JRoll, who is ill-suited to be a 3-hole hitter and has historically been poor doing it.

This would be my lineup:

JRoll
Freddy
Vic
Pence
Pick 'em
Chooch
Pick 'em
Polly

My opinion on the season is summed up best by the cast of Platoon:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2bCwyzT0Z6E

The guy you didn't see in that jungle shot was Ed Wade who is in full leaf camo. As we speak, Ed is undercover in the back streets of Punto Fijo looking for the guy who taught Freddy how to play defense.

Every team gotta fade sometime, Scotch Man.

We have way more problems than the broadcasters get over it already....We are talking about the team and how bad this offense is...

Maybe someone mentioned this, but Lee probably hurt his oblique throwing something in the locker room afterward.

Milt Thompson, anyone? Anyone?

"I could come up with fifty quotes on the virtues of patience, but I fear it would be lost on much of this crowd."

Perhaps Charlie feels the same way about his lineup.

The lineup really does need to get shaken up...in a way that actually makes sense. As others have pointed out, hitting Pence and Vic 4 and 5 is just absurd. Why is Vic not in the 3 hole? He's clearly one of the best hitters (and one of the few with a little pop) on the team and he's put in a place that ensures he'll get fewer ABs than the likes of Polanco.

I enjoy lower scoring, quick games but this has just been brutal to watch.

I keep thinking of that gay and lesbian/harassment commercial a bunch of MLB players took part in last year and just hope that the same point that was made is true about this offense:

"It gets better"

If it doesn't, I don't know how long I can torture my self watching these games.

Season = over

We don't even have the comfort of saying that they're hitting into tough luck. Its a succession of soft outs. Heck, their foul balls aren't even hit particularly hard.

Not to sound like an apologist, but it's hard to blame Charlie for a systemic offensive breakdown. I'm not sure that anyone-alive or dead-could fix this. It's like the hitters are swinging a wet rag up there.

Can we get an official "This offense sucks" shirt? It would be great to see them en masse in Ashburn Alley or on the telecast. See what Wherls says about it.

YES IT DOES.

Record after 15 games

2007: 4-11
2008: 7-8
2009: 7-8
2010: 10-5
2011: 10-5

Every year finished 1st in the NL East.

That first (and second) inning approach at the plate made me yell at the tv. Isn't it even more important to have a general game plan at the dish when you don't hit for power (or in general)?

Something along the lines of,
"Gentle gentlemen, in light of your recent noodle-armed, silly-string swinging, I'm imposing a mandatory two-pitch take sign at the beginning of your at-bats. If you flaccid free-swingers can't handle this, you will not handle a bat in the next series. We clear? And yes, this applies to you too Jimmy."

But, you know, in Uncle Charlie speak.

I'm not solely blaming Charlie Manuel for this ineptitude. But he is obviously an important figurehead of this organization, and this team has never played what could be called smart baseball under him. The A's started the trend of maximizing the output of a mediocre offense by having patient at-bats, and several teams followed successfully in their wake. Their recent ascension may have changed the Phillies' historically conservative approach to spending, but it has not budged their conservatism in many other regards; this franchise has long had a rather pointed interest in shunning newfangled trends regardless of how much sense they might make, as most prominently evidenced by their drafting philosophy.

Amaro at long last voiced a need for this team to implement a cohesive hitting philosophy, but the only message Manuel seemed to get, at least for the first three games, is that the Phillies needed to bunt more. My point is that Manuel didn't get the real message here, or he isn't implementing that message. Yes, these are all veteran players who appear set in their ways, but does that really mean they can't be held to an effort to make changes in their game that would help the team? Is that really a lost cause - players just are what they are, period - something a coaching staff and manager can't possibly be held accountable for? What good is it to have a veteran team if the veterans don't play they game right? What good is it to have a veteran manager if he won't say boo to the players about trying to make an effort to be a little more cerebral about their at-bats?

It seems clear that, whatever ability he maintains to keep the clubhouse balanced and focused, Manuel is not the kind of manager who is going to maximize, or help his team rise above, the mediocrity he's been given to work with. Which really puts him in the same camp as most managers, but we have come to expect from the Phillies, and Amaro, that where improvement is due, it is addressed. And this is a situation the organization is not addressing. Manuel is at the very least guaranteed to remain the manager all season, and it seems highly unlikely that anything short of a total, last-place collapse would have him removed after the season. There have to be some higher up in the organization, however, who realize right now that Manuel has run his course here. The dynamics of the club have changed totally, and Manuel isn't showing that he's nearly adaptable enough to change with them.

There is only one thing I would like to change with this offense. Please please please dump Polanco down in the 8-hole (or hell, throw him at nine and bat the pitcher 8th). Everything else you can pick out of a hat for all I care

It was obvious by March 1 that the offense was going to suck, thanks mostly to the worst offseason by a GM ever. Still, I figured this was a 90 win club, mostly on the backs of the Big 3. For each 3 games Lee doesn't start, subtract 1 win. The margin of error is gone.

Oh, and incidentally, Victorino needs to bump Rollins out of that three hole immediately. Rollins isn't going to lead off anymore with Pierre around, so I'd hit him sixth.

RedBurb, I'll add this:

In 2007, this team was 48 - 48 on JULY 20th.


I know that video games, music videos, texting. etc - all the vestiges of modern technology - have caused people's attention spans to shorter, but the fact that they can't even remember the recent past is pathetic.

Even the 2010 Giants were only 41 - 40 on July 4th.

It's a long season and the pitching on this team is very good.

The offense will improve.

When Charlie was criticized over the last couple years for being a poor offensive manager, the usual refrain was to look back at the team from '07-'09, and ask how he could be poor as an offensive manager while managing teams that were regularly top 5 in offense in the league.

Now, with the offense plummeting, if we blame Charlie, we are told that no one could get these guys to score.

Truth is, Charlie probably had equally little to do with them being an offensive juggernaut as he now has with them being an offensive dwarf.

He had great power/patience in those earlier lineups:

-Chase was a 2B who had power like a premier LF, and was above average at walking, and was excellent at getting on base.
-Burrell was patient at the plate, always with a walk rate over 12%, and sometimes as high as 17%, who also always had an ISO around .200
-The Phillies got the 4 years of Werth's prime, and not coincidentally, his best years, where he took a bunch of walks, and always had good power (130 OPS+ player as a Phil, career 117 OPS+)
-J-Roll was never great at taking walks, but he had a few years with an ISO over .200, which is excellent for a SS, and he was just an excellent hitting SS from 2004-2008
-Raul Ibanez had the best year of his career in 2009.
-And of course, Ryan Howard, who was just a HR machine from 2006-2009. Averaged 52 HRs per 162 games during that stretch, and had a ridiculous ISO of .311.

Now, does Charlie deserve credit for those plays all being in their prime at the same time, all have great patience and great power? Some might feel that way, and I'm not saying he deserves no credit, but sometimes you have the players, and sometimes you don't.

Charlie didn't turn a bunch of offensive nobodies into a great lineup when this team was a powerhouse. He had great offensive players. Maybe he squeezed a little extra out of them, but who knows. I don't give Charlie too much credit for that period and I don't really blame him for their offensive nosedive over the past 2 seasons. But then, I rarely like giving managers credit/blame for player performance on the field. I only criticize/praise them for whether or not they put players in optimal situations to succeed.

Adrian Beltre would sure look a whole lot better right now than Polanco. I hated that signing when it happened.

Lets face it, the biggest reason for all of this happening has mostly to do with the Phillies giving big contracts to Utley and Howard, 2 players who were already mid 20's by the time they got to the majors. By the time they got their deals, they were almost thirty. Couple that with some other bad deals, the need to trade prospects to improve pitching as a counterbalance to declining offense, and a complete lack of offensive talent in the minors, and now we have a team that is leaking serious oil and who stands to only continue losing good players.


Well, it was a nice 5 year run.

Placing most of the emphasis on Cholly here is ridiculous. Baseball managers are the least important coaches of the 4 major sports and by a wide margin given how little they actually impact what occurs on the field. An AL manager can fill out a lineup card & usually take a nap if he wanted to until the 5th-6th inning at least most nights.

Amaro wants guys who work counts and get on base or that is at least what he said at the start of the offseason. Amaro the GM has really under cut this approach. Look at all guys he brought in this offseason - Wigginton, Nix, Pierre, Thome, and Schneider. Also resigned JRoll.

None of those guys except Thome is a guy who works counts and gets on base frequently (or at least has in the past but he is a ripe 42 with a bad back that prevents him playing in the field).

Amaro the GM is the guy who has assembled a lineup of aging veteran hitters who don't work counts or walk a lot. That's on Amaro.

Its funny with Cholly. When times are rolling well, he is a genius who is pushing all the right buttons. When they are scuffling, he is an incompetent boob who is the worst tactical manager in baseball.

Neither is the case. I have argued strongly in the past (and will continue to do so) that he is a manager who manages to the level of talent he generally has which is the same of almost all managers in baseball.

Hitting-wise I do think he is a fine manager and knows a lot on the subject. Pitching & managing a pitching roster is another area entirely because that is not what Cholly was a player nor has a strong intrinsic feel for either way.

Its crazy that anyone though would talk about 'firing him' etc after a lousy 15 games. Ridiculous. It will be interesting though to see if veteran players though don't start to tune out him a bit. I got the strong sense they did a bit in '10 when they scuffled when the amount of 'closed-door' meetings they became kind of a running joke in June-July.

What is a more valid issue is to discuss some of the moves he can possibly make with the pieces he currently has available.

trading prospects did not hurt the team. if you think it did you are a bumbaclot.

The only way this team is out of it is if they are at 9-10 games below .500 at the trading deadline & Amaro decides to become a full on 'seller' including the possibility of looking to move Hamels or Vic.

Thanks to the magic of Selig (or the push for more dollars this year) it is going to be very difficult for this team to be really out of it at any point given the 2nd WC.

2nd WC team right now is the NY Mets at 8-6. That's right the Mets. For all of the people pissing and moaning about the Phils, this is a weak NL this year. I bet money the AL screams the NL this year in Interleague play.

Mike Fontenot and Mini Mart will help save the season, once they are ready to roll.

Riccardo Rick was actually yammering on about Carlos Lee or Alfonso Soriano last night. Yes, that's exactly what we need..another past-his-prime, overpaid, one-dimensional player.

This is a team now in transition. And some transitions are uglier to watch then others.

The Phils can't do much with their current cast. Its not like you send Nix or Schneider or Polanco to Lehigh. They are here and can't go anywhere. That's what you get when you sign old players. If they suck, you are stuck.

But I have to think for the betterment of Mayberry, that he might have to go back to LV for a few weeks to get his swing and head smoothed out. Getting 1 AB a night (maybe) isn't going to get him out of this funk. Tell him he's going back down to get straightened out and that he'll be back in a few weeks. He needs to be working with Rende again, who was the guy who really got him going last year when he was at LV. Or maybe just promote Rende to the big club now and dump GG. I have thought all along that sometime in June that Brown and Mayberry would be the platoon starters in LF. It will be around Memorial Day that the conclusion will be to play them everyday and see what you have. It will be time for Brown and RFD to sink-or-swim. Because you need to find out now, so when you are retooling in 2013, you will know if you need to go out and pay big $$$ for another starting OF or not.

If you want to get depressed, then get depressed about the thought of the ridiculous amount of young positional and pitching talent the Braves/Nats both have on their current roster and in the minors.

Both teams are stacked in that regard.

Saw 'Lance Lynn' won another game the another night for the Cards. Looks and sounds like a guy who would have been cast in 'Boogie Nights'

http://espn.go.com/mlb/player/_/id/30820/lance-lynn

denny b - I wouldn't mind seeing Mayberry go down at this point again, play everyday at Lehigh, and try to get his swing/mojo back. He's as lost as I have seen a player to start the year & not going to do this team much good right now.

Also on Mayberry....

Obviously there is something fundamentally wrong with his swing. Something that has been there much of the time since ST started. Which has now killed his confidence.

When he can't even make contact against mediocre lefty pitchers (who he has always hit well against) then there is something wrong there.

His value on this team is still that he's a far superior defender in LF then anyone else on the roster and better at 1B then anyone else too. But they desperately need his bat. Maybe he's not the 900 OPS guy he was in the 2nd half last year. But he's also not close to as bad as he's looked this year either. I don't buy that pitchers have figured him out either. He's getting good pitches to hit. He's getting balls in the middle of the plate. He's either missing them or taking them. And his pitch recognition, which he got very good at last year, has vanished. Hence, the no walks and swings at pitches out of the zone.

That RFD we saw in July and August and September last year was pretty good. Good for a long stretch of the season. Good even against RH pitchers. Whatever is going on now, we need to see more of that 2011 guy. Age and health is not the issue with him, like it is with several other of our players. So that means it can be fixed. So lets fix it now and get him better. If that means doing it at Lehigh for a few weeks, lets do it. We need him in the 2nd half if this team is to make a run.

MG and awh are both right that this is a long season, and that the team is nowhere near real trouble yet. The team has time to improve, and should do so.

But the team can't just sit back and hope to improve. There are certain things that have to be actively changed. Charlie has to grasp his players' respective skillsets and do a much better job of putting them in a position to succeed. Amaro has to be on the lookout for a move to add some much-needed power to the lineup. And the players themselves need to adjust their approach and focus on taking more pitches and working counts. This team can't hit most starting pitching--they have a better chance against middle relievers.

When Albert Pujols is struggling early, you sit back and let him do his thing and assume he will improve. When this team is struggling early, you have to actually change some things.

I'm not sure Mayberry has options left. Not 100 percent certain though.

Jack - I will agree about putting players in better position and not doing really foolish stuff including several of ridiculous bunts called for by Cholly this year.

Amaro though isn't going to be able to make a move until around July nor should he. At best, he is able to pick up a mediocre bench piece. Cubs traded Byrd in a straight salary dump & Byrd has been horrendous so far. Don't know how much he would have helped the Phils.

I've read the last couple threads and, as best I can figure out, the consensus on BL is that the Phils' OB skills suck (which is true) and the best way to fix that is to bat Pierre and Galvis 1-2 in the lineup (which is moronic).

So we're at least at the .500 level.

As for the Phils, while the new guys are an improvement over last year's bench, none of them have OB skills outside of Thome, who is being used as a PH for the first time in his career and struggling in that role.

Pence was a great pickup but he has never been an OB guy. Galvis has never shown OB skills anywhere.

The top 2 OB guys during this great Phllies era have been Utley and Howard, with Vic & Ruiz close behind. The other half of the team has always been OB weak (except for a couple seasons by J-Roll). Subtract Utley & Howard and now you're looking at a team with 7 out of 9 in the lineupo having below average - or worse - OB skills.

Combine that with a lack of HRs and you've got a problem that is not easily solved.

From Todd Zolecki:

It’s not like they need to average 5.5 runs per game, either. The Nationals are averaging just 3.63 runs per game, which ranks 13th in the league. The Nationals and Phillies have nearly identical pitching staffs. Washington leads the league with a 2.34 ERA, while the Phillies are second with a 2.41 ERA. But that 0.83 runs per game average advantage over the Phillies has been huge.

In 2007, this team was 48 - 48 on JULY 20th.


I know that video games, music videos, texting. etc - all the vestiges of modern technology - have caused people's attention spans to shorter, but the fact that they can't even remember the recent past is pathetic.

Even the 2010 Giants were only 41 - 40 on July 4th.

It's a long season and the pitching on this team is very good.

The offense will improve.

Posted by: awh | Sunday, April 22, 2012 at 11:46 AM
* * *

Similar thoughts, from Todd Zolecki:

It is early, but the Phillies don’t want to bury themselves, either. If the Nationals, Braves and Phillies keep playing like they have, the Phillies could find themselves in a deep hole early next month. If it’s deep enough come late June and early July, it could mean a major shake up for the roster. Remember, the Phillies shopped Jayson Werth before the July 2010 trade deadline while they walked that fine line between contender and pretender. The Phillies were 43-40 and six games out of first place on July 6 that season. They were 48-46 and seven games back on July 21.

Those 6 games on the road v. the Braves & Gnats, which are coming in the near future...At the moment, I'm dreading how bad they could go for our Phillies, although I hope in my heart that the team will be able to convert will into Ws.

Ruiz is back, and Thome is playing 1B.

Schneider is uninspiring, but I hope Chooch is truly feeling better.

"It’s not like they need to average 5.5 runs per game, either."

Very true. Based on their game to game runs-allowed totals, their record would be 9-6 right now if they had merely scored exactly 3 runs every game. In reality, it might well be better than that since bullpen management may have been different.

As it is, they have scored 3+ runs in 6 games. They are 5-1 in those games. They have scored 2 or fewer runs in 9 games and they are 2-7 in those games.

Rube can wait until the trade deadline and find another guy who strikes out a lot and can't play defense.

He'll sign another pitcher.

You don't need to pitch around hitters that aren't hitting so it makes perfect sense that they aren't seeing many pitches. It ain't Cholly or Gross' fault.

"Very true. Based on their game to game runs-allowed totals, their record would be 9-6 right now if they had merely scored exactly 3 runs every game."

If frogs had wings...

Very true. Based on their game to game runs-allowed totals, their record would be 9-6 right now if they had merely scored exactly 3 runs every game.

If the poodle had a fire retardant suit ...

- 1 game under .500
- Middle of April.
- 20% of payroll or 50% of the offensive payroll hasn't played yet.

Thread of newness.

As long as T-Mac doesn't start endless ramblings about the quaint intricacies of Padres' uniforms, both past and present, I think I can tough out watching this team's struggles for a return to relevancy.

Maybe Burrell, on his one day stint as a Phillie, can give Mayberry a clue how to hit . Charlie and GG are clearly not able to give him back his swing. He could really help this team by playing good defense, at either 1B or LF, and hitting like he did last year.

It isn't really that bad. Truthfully, they've been in worse positions later in the season during this run. I think it is more how awful it is to watch this team hit right now that has people going crazy. I know that is what's bothering me. Like Chase and the guys said in that PSA a few seasons back "It gets better."

I knew we would hit this wall and i knew it would be soon. I didnt think it would be this soon or this hard.

It looks like the Phillies are facing another Cy Young today. Even the worst pitcher on the worst team looks great against the hapless Phils. The first thing they should do is fire the hitting coach. It seems like all the announcers can see what the Phillies are doing wrong except this guy. Opppps, there seems to be another problem today .... the Phillies can't field. I give up!!!!

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