Thursday, April 27, 2006


These are your Philadelphia Phillies, sports fans.

Score lots of runs.  Give up lots of runs.  See who is left standing at the end of the game.   Is this any way to win a division?  

Not likely.

Ryan Madson started last night’s game against the Rockies and to summarize how his season is going, he gave up ten hits, one walk and four earned runs in five innings and lowered his ERA to 8.05.   You could look it up.

Madson hung on for dear life in reality and would probably have been lifted a few batters earlier by manager Charlie if the Phils didn’t want to see him get the win after being staked to a 7 – 1 lead and, more to the point, if they hadn’t been overworking their bullpen.  

Prior to the start of the season Madson, who has always been a reliever in the major leagues after being strictly a starter in the minors, campaigned for and was awarded a spot in the Phillies admittedly weak rotation.  Some argued the slender right-hander didn’t have the stamina to be a starter, pointing to latter part of 2005 when Madson clearly petered out.   Others countered he would benefit from the regular routine of pitching every fifth day rather than the up-and-down routine of the bullpen.

At this juncture it’s difficult to say who is right.  Madson has thrown too many pitches in too few innings in his last two starts to know what to make of his stamina, but to this observer he looked tired last night and, pardon the pun, relieved to get out of the game with his ego let alone his body intact.   Madson’s repertoire hasn’t impressed.  His fastball doesn’t appear to have much on it.  His curve appears to be decent.  His changeup is largely missing in action.

In this morning’s Inquirer Jim Salisbury’s lead read “Even as their starting pitching continues to raise concerns, the Phillies are slowly moving in the right direction.”

Salisbury was referring to the fact that the Phils 9 – 5 win over the Rockies moved them into second place in the Division ahead of Atlanta and behind the Mets.  With a 9 – 11 overall record and the third worst team ERA in the NL, I guess the operative word in Salisbury’s piece is “slowly” rather than “right”.  On second thought, it’s probably “concerns”.


J. Weitzel said...

Great piece.

I don't know what to make of Madson, either. I can only think I think things, and what I think I think is he doesn't have the right stuff and stamina to become anything better than a six-inning starting pitcher. I've always said, Madson has stuff that opposing hitters will figure out quickly. I think I think that's correct. Fastball and change both come over the top. The curve, when he uses it, must be easier to spot by hitters you would think.

Oisín/Wizlah said...

In other notes . . . Bazza Bonds smacks one deep of That Whinging Individual from Down South.

Tom, whats the opposite of schadenfreude? When the two meet, does the universe implode kirby/marvel style, or do we all just shrug our shoulders?

Tom Goodman said...

I for one don't even plan to shrug my shoulders.