Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Whistling By The Graveyard

I had to snicker when I read the rumor that Pat Gillick would refrain during the next two weeks from deciding whether or not he were a buyer or seller to see if the Phillies could work their way back into contention for a post-season berth.

Not as long as they are running the likes of Ryan Franklin out there, Pat.

The Phillies dropped another game on this current Western swing when leading by three runs and fell to 42-49 overall, “good” for third place in the NL East behind New York and Atlanta (yes, fans, they are back) and a mere one game ahead of AAA impostors Miami.

Tell us that is just your poker face, Pat.

Cole Hamels continues to struggle, especially in the first inning and especially with the long ball.  He has now surrendered seven dingers in just over 50 innings of work and his ERA stands at a robust 5.36 after ten big league starts.  While the young left-hander shows flashes of dominance, he struck out six batters in 5.2 innings last night, he still appears to be searching for the right mix of pitches at the right time.  It is difficult to know if he is shaking off more experienced heads behind the plate or in the dugout, or both, or if he is still having problems locating his pitches.  

Whatever the answer, Hamels left the game with the lead and watched the bullpen blow another chance for him to come out a winner.

Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Pat Burrell provided most of the offense yet again.  Utley has hit safely in 19 straight games and Howard has hit three home runs since winning the HR Derby at the All-Star game.  Meanwhile, Burrell, who is 8 – 13 with 6 RBI’s on the current road trip, clearly likes playing away from Citizens Bank Park.  Perhaps he is putting on a push in hopes of being traded.

We know you’d listen to offers for Pat, Pat.

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