An extended weekend in the vibrant metropolis of Chicago prevented me from closely following the Phillies, not an altogether unfortunate situation given the results of their “crucial’ head-to-head meeting with Wild Card leader Cincinnati.
Perhaps lost in the shuffle of the series loss to the Red Legs was this little note: with their 59th and 60th defeats of the season the Phillies officially fell short of the five additional wins GM Pat Gillick sought for the current campaign. Gillick, no doubt, chose to forget about that milestone a long time ago.
The culprits in the losses were the usual suspects: starting pitching, relief pitching and a lack of clutch hitting. Hey, wait a minute, what else is there? Fielding. Not having seen the games I cannot comment on the details though I note the Phils made three errors over the weekend.
I can comment on Brett Myers’ latest debacle, however. The nine strikeouts may look good on the season stat sheet, but the seven hits, five earned runs and three home runs, back-to-back-to-back, speak louder. Myers never steps up in big games; he simply doesn’t have it in him. At some point in virtually every outing he is going to implode. Afterwards, Myers had this to say: "I couldn't locate my fastball. I was trying to fight my body." Ah, yes, that body of his. All he needs to develop is a big slow, sweeping curve and he is on his way to looking more like a right-handed version of David Wells.
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During the weekend I caught a few minutes of Comcast Sportsnet’s Chicago installment and I must say it is fascinating to watch the highlights or lowlights of another Cubs loss followed immediately by a recap of the White Sox game. Baseball all around, leading off the show. The Bears played a pre-season game, too, but didn’t receive top billing. Compare that to Philadelphia, where training camp let alone an exhibition game (“we’re talkin’ practice”) would be headline news.