Thursday, April 05, 2007

True To Form

Thus far the Phillies are doing nearly everything I expected. Starting pitching has been better than anticipated. Relief pitching has been horrendous. Hitting has been anemic. Base-running hasn't improved, Davey Lopes notwithstanding. Charlie Manuel remains clueless about his batting order and use of the bullpen. And the Phils have stumbled out of the gate.

It isn't easy to be 2.5 games out of first place having only played two games yourself, but, ladies and gentlemen, these are your 2007 Philadelphia Phillies.


Blogger Oisín/Wizlah said...

In an attempt to rebutt the absolute misery:

Victorino's baserunning was horrible and his own stupid fault - manuel said afterward he wouldn't do it again. Jimmy was having fairly stern words with him afterwards. Rollins and Rowand's stolen base was just fine. Howard was nailed on a perfect throw. One individual's bad running does not a bad team ethos make.

I can't fault Manuel's bullpen choice - geary than flash. You can quibble putting madson in again after flash, but I think that reflected the paucity of options in the bullpen. Madson had done fine doing long relief in late innings once or twice last year. But it does engender the feeling that we can't rely on Flash. That pitch was miserable.

but yeah, right now the hitting sucks. And the one move I wasn't happy with was pinch-running for burrell in a tight game. It meant when nunez came in as defensive replacement and then we were going to the bench, there was no power left at all in the bottom half of the order. I expect helms to do okay this year, but he's not going to be looch.

Again though, that decision doesn't look bad if you're confident that you're closer is going to get the job done. After two games I'm no longer confident, and I hope manuel is the same.

9:16 AM  
Blogger Tom Goodman said...

Madson is now into his second consecutive season of ineffective, indeed calamitous, so-called relief pitching. Two games. Two home runs. Two losses. It doesn't get any worse than that. Gordon had a miserable end to last season and is picking up right where he left off. He was lousy on opening day, too. Interestingly, he pitched in consecutive games, something Manuel said he would not do, even though there was a day off in between.

Utley fourth and Howard third. Absolutely no damn excuse for this. If I were Pat Gillick and actually paying attention to the games, I'd call Manuel and tell him that has got to stop now before he screws both of them up royally.

The Phillies' problems start at the very top of the organization.

9:26 AM  
Blogger Oisín/Wizlah said...

I'm echoing others thoughts here, and tonight will prove it either way, but it's not out of the question that the batting order for the last two games was in part due to Burrell's horrible numbers against Hudson and Smoltz.

Pat's numbers against smoltz are nightmarish (31 ab .065/.094/.097), but his numbers against hudson aren't much prettier (28 AB .179/.233/.179). If the lineup stays like it is, then this ain't the reason for it. But Charlie does change the lineup a lot, so its not out of the question. Charlie gets a free pass from me right now.

As for gordon - where we going to get a better closer in the offseason? Was one mentioned even once? Show me a team right now that was going to ask less then the earth for someone in a trade. I don't think that can be laid at the feet of bad offseason strategy.

And I'm sorry, but one days rest should be enough for gordon. and until last night he was still our best option for closing. He's just not good enough.

And although I'm on the defense committee today, no, I'm not looking forward to eaton pitching this afternoon either. Too much money, barely a glimmer of promise. Dumb move to acquire him. I hope he proves us all wrong, but I don't see any hope in the numbers.

9:52 AM  
Blogger Oisín/Wizlah said...

And while I think of it . . . gordon looked okay Monday. Hell, he froze francoeur with a fastball in one at-bat. If I'm laying the blame anywhere else, it's with utley, who's not been stellar in two games. But he'll be fine. I've liked what I've seen with smith and geary. It's just the sheer horror of flash's pitch is bound to make all of us assume the absolute worst.

10:10 AM  
Anonymous Walter said...

I wish just once someone would ask Mike Arbuckle why he hasn't drafted 1 good major league reliever in his 15 years at the helm. That's a pretty sorry track record. I still can't figure out how he keeps his job. And he wants to be the next GM? That's too funny.

12:48 PM  
Blogger Tom Goodman said...

Some people are dreaming the Phils will acquire the Nationals' Chad Cordero to fill their need. Two chances and slim just left. The Phillies don't have enough to offer the Nats and will still be looking around for help when he has taken up residence in Boston or New York.

12:57 PM  
Anonymous RickSchuBlues said...

Call me nutty, but i don't think Gordon deserves the rip job he's getting today. He gives up homers sometimes - what closer doesn't? He can still bring it. His durability is an issue, of course, but when he's in there, I have confidence he'll get the job done.

3:29 PM  
Blogger Tom Goodman said...

OK, nutty.

3:36 PM  
Anonymous RickSchuBlues said...

Yep, I was asking for that...

3:46 PM  

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