Wednesday, May 09, 2007

April Showers Bring May Showers

What we have here is a routine failure to put things all together in the same nine inning game. An unexpectedly effective start from Adam Eaton was wasted as the Phillies could muster only five hits against Diamondbacks' rookie Micah Owens en route to a second straight loss in Phoenix. Eaton could have used more support but truth be told he surrendered two home runs to an Arizona lineup that featured six batters hitting .236 or below. The long ball continues to plague Eaton, who has yielded an average of one per start.

Charlie Manuel dramatically shuffled his lineup again with Aaron Rowand leading off, Jimmy Rollins in the three hole, Chase Utley batting cleanup and Greg Dobbs subbing for Ryan Howard at first. Abraham Nunez started at third. This kind of tinkering smacks of desperation precisely because it is! If we've seen anything resembling consistency it has been at the top of the order with Jimmy Rollins leading off. That debate -- is Jimmy a good lead-off hitter -- should have been put to rest by now but Manuel is trying to save his job if not the season and appears willing to upset what little balance there is.

The lack of hitting last night was only trumped by the second three-error game in three nights as the Phillies stumble their way eastward. Any thoughts of another poor April start are being banished by an almost equally woeful May.


Anonymous said...

I think its time to sit Burrel and see what Bourn can do. I would lead him off and move Jro down 3 or 5 hole. Something needs to spark this team. It reminds me of 1980 when Lonnie Smith started playing reguarly for the bull.

david said...

By the end of this season, it would appear highly likely that we'll be seeing a lot more of Mr. Bourn. If things continue as they've been, it's hard to imagine them continuing to play Burrell every day. The one lonely homerun was considered acceptable when he was over. 300, but now that he's at .242, he looks positively washed up.

Meanwhile - just let Howard rest for a couple of weeks, rather than continue to leave the bench even shorter than it already was. he isn't helping the team in his present condition. Are they afraid of not selling tickets to the upcoming homestand if they DL Howard?

Eaton gave up two of the longest homers I've ever seen yesterday. With all the stats they keep, I'm wondering if he didn't set some kind of record for Longest Distance of Batted Balls, Single Game.

And speaking of desperation, how about that play by Utley in the 8th inning, to try to cut the advancing runner at third base when he didn't have a play there from the second he fielded the ball? I thought that was a telling moment. At least Utley plays with some sense of urgency, even if it caused misjudgment in that instance. I don't know if the same can be said of a lot of his teammates.

Tom Goodman said...

Good point about the no-doubt-about-it quality to those home run balls. I heard a replay of the call by Scott Franzke and he pitied the poor soul(s) in the stands on the receiving end of the first one.