In our hearts we knew it was coming. As soon as the Phils completed their improbable sweep of the Mets at Shea Stadium and headed to the Midwest for a weekend series with the lowly Kansas City Royals, nearly every Phillies' fan asked him or herself, "Are they going to blow the momentum just like they did two weeks earlier following their sweep of the Braves in Atlanta"? You wanted to believe they'd finally found their rhythm, but deep down inside you feared the worst.
Losing two out of three to the most inept team in baseball might have been the worst, but when every precinct had reported, the 17-5 shellacking they took yesterday was the the clear winner for lowest of the lows.
The Royals took batting practice Sunday against our pitchers, not theirs. It was humiliating. Jamie Moyer lasted less than two innings and looked like the 43-year old pitcher he is. After the game, Jimmy Rollins pronounced the road trip a success (in so many words) with the Phils winning four of six games. It sure felt like a downer from where I sit. Freddy Garcia was hammered again the other night and then landed, conveniently, on the DL. Frankly, they could give him his release as far as I am concerned because they aren't likely to get much for him at this point and he's just taking up roster space. Why is it we always learn he has arm miseries after a bad performance? Ryan Madson was hammered. Jose Mesa, yes, that Jose Mesa, was completely ineffective. On and on it went.
There's little point to analyze what ails this team because it's all been said countless times and in the end doesn't matter. The facts are simple: erratic starting pitching coupled with poor relief pitching coupled with an inconsistent offense add up to mediocrity. If reaching (or falling back in this case) .500 isn't mediocrity I don't know what is.