You want consistency?
Go somewhere else!
The Phils dropped another series to one of their chief rivals and they did so in particularly ugly fashion. Cole Hamels, winless since early July and battered in his last two outings, pitched well against the Marlins this afternoon but received absolutely no support...at the plate or in the field. Frankly, had Hamels been able to finish off batters on two separate occasions with two outs in the inning things might have been different, but he certainly deserved better than what he got from his offense or Eric Bruntlett at third and Ryan Howard at first.
Bruntlett bobbled a potential double play ball that might have saved a run that scored later. He wasn't given an error on the play but deserved one. Is it me or does it seem that every time he makes a great play in the field one night he blows one the next game? Let's just say he isn't a model of consistency. Howard, on the other hand, is painfully consistent in the field. His latest adventure on a potential 3-6-what the *&1$% double play ball was vintage stuff. The next time a ground ball is hit to him with a man on first and less than two outs I'd rather see him flip the ball to Utley or the pitcher to make the toss to second. What has he got to lose?
The Phils were anemic against Chris Volstad today and, frankly, you knew that was coming before the first pitch. The rookie right-hander is the Marlins' top prospect and he looked the part in this, only his fifth start in the big leagues. Granted, most teams struggle against hurlers they've never seen before, but the Phillies have made an art of first-look ineptitude.
As I watched the game with increasing torpor, I came to the conclusion that the Marlins and Phillies represent opposite ends of the spectrum in many respects. The Marlins are less than two decades old but have won 2 World Championships in the interim. Moreover, every time they go through one of the periodic housecleanings, and they've been through a few, especially after winning it all, they manage to pick up top prospects via trades or development and are quickly back in contention. The Marlins simply never seem to be rebuilding for long if at all. Every time you look around the Marlins are giving the Phillies fits.
The Phillies, on the other hand, are always struggling to make the post-season let alone go all the way and are forever a piece or two short of putting it all together. They haven't received a top prospect in a trade who's made an impact in so long it's hard to remember when they did. And while they've drafted and developed some fine players over the last ten or fifteen years, how many times have the Phillies put a strong core unit on the field only to see pieces depart or disappoint before they could win it all, inevitably leaving them short in the end?
These Phillies aren't always brides maids because they're so rarely even been invited to the wedding.