Just in the nick of time the Phillies found their bats, stashed in the rear of the equipment truck underneath the leftover World Series bunting and over-sized ring boxes. They sure haven't found their starting arms, however, which must still be lost somewhere in transit from Florida. The only question is, does any of this surprise you?
No one ever doubted the Phils could hit. Furthermore, despite the absence of another left-handed arm in the bullpen, the Phils can throw some serious relief pitching at opponents going back through all of last season. That leaves the starting five, who thus far sport a collective ERA north of six runs a game and who have yet to produce a "quality start", even as defined by the current low standards.
The problem with relying on the hitters is that this is streaky at the plate. They have good power but not a lot of players who hit for average. The addition of Raul Ibanez, thus far as pleasant a surprise in the field as at the plate, was supposed to address the need for more contact hitters and may yet rub off on some of the holdovers., but their are a lot of guys in this batting order to whiff a lot.
Starting pitching was supposed to be much healthier this year than last. Spring Training even featured a battle for the fifth spot in the rotation. To date, everyone has been hit around hard, some more than once.
Who said the pitchers are ahead of the hitters in April? Not Rich Dubee!