Sunday, August 09, 2009

The Bad, Badder And Baddest

Ugly loss. Ugly weekend.

You gotta' love the way headlined Sunday's debacle: Moyer, Phils unable to salvage Marlins finale. "Unable to salvage...."???!!!! They got stomped. Had their hats handed to them. Whupped. Embarrassed. Thrashed. Worst beating of the season. Masters of the understatement? Check

As the Marlins arrived in town, former Phillie Wes Helms was reported to have said they had to sweep the Phillies this weekend. Check.

The Phils, in the meantime, were looking to sort out their entire pitching staff, not just the starting rotation. Uncheck.

The home team was also trying to find where they'd left their bats. Uncheck.

The Marlins started the season on fire, cooled off dramatically and then bounced back-and-forth, but they haven't had much trouble with the Phillies, especially at Citizens Bank Park. The Fish took two of three from the Phils in May and just swept them here today.

Meanwhile, the Phillies did learn a few things about their pitching staff. Rodrigo Lopez, who effectively pitched himself off the roster last week only to be granted a reprieve while the brass tried to figure out what to do with him and assorted other hurlers, most assuredly pitched himself off it again for good today giving up six earned runs in so-called relief. Lopez had pitched more than adequately as a starter, but his two relief stints have been disastrous. With everyone obsessed over the Pedro-Jamie decision, it isn't as though Lopez has much of a chance of sticking, but he erased any doubt with his latest performance.

Brad Lidge also failed to, ah, distinguish himself, giving up three earned runs including a homer while presumably just getting in some work. Lidge's role was already officially a trouble spot; nothing he did today relieved any anxiety. Indeed, it is fair to say the Phillies need a closer. Indeed, I said that last week.

As for Jamie Moyer, he "only" gave up two earned runs in five innings of work but yielded eleven hits. For those sabremetricians out there, that's more than two hits an inning, a rate that exceeds what teams expect even from their fifth starter.

Oh, and Shane Victorino was thrown out of the game for protesting balls and strikes...from centerfield. That's a first. I've heard of umpires reading lips, but not from 3oo feet away. Victorino never does anything conventionally.

No doubt Cliff Lee is beginning to wonder if he wouldn't have been better off had the Phils traded for Roy Halladay.

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