Monday, September 07, 2009

So Many Holes Have Opened

Nearly all the signs coming out of the Phillies dugout these days are lousy. They aren't hitting much. They aren't scoring many runs and when they do it is only via the long ball. They aren't getting consistent pitching from their starters. They can't finish off games consistently.

After taking two out of three at home from the Giants by the slimmest of margins, the Phils went to Texas where they have promptly dropped three straight to the Astros. Cliff Lee was bombed. Brad Lidge blew another save. Cole Hamels followed two fine starts with a bad outing. The Hamels performance was particularly galling because once again he lost his composure, something, frankly, he rarely did when he had his command. For a guy with his major league experience to have to walk behind the mound to take a big, public moment to calm down is disturbing. In today's finale they will depend on J.A.Happ, who has lost two straight, to salvage a game.

At a time of year when the Phillies should be putting the finishing touches on their edifice, they are faced with cracks and fissures everywhere one looks. While they are still capable of the odd offensive explosion here and there, for the most part they are fizzling. Whereas two weeks ago the starting rotation looked to be rounding into perfect form, this morning there are more questions than answers. If they playoffs were to begin tomorrow, I wouldn't like their chances.

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