When the 2010 schedule was announced one could not help circle the four-game series with St. Louis currently underway; after all, it had all the earmarks of a post-season matchup of two of the best teams in the NL.
That may still be true if only because the NL East looks like it is going to be a see-saw division with as many as three teams trading places at the top of the standings. Nevertheless, the Phillies' pitching situation continues to deteriorate and its offense continues to go awol too often to assume anything about the post-season.
Joe Blanton returned on the day the Phillies confirmed Ryan Madson would be out for a long time with his self-inflicted wound. Brad Lidge and J.C. Romero have yet to show they can return to form...as in 2008 form! Nelson Figueroa gives ample notice that he is, in the final analysis, a guy who has been released or traded by a lot of teams including his current one. Danys Baez hasn't shown anything remotely approaching consistency. Kyle Kendrick is still on the roster because so many people aren't. Cole Hamels is, frankly, a work in progress. Jamie Moyer lives on borrowed time; hell, he's remortgaged his time six fold. J.A. Happ? Has anyone heard anything about J.A. Happ lately? Is he in the witness protection program or something?
This isn't a pitching staff that scares anyone. OK, once every five days it scares people, but that is truly it.
The offense is incapable of making up for so many deficiencies, especially when it has its share of streaky hitters, is missing its spark plug and is still vulnerable to lefties.
The Phils have played twenty-five games and lost eleven of them. That may work out to a 91 win season, but it also assumes no one else goes down and everyone still standing remains so. That's a bet I wouldn't take the way things are going.