Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Mediocre Through And Through (With One Exception)

I was out of town since last Friday and missed the Twins series. My luck. No, really!

During that series the Phils managed to do most of what has ailed them this season. For a change, they did manage a lot of offense the first two games, but the pitching, especially the bullpen in game two, let them down. By the third game the offense was once again nowhere to be found. What seems clear in retrospect is that the Phils have too many holes too often to put together a long winning streak to say nothing of any series representing consistency.

By Sunday they'd stopped hitting again. By Monday night they made their punchless offense official.

Roy Halladay suffered another loss over the weekend. While he didn't receive any run support again, he also gave up enough hits and runs to lose. Brad Lidge proved beyond a reasonable doubt he is more like the closer of 2009 than 2008.

The return of Jimmy Rollins is heartening if only because his presence in the lineup might provide a spark of life where there's been precious little. Raul Ibanez continues to get the nod in left field leaving Ben Francisco to try and establish some consistency of his own without benefit of consistency from his manager. Ben must be looking somewhat longingly at the visitors dugout at the moment, remembering when he got a lot more AB's and opportunities, even as a part-time player.

Interleague play has proven again to be the bane of these Phillies. If not for taking two of three from the Yankees, in NY no less, they would be so far below sea level against the AL no life preserver would matter. Interleague play stinks. The novelty of seeing AL teams wore off years ago. The lack of balance, namely which NL East teams face which AL East teams each season, is a joke of unfairness. So, naturally, it's here to stay because if Bud Selig has shown us anything, it's that he could care less about what is fair and balanced.

The only player on this year's version of the Phils who has been consistent is Jamie Moyer. Every time out save one he has continued to astonish. He won't grow old; he won't go away. All these twenty-somethings, heck, all these thirty-somethings, keep flailing away at his variations on soft toss as they come less-than hurtling toward the plate. Once, we all thought only the young free-swinging clubs like the Marlins were too impatient to face the crafty, ageless one, but it is now clear everyone except the Boston Red Sox cannot get a handle on him. He's going to outlast everyone and present the HOF voters with a real dilemna, namely, how ya' gonna' keep a 53-year old 300 game winner out of Cooperstown? Jamie aims to make the answer to that one difficult. Go, Jamie, go!

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