So this is what rock bottom looks like.
The Phils may still be four games over .500 but it won't be long before they disappear beneath the waves. Two losses to two pitchers who previously last won when they were in middle school were ignominious enough but to make matters worse the Phils wasted two good starts in the process, one by ageless ace Jamie Moyer, who could be forgiven for thinking that he might get a win when he holds the opposition to two runs. Not when your mates forget to score any of their own, Mr. Moyer. Oh, and the losses came against the Pittsburgh Pirates, one of the certifiably worst teams in baseball.
What's the point of moaning and groaning about absent players? Even when Utley and Polanco were available the Phils could barely muster any offense. If the team is waiting for guys like Werth and Ibanez to step up someone hasn't been paying attention. Werth is an interesting case. He's playing for a contract and shot out of the gate on a pace no one, not even he, thought would continue. He's always been a streaky hitter and fielder, his powerful arm as likely to nail someone in the first row behind the dugout as at the plate. But in this era a guy who can hit them out, field above average and run with speed albeit little intelligence, is going to get a big fat contract. He might have wanted to re-sign with the Phils but at this he's probably thinking the ship is listing heavily to starboard, is likely to keep taking on water, and this may be the time to jump.
Many people including this blogger thought the return of Jimmy Rollins would spark this somnolent team but J Roll's return has largely been a non-factor save his walk off home run a few weeks ago. Jimmy hasn't found his sea legs (continuing with the nautical theme of the post) nor his batting stroke.
While is may still be somewhat amazing the Phils are "only" five games out of first place, the truth is they've been hanging on with Utley and Polanco available. The grip is slipping now.