When I checked this morning, I saw the Phillies had a record of 23-12, a winning percentage of .657 and the best record in the National League, the second best in baseball. Roy Halladay just threw another outstanding game, giving up just two runs, one earned, in a 2-1 loss to Florida.
So why do I feel like the season hasn't been very good so far?
I'm sure it has to do with the Phillies struggling offense. Without Chase Utley, Dominic Brown, and recently, Carlos Ruiz, the Phillies offense hasn't been very good....at least it seems that way, The team batting average is .260, tied with the Dodgers for 5th. although it doesn't seem that good.
The Phils have hit 29 home runs, tied for 7th. Again, not too bad, it just doesn't seem like that many.
They've scored just a little more than 4 runs per game...respectable, but no great shakes.
The pitching has been very good, but certainly not the lights out we've expected. Roy Halladay and Cole Hamels have ERA's under 3.00 and Roy Oswalt and Cliff Lee are both under 3.70 so the starting pitching, with the big 4 has been fine.
So why do I feel they haven't found their groove yet? Because we expect so much more from them.
The offense probably won't be as good as it has been in the past because of a weakness in right field and no Utley for at least the first two months of the season.
Considering all the injuries on the pitching staff, the team's 3.04 ERA, second best in the National League, is remarkable.
So what do I make of all this? It certainly appears that the Phillies upside is much greater than has been reached so far...and that's a good thing. If the Phillies play like they are capable of, and historically have played, no one in the National League can touch them.
I guess I should feel better than I do when looking at it through this lens. Or maybe I'm too much of a Phillies fan, and tend to see the glass as half empty rather than half full.
Either way, I think this team has the ability still to have a huge season...and realistically, they're already on their way to one. Let's hope they continue.
Posted at 11:42am on May 11, 2011 by Big Don Voltz
has any team had the best record in thier sport, yet seem so ... uninspiring?
Fri, May 13, 2011 9:54am
Larry, I think why I feel this way is because the offense has been so suspect, in spite of some of the numbers. In the past, the Phillies are down three runs in the late innings...no problem. Now, I think its a problem.
We'll see what happens when Utley returns. Still, they now have the best record in baseball...so go figure.
Fri, May 13, 2011 3:28pm
In the past, the Phillies are down three runs in the late innings...no problem. Now, I think its a problem.
I agreed until Wednesday's game when 5 unanswered runs were scored in the last three innings. And Jimmy looked like his old self, driving in the last two runs. I'm hoping that game was a harbinger of the good old Fightins who were capable of coming back from the dead in any given game.
Tue, May 17, 2011 7:34am
Rollins...Valdez...Ibanez...Howard...Mayberry...Francisco...Orr...Ruiz. That lineup alone should frighten any Phillies fan. Until Utley returns, and some of these other guys start hitting, we are going to see if pitching and defense win ball games. Yes they do...but no one has ever won a game when they didn\'t score a run and very few win when they score just one or two.
The Phillies offfense is anemic and it needs a transfusion quick.
Tue, May 17, 2011 11:41am
Polanco and Vic's absence was noticeable last night...
A few weeks ago I heard a radio caller mention Mike Schmidt's appearance at Spring training to give some hitting advice. This was during an "Ask the GM" show, the caller asked RAJ if Schmitty was going to come back to help out. Big Don: Do you know if Michael Jack was really at ST in an informal hitting coach capacity?
(RAJ kind of dodged the question.)
Wed, May 18, 2011 7:38am
Yes, I believe he was there again this year. In fact, he's been doing that for the last several years.
The last few games have proven to me that, yes, pitching and defense may be the key to winning, but it is still mighty difficult to do if you can't hit your way out of a paper bag.
When Utley finally comes back, he will be facing an unbelievable amount of pressure to jump-start this offense. (same with Victorino, although not as much). The Phillies are making every pitcher look like a Hall of Famer right now. I keep waiting for a breakout game, by even the scrubs they're haveing to play, but it hasn't happened yet.
Right now, Atlanta and Florida have better every day lineups and both have very good pitching staffs as well.
If the Phils don't get the offense going soon, they'll find themselves playing catch-up.
Wed, May 18, 2011 8:49am
Thanks for the reply.
Call me simple, or just an incurable optimist...but I believe RAJ and Cholly will come up with a fix.
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