Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Philly Cracking Already?
Damn, having a bad start is one thing, but this is getting ugly already, and it's still April.
Pre-season darlings the Philadelphia Phillies have stumbled out of the gate, big time. Yet another loss to the division rival Mets on Tuesday has knocked them 5 1/2 games out, dead last in the NL East.
Is this rock bottom? Could be. When your mild mannered manager challenges a beat writer to a fight, there isn't too much lower to go.
This has got to be terribly frustrating for the Philly fans, who watched these guys play horribly early on last season, only to catch fire and make a late run for the Wild Card spot, ultimately falling short. Every game counts, and these April losses will really sting if the Phils end up short by a game or two once again.
Let's look at some reasons for the performance. Well, reason, actually. It's pitching, specifically the bullpen. It sucks, as was noted or ignored by many predictors prior to the season. Until that changes they will continue to waste good performances by the starters and the eventual high scoring output from the potent offense. Trouble is, everyone is looking for bullpen help, making dealing for it tough.
Better step it up, Phillies, face another lost season, which hurts a hell of a lot more when the expectations are raised.
Phils' Manuel goes after radio host (ESPN)