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Phillies Inconsistency Key in Beginning of Season

By Anthony Machcinski

As of Sunday, eight percent of the Major League Baseball season was completed. Even though there is a great deal of season to play, the Philadelphia Phillies need to start becoming consistent.

Over the past week, the Phils have been constantly all over the place. Their starting pitching, one of the biggest weaknesses on the team, has done well. Blanton, Hamels, and Myers pitched six innings, limiting the opposition to three, five, and three runs in their respective starts.

Despite their positive starts, the team lost all three of those games, one against the Washington Nationals and two against the San Diego Padres.

The inconsistency within the team lies in the bullpen, where in all three games, the bullpen either gave up leads or made the game out of reach. In Blanton’s start, Jack Tashner, the pickup from San Francisco, let in four runs.

In the two games against the surprising 9-3 Padres, the bullpen blew back to back leads to give the game to the Padres. Even 2008 savior Brad Lidge could not avoid the curse and allowed four runs on Saturday night against the Padres.

The hitting however has been hit or miss. Star shortstop Jimmy Rollins continues to be in the gutter, despite hitting a pinch hit home run on Saturday. His dismal .152 average is .048 points lower than that of Brett Myers. But where Rollins has lacked, outfielder and offseason pickup Raul Ibanez has picked up.

Ibanez, hitting .386 on the season, hit the game-winning home run on Sunday to give the Phillies the opportunity to tie the series against the Padres on Monday. The sweet-swinging outfielder has hit five home runs for ten runs batted in through Sunday.

Chase Utley has shown no signs of offseason hip surgery, getting off to a great start. Through Sunday, Utley has hit .366 with four home runs and eleven runs batted in.

One thing this team needs to do is continue to build momentum. Momentum could be built this week as they play the Padres once, and are home for the Milwaukee Brewers before traveling to Miami to face the division leading Florida Marlins.

The back end of the Phillies rotation needs to pick it up in Florida as Jamie Moyer, Chan Ho Park and Joe Blanton will be pitching against young phenoms Josh Johnson and Chris Volstad as runs will most likely be hard to find.


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