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Gone Fishin'...

When you watch pro-baseball, there are always those bad days. The days when you feel bad for the random outfielder (not on your team) when he drops the giveaway fly. Or when your team succumbs to a 3 game sweep by the Florida Marlins, for the first time in 5 years at home… sound familiar? Yikes! It’s all toooooo real! Here we are, still sitting in 1st place while the Marlins come to our town, take us in 3 and push themselves ahead to a mere 4 games back. Remember those days of being 7 ahead?

Having lost the past 8 of 11, the Phillies may have let the first 2 of this series get to them. Losing 12-3 on Sunday, it was almost as surreal as a circus. First Howard “strikes out” on a ball. Enough said, with yet another argument for replay in baseball (un-biased account and just a statement). Then, Shane Victorino gets booted while standing in center field, for a “questionable” hand motion. Not middle finger’d, no ah-fan-goo’d; he literally just threw his hands in the air. The real problem comes in when he goes nuts (possibly due to his attendance of the UFC fight last night?) and shoves Paul Bako and Charlie out of the way, hard. Not cool whatsoever and extremely IMMATURE.

This was a very interesting call however, one which requires examination. Baseball is a game of situations. Those situations are always unpredictable. Unfortunately, this game lends itself to having those situations pang the memory of a player, coach or in this case, umpire. This isn’t just a fan standing up for what he loves, but a fan of baseball questioning the motives of an official. Today, it seemed as if these 4 stooges had their minds elsewhere. In the 1st, Rollins was given a run that he (from most replay angles) didn’t earn. Thanks Guys! Then we have the pitching issues. We also have the attitude problem issued from the radiance of our awesomeness! But seriously, sometimes it is hard lesson to remember; we aren’t in charge of that field (even as much as we would like to think we are…)

Pitching wise, Moyer shows up starting with a lifetime record of 13-2 against the Marlins. You couldn’t pay for those numbers. Then today he gives up 11 hits and 3 runs, but DOES go 6 innings. The “Charlie Conversations” concerning Jamie have been released and there is a possibility of the Phils going to a starting rotation of 5 with Happ, Lee, and Martinez, while breaking Moyer. There has also been talk about keeping Jamie, starting the new guys and having a 6-man rotation. The only real issue is whether or not the break will actually help Jamie. We have seen him slump in the past few starts, but being such a wise and mature pitcher, maybe he needs to stay motivated (and NOT break) in order to keep morale high within himself. I also have enough faith in him to think that he would know when he needs a break… just a thought.

The real core of the issue comes to the fact that they Phillies simply haven’t been playing good baseball. The bulk of the lineup has been struggling with Howard and Ibanez going homer-less in the past 12 games. We can literally forget Brad Lidge for the time being, with a 7.24 ERA, the worst in the MLB in closers. If you’re wondering where the hitting of games past has gone, fear not, you are not alone. If you are wondering when the pitching will birth something new, fear not, the announcement is soon. If you are wondering WHEN this is all gonna take hold and shift the attitude of our fearless squadron, stay tuned with me…




By: Andy Troutman
8/9/09

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