Thursday, May 03, 2007

We Love You Phillies- In Spite of Ourselves

The Phillies continue to do what they’ve done best in the Charlie Manuel era- which is sort of meander directionlessly with a slight bias toward just north of break even. Case in point: a stretch of good play against bottom division opponents Florida and Washington. Don’t dismiss a stretch of 4-2 against bad clubs- play .600 against the bad teams and .500 against the good one- and you get to 90 wins. But that important latter point about breaking even against good clubs.... well, the Phillies can’t beat the Braves or the Mets half the time- which is why they are an 83-84 win team.

More directionlessness? Well, how can the loss of Gordon for three weeks not be seen as a short term plus?- and further, how many teams can realistically say the loss for three weeks of their closer probably helps in the short term? That is true irony- the kind the Phillies specialize in. Gordon could be a plus relief pitcher- but he simply isn’t a plus closer. Moving Myers to the closer role could be a plus, right? Additionally, since they refuse to use Gordon in a role where he could be a plus (out of the ‘pen earlier, situationally, etc.)- for the next few weeks they subtract only a true minus from the closer role in return for adding a potential plus. Yes, losing a major league bullpen arm hurts long term- but short term it probably works out for the best.

The loss last night to Atlanta, and well as the loss to Washington last week that cost them a sweep, were particular frustrating- as both games meant a win would have brought them within one game of .500 and were against starting pitchers that could be beat. They failed both times- now sit at three under even-stevens. One game under meant a series win squared the mark and a May spent chasing the Mets and Braves- the current three under means they’ll spend most of May trying to get to .500 even if they play well. Put it this way- this hard seven game trip out west- and the probable three up, four down- means it is almost mid-May, four under .500.

I guess that is just it- they aren’t as good as Atlanta and not good enough to step on the Nats. That is third place people.

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