Monday, June 23, 2008

Should We Man The Lifeboats?

Well, that was a depressing series of beatings for the Phillies. I dunno. I mean, I can’t write the Phillies are an 88-89 win team, in contention the past two years less on their own merits and more due the paucity of play in NL East, and really be too disconcerted by the fact that they got their head handed to them by a pair of clubs that are clearly better than them.

The Angles and Red Sox are elite outfits- the two sole members of the American Leagues .600 plus club. The Phillies are a wild card level team in a weak division. At home, it is unfortunate they only got one of six, but really the Phillies probably were gonna be lucky to get something like even three here.

Put this after the preceding tricky, yet winning, road trip- I’m inclined to give the Phillies a pass this week. Frankly, they’re still the NL East’s best chance, by far, or producing a 90 win outfit.

But they’re just not an elite team- capable of winning the World Series short of astonishing luck. Outside of Utley, ou can pitch to their core hitters. In the five rotation spots, they’re a plus at 1 (Hamels), even at 3-4-5 (Moyer, Kendrick, Eaton), and a considerable minus at 2 (Myers). Add a plus ‘pen, and the pitching is north of average, but not by much.

And good teams have bad weeks in the grind of a 162 games schedule, particularly when the week's draw features true quality outfits. Nothing this week should put off a sane view of the Phillies as a 90-72 club- but any deep, rational post-season run is unlikely barring a revitalized Myers, another top of the rotation starter via trade and a helpful bat in the six-seven hole.