Its all about Pitching and Catching

It was only a matter of time before Brett Myers, new closer for the Phillies, blew his first save of his career.  After going 4 for 4 in save opportunities, it was going to happen sooner or later.  But luckily his receiving partner really helped him out.  Phillies rookie catcher Carlos Ruiz came up in the bottom of the 9th with two outs and crushed the ball to left centerfield, winning the game for the Phillies.  As his teammates mobbed him at the plate, all I could feel was joy, mostly for Carlos Ruiz.  After 27 games this season, Ruiz is batting .286 with 16 RBI’s, 2 HR, and 8 doubles.  This is the catcher of the future for the "Fightin Phils."  He calls a great game and is know realizing how to handle the pitchers on the staff.  The last four games, the Phillies have won 3 because of their pitching staff.  The one game that they lost, the Phillies position players only had 4 hits.  Pitching and catching wins the games.  And when those click, a team is on its way to winning many more games.


The Phils Win After a Good Bullpen Display

The Phillies picked up their third win today with three quality innings from one of the worst bullpens in the league.  Francisco Rosario, Antonio Alfonseca, and Tom Gordon pitched three one hit innings allowing the Phillies youngest, best pitcher to pick up his first win of the season.  Cole Hamels’ first two starts were good enough to allow him to have won both of them but the bullpen blew it in the last couple of innings. 

Just a few notes…

Jimmy Rollins is now tied with ARod, of the NY Yankees, with the most home runs in the MLB…the Phillies had 14 hits and 2 homeruns in the game today, topping their previous totals for the year…most games on the east coast will be rained out tomorrow due to the Nor’easter.

This Day in Baseball History

2001 – The Cincinnati Reds set a modern NL record by scoring in their 175th consecutive game by shutting out New York Mets 1-0.

Phillies Just Can’t Make It Work

Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek applied the tag at home plate on the Philadelphia Phillies' Shane Victorino during the second inning.                                 

In the bottom of the eighth inning, with no one out and the Phillies down 8-6, the Phillies had there number one slugger up: Ryan Howard at the plate, Shane Victorino at second and Chase Utley at first. Howard hits a short single to right field off of Trevor Miller of the Astros.  The runners advance, but for some reason the third base coach, Steve Smith, sends Victorian towards home plate.  With a good throw from right fielder Luke Scott, of the Astros, Victorino is thrown out at the plate.  Which leads me to this question: WHY IN THE WORLD WOULD YOU SEND HIM??  I don’t care how fast Victorino might be, as a coach, you just do not send a player home when you are down by 2 runs with nobody out towards the end of the game.  For that fact, at any time during a game should you do that. You just don’t chance it.  After a pitching change, Wes Helms comes up, grounds into a double play meaning, No one scores.

Why do the Phillies’ miseries continue to exist?  The reasons are quire simple.  

Base running has been an issue since the beginning of the year.  Just the other night, Victorino was thrown out at second.  During the off-season, the Phillies hired first base coach, Davey Lopes, to help with the team’s base running technique.  Obviously this has not helped one bit.

Pitching has continued to be an issue.  Before the season even started, there were many questions about the bullpen.  We began to see this during the first week of the season.  In the first two games, the bullpen blew leads in the eighth and ninth innings respectively, before the Phillies lost to the now first place Atlanta Braves.  This trend continued this past Monday, when the bullpen gave up 8 runs for the Phillies to lose to the Mets. The starting pitch hasn’t been as spectacular as everyone expected it to be either.  After tonight’s game, the Phillies starting rotation has the worst ERA in the National League.  The starting pitchers have only pitched an average on five and two thirds innings.

The don’t have any life.  It seems like it is just a routine to these people.  They don’t care about winning.  They just can’t get the job done.  Even though they aren’t the team that everyone assumed them to be the past three years of not having enough, they still are the same.

For this to change, they have to do something different.  Change up the line up, get rid of players through a trade, or improve the pitching stuff somehow.  The one thing that has to be on everyone’s mind is the manager is might have to go.  If the Phillies lose the majority of their games the rest of the month of April, Phillies GM might have no other choice but to fire manager Charlie Manuel.  He said after the Phillies loss tonight, to put them at a record of 2-8, that he doesn’t want to go into the locker room and chew people out.  “They are putting in a good effort,” he says.  “When we score 3 runs in the first inning we have to hold them to that… We can’t get the job done right now.  If I knew what to do, I would do it.”  According to John Marzano, Phillies Post Game Live analyst, “Performing poorly, all falls on manager.”  Because of that, he will not be here if he and the team continue to fail.