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Phillies' Bats Held Hostage Against Cardinals: Game 11

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Ever since the Phillies’ drubbing of the Nationals on Thursday May 5th, the Fightins have averaged 2.8 runs per game.

As you know this was at the EXACT same time last year when Dice-K (I’m not looking up how to spell his name because frankly, I don’t care) one-hit the Phillies on a Saturday night in late May 2010. The Phillies' bats never seemed to recover after that.

The Phillies’ record during this period of offensive impotency is 4-7.  During April, the Phils easily beat up on the cellar dwellers. The good teams? Not at all. A 3-5 road trip for this team is not good.

On Monday, it was Jake Westbrook who embarrassed the Fightins. Nobody on this planet will mistake Westbrook for Bob Feller- except the Phillies. Tuesday, it’s Jamie Garcia, whose record is damn near perfect at Busch Stadium. True to form, the Phils' only run scored against him was unearned.

Ryan Howard is 0 for his last 14. His three at-bats against Garcia were downright dismal. As great as he is, it never ceases to amaze me how lost he can look at the plate sometimes. Baseball founder Tony LaRussa didn't pitch to Howard at all this series. Why you ask? The top of the lineup is doing nothing, so why bother?

And now for the Triple A Phils, whom the big club has actually given roster spots to.

Despite two hits tonight, Michael Martinez should not even be in the major leagues. His second at-bat against Garcia was one of the worst at bats I have ever seen a Phillis player have (and I saw every game the 1988 Phillies played). Dane Sardinha probably couldn’ adjust his chest protector like a major leaguer. Moreover, his phantom tag of Lance Berkman in the fourth inning made him the latest member of the “Rod Barajas Club.” Wilson Valdez is a double play machine (and I don’t mean with the glove), and Pete Orr is.....Pete Orr. Ben Francisco has already been discussed too many times.

I understand that the entire team is practically wounded, but this nonsense happens even when they are healthy. It would be hard pressed to find a team in recent memory who pops up more 3-0 pitches. A walk is as good as a hit, guys. At least that’s what they told us in little league. Their approach to the plate is dismal, it’s become unbearable to watch, they look absolutely mindless in some of these at-bats, they have become pop up machines, and it looks like half of the guys don’t even want to be on the field.

Somewhere, Milt Thompson has to be laughing. And when Darren Daulton says publicly that he turns on a movie after the seventh inning of a Phils game in which they are trailing, that pretty much sums it up. And keep in mind they are paying him to talk baseball. It doesn't seem like anyone on this team is capable of getting the big hit regularly.

The way this team is struggling, it’s only a matter of time before the Atlanta Braves have them looking up in the standings for the first time in a long while.

Hopefully, you won’t join us again for another abysmal addition of “Phillies Bats Held Hostage.”

Contact Joe at jvallee@philly2philly.com

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