April 27, 2011
The Bats Are Afraid...
In a perfect example of life imitating art, The Phillies bats seem to have fallen as silent as my softball teams's have. While I'm hoping "Jobu Needs a Refill!" can get out of their funk with a double header tonight, I'm a little leery about the Phillies. Voodoo might be the only solution...
Not that everything is bad. Placido Polanco has become a singles machine. Ryan Howard is still hovering around .300 despite his propensity for golden sombreros (that's 4 Ks in one night for you amateurs out there). And Shane Victorino is slapping the ball around pretty well in all directions. But when Jimmy Rollins is leading your team in walks (seriously, look it up. I'm as surprised as you are), and your catching duo has shown more power than your first baseman you know something is terribly wrong. Ben Francisco and Raul Ibanez have been asleep at the wheel and the Valdez/Orr/Martinez tandem hasn't carried over their spring training and first week success into the present. With the Phillies on the brink of being swept by the lowly Diamondbacks, you might think that fans would be in an all out panic.
But instead we sit here with the 2nd best record in baseball and still atop the division. Which proves one thing: Pitching trumps hitting. Each starter has underperformed in at least one outing this season and yet the Phillies still have 15 wins. Once we hit our mid season groove, you have to believe that 4 runs or less will be enough to win on most nights. So while I'm not ruling out the idea of sacrificing a live chicken to the baseball gods, take comfort in knowing that Roy Halladay is still as good as ever, Domonic Brown will be back shortly (and he's crushing the ball in his minor league assignments), and most of the lineup won't be this dreadful all season (except Wilson Valdez. He is what he is.) Time to panic? No. But keep an eye on these guys. There might just be something to the "they're too old!" argument... And keep the cigars and rum handy just in case an offering to Jobu is needed.
Roy Oswalt has left the team to be with his family as Tornados and storms have ripped through his hometown. Roy is no stranger to large storms in the midwest as his childhood home was leveled last year in a similar storm. Apparently he was on the phone with his family for a lengthy time before the game started yesterday and was out the door as soon as he was yanked by Charlie. You have to assume that his friends and family were weighing on his mind during last night's clunker so I'll give him a free pass. Ruben Amaro seems to think that he will be back in time to make his next scheduled start which should be Tuesday against Washington.
Posted by Pat Adair at 4:24 PM