Saturday, May 16, 2009

Phillies hanging in there while issues surround team

There are many concerns about the Phillies and while these issues loom large, the team is hanging around in the NL East as no one is showing they want to take the division just yet.

For some reason, the Mets have owned the Phillies since the Phils' dominance in 2007. The Mets clearly get up for all the games against the Phillies, and would be an excellent team if they did when playing the rest of the league as well.

The Phillies' last home stand was just inexcusable though. They took the first game against division rival Atlanta, and proceeded to drop the next two and lose the series. They followed by doing the exact same thing against the Dodgers. They need to show a bit more of that killer instinct that was so prominent last season. After taking the first game of a home series, they absolutely need to at least win the series. If they drop the second game, they need to find a way to rebound and take the series. Last year they were doing just that, but last year they also had a rock solid bullpen and closer.

Brad Lidge needs to figure it out. He blew another save in last night's game in Washington; thankfully the Phils bounced back and took the game in extra innings. Unfortunately, Lidge hurt the team with a day night double header scheduled today, as J.A. Happ was used in an emergency relief appearance in extra innings last night. This prevents Happ from making the start tonight that he should have been making. The team called up Andrew Carpenter to start in his place.

I feel sorry for Happ. He's done such a good job for this team, and is better suited as a starter. He told the broadcasters he was looking forward to the opportunity to start tonight's ballgame, a role he should be have been in all along. Happ would have given them a strong chance to win tonight; but no one knows exactly what to expect from Carpenter. Hopefully Happ hangs in there and doesn't become discouraged. They can't keep him out of the rotation much longer.

Lastly, we get to the old man. I'm as much of a Jamie Moyer fan as nearly anyone out there, but I wonder if he should have retired last season. As we all know, that would have been the perfect way to go out, sitting on top of the pitching rubber in the locker room after winning the World Series. His 8.15 era is horrendous, and while I'm sure it'll slowly lower itself, the Moyer we've come to know may be gone. I hope for his and our sake that he figures it out and gets it going again, but it's rather doubtful at this point. Jamie should be going out on his own terms, and hopefully the game doesn't force him out. I'd hate to see baseball dictate his departure; but rather Moyer calling it quits when he decides the time is right.

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