Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Hard to Watch

For the first time in years, the Phillies have actually become difficult to watch. It started as a slump but seems to be cultivating as a bad year. Every summer, the Phillies give us something to do, and to look forward to. They aren't so much fun as of late.

Don't get me wrong, I'm no front runner. I'll continue to watch every game, looking for an sign of encouragement I can muster. But for the first time this season, the optimism that the team will emerge from this destitute slump has vanished.

When they pitch well, they can't hit. When they hit, they can't pitch. Some nights, they can't do either. They have now fallen to six games behind the streaking Atlanta Braves. While standing just three games back in the wild card, there are five teams ahead of them in that race. While the Braves don't look to be slowing down at any point, unfortunetly for the Phillies, they only have three games against Atlanta remaining; a three-game set in late September.

The Phillies have been a second-half team the last few seasons. So far in 2010, they are 1-4. The road doesn't get any easier in the next few days. Jamie Moyer, who struggled in his last two outings opposes Chris Carpenter tonight. Tomorrow, Joe Blanton takes his 6+ ERA to the mound against Jaime Garcia, another outstanding St. Louis pitcher. The series will conclude on Thursday with Adam Wainwright most likely pitching for the Cards. Following that incredibly tough stretch, the Colorado Rockies and Ubaldo Jimenez come to Citizen's Bank Park for the weekend.

There is no more time to work this out. If they don't turn it around in St. Louis, the season may very well be over. A four-game sweep is likely if things don't change, and that could do the Phillies in.

They should look elsewhere for help at this point. J.A. Happ hasn't pitched great for Triple-A while rehabbing his injury, but he can't pitch much worse than Kyle Kendrick or Blanton. Happ has always been a tremendous competitor and

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