Friday, June 8, 2012

2002 Upper Deck 40-Man Looming Large #L-ML Mike Lieberthal

Dodgers 8, Phillies 3
Game 59 - Thursday Afternoon, June 7th in Philadelphia
Record - 28-31, 5th Place, 6 games behind the Nationals

One Sentence Summary:  The Phillies fell yet again to the Dodgers, getting swept at home in the four game series.

What It Means:  The Phillies continued to earn their last place berth, dropping their sixth in a row in spectacularly awful fashion.

What Went Wrong:  The number of things to go wrong in this game and so far this season merits a bulleted list -

  • The Phillies now have a record of 12-19 at home, which is the worst home record in the National League.
  • Including last season's N.L.D.S., they are 13-27 at home in their last 40 games.
  • Cole Hamels has a 5.23 ERA in his last three starts, coinciding with Roy Halladay landing on the disabled list.
  • Chad Qualls has an ERA of 8.68 in his last ten appearances.
  • The Phillies made three errors yesterday afternoon, including two by third baseman Ty Wigginton on successive plays.
  • Asked during the post-game post-mortem if the Phillies had lost their edge, manager Charlie Manuel responded, "I thought we lost that edge quite a while ago, if you want to know the truth.  We don't scare nobody."

Featured Card:  If this seems like uncharted territory for the Phillies, that's because for the last 10 years, it has been.  The last time the Phillies had a losing record this far into the season was back in 2002 when the team had a record of 25-34 through 59 games.  They were 9 1/2 games out of first place back then and  Scott Rolen was a little less than two months away from his trade to St. Louis.  Mike Lieberthal, who was named the newest member of the Phillies Wall of Fame yesterday, was in the middle of his ninth season with the team.

Through those first 59 games in 2002, Lieberthal, the unofficial team leader, hit .244 with 4 home runs and 18 RBIs.  Those numbers are eerily similar to the .251 average, 3 home runs and 15 RBIs currently carried by current team leader Jimmy Rollins.  So what does that correlation mean?

Damned if I know.  I just want the Phillies to start winning again.

Field Report:  In much, much happier news, my favorite niece Molly attended her first Phillies game yesterday.  Sorry the Phillies couldn't show you a better game Molly!  Don't worry, you'll get to plenty more games.


Steve F. said...

"my favorite niece Molly"

I hope your other nieces aren't reading this post!

Depressing game. The Phils are 0-5 in home games I've attended. They did win in Pittsburgh where I went to the opener. I guess I just have to hit more away games. This weekend would be a good chance, I suppose, but it's hard to stay motivated as a fan....

At least it was a beautiful day.

Jim from Downingtown said...

Asked during the post-game post-mortem if the Phillies had lost their edge, manager Charlie Manuel responded, "I thought we lost that edge quite a while ago, if you want to know the truth. We don't scare nobody."/\

Sounds like Charlie has lost the team. We were told over the years that his biggest strength was "the players like playing for Charlie".

Well, they're not playing for him now, and it doesn't seem like anyone outside of Chooch, Doc, Cliff, and Hamels even cares.

So what if they won 102 last year? So what if Manuel's teams won 5 division titles? None of that matters in 2012. The team is going through the motions, and Charlie is unable to change it. (Maybe he's unwilling to change it, as he seems content to "let Jimmy do what Jimmy wants to do".) Amaro said last fall that "there will be a new approach at the plate". Nobody (including the supposed "hitting guru" has adopted that approach.


(For another rant, see my sidebar.)

Jim said...

To date, Molly is my only niece, so I'm safe. She'll be my co-favorite if and when another niece comes along. ; )

Jim from D - I honestly don't think Manuel is going anywhere unless the bottom completely and totally falls out. The Phillies continue to be extremely frustrating as they play well enough to make us think they're on their way back and then they have a series like the Dodgers series. I would honestly blame Ruben more than Charlie. This is the team Ruben has built and these are the players he's handed Charlie. No one can predict or be blamed for the injuries, but the supporting players Ruben has accumulated aren't getting the job done. And the fact Ruben put together a crappy bullpen doesn't help either.

Jim from Downingtown said...

Although Ryan Howard is a key part of this team, the injuries are being used more and more as an excuse/smoke screen:

What do the injuries have to do with Rollins and Victorino not being more selective at the plate?

What do injuries have to do with Manuel continuing to run Jimmy "Mario Mendoza" Rollins out as the leadoff batter, when Juan Pierre is a better option?

What do injuries have to do with the six regulars returning from last season not giving Cliff Lee ANY run support?

I will concede that Amaro is to blame for not keeping closer tabs on Utley's off-season progrss.

This team has clearly accepted losing, and that is SQUARELY on the head of Manuel. Every interview of a player, coach, or even peripheral media personalities (like Dutch Daulton) includes quotes like "What can we do, other than hang in there until our guys get back?".

Who's to say they ARE coming back, or will be effective if/when they return?

The players and coaching staff have become soft and complacent, content to use Howard and Utley as a crutch for their own ineffectiveness.

Do you think any of this would have been accepted by Dallas Green in 1980?