There is really no way to sugarcoat this one.
The Phillies are playing bad, bad, baseball at this time.
They have lost four in a row (6 out of 8), including two straight to the New York Mets. If that isn’t bad enough (especially the part about losing to the Mets) during this current 4-game losing streak, the Phillies have not scored a run off of any of the four starting pitchers (28 innings scoreless streak), and have scored a run in just one out of their last 36 innings played. So much for the best lineup in the NL, right?
Don’t jump off the Ben Franklin Bridge just yet, fans.
After Wednesday night’s 5-0 shutout (second consecutive shutout at the hands of the Mets), manager Charlie Manuel called a much-anticipated team meeting. Obviously, it’s not a good sign when a manager has to address his team in private due to lackluster play, but regardless, it had to be done.
Just looking through past moments during the Charlie Manuel era in Philadelphia, whenever he holds a closed-door, no press, team meeting the players usually respond. Whether that means the Phillies will go out and score one run or put up a ten-spot off of Mets starter Mike Pelfrey on Thursday night, that’s obviously another story. However, something tells me that the Phillies will not get shutout (I know, I’m really going out there on a limb aren’t I?), and with a suddenly confident Cole Hamels 5-2 overall record; 3-0 in May) on the hill, they might actually leave New York without getting swept.
While one victory won’t be the answer to all the problems, going into a big 4-game series with the Marlins with Roy Halladay pitching the opener, salvaging a series with a victory against the rival Mets Thursday night may go a long way.
If it doesn’t, hey, look on the bright side, at least the Flyers are in the Stanley Cup Finals.
: Phew! Paul Hoover cleared waivers today and was assigned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. In all seriousness though, with the way the Phillies have been dealing with injuries this season, keeping Hoover in the organization, especially with the way he played (.278 BA with solid defense) during his cup-of-tea in the big leagues last week, is worth noting with some enthusiasm.
: Couple injury notes. J.A Happ, Ryan Madson, Brad Lidge, and Jimmy Rollins are all in the process of rehabbing their respective injuries. Just a guess, but in about two weeks, we should see both J-Roll and “Lights Out” back in a Phillies uniform (maybe sooner for Lidge).
: The Los Angeles Dodgers have expressed interest in acquiring Seattle LHP Cliff Lee. Wouldn’t that makes things a bit more interesting if the Phillies and the Dodgers matchup for their third straight NLCS at seasons end?
Well, looks like I may have jinxed the Phillies. Game three has just gone final, and Mike Pelfrey and the Mets have shutout the Phillies for the THIRD consecutive game.
That’s right. 27 innings, 27 goose eggs on the scoreboard.
That’s an absolute disgrace, and even worse, it was to the Mets. The three-game sweep of the Phillies brings New York within two games of the divisional lead, a half game back of Atlanta for second place in the NL East, and a game in front the Marlins, who the Phillies begin a four-game series with tomorrow.
Needless to say, if these historic offensive woes continue versus Florida, the security blanket of a lead in the division that the Phillies have had for the better part of the last 13 months (except for three days earlier this season) will be there no longer.