The Phillies reached the 10 game mark of the season and are playing lackluster baseball with a record of 4-6. Luckily for them they still have 152 games yet to play; guess that could be unlucky too depending if you're a glass half Guinness or a glass half Coors Light type. Here's a quick glance at some of the stats they've racked up so far...
*42 runs scored. That's 4.2 runs per game from a team that's supposed to have the most formidable bats in the league. I'm not the type of guy that normally points the finger of blame, but what the hell- Ryan Howard (.189 avg./.689 OPS), Pedro Feliz (.194/.562), Carlos Ruiz (.185/.501), and Shane Victorino (.175/.458).
*Collectively the Phils are only scrounging up hits here and there as their .243 team batting average would suggest, and their .746 OPS isn't very impressive either.
*Aside from batting averages and the almighty OPS I've witnessed horrible approaches by individual players at the plate. Shane Victorino is playing an awesome centerfield eating up more balls than PacMan, but he's lost at the plate. I miss Jimmy Rollins too, he's the leader of this club and Eric Bruntlett is proving to be every bit as worthless as No-Hit Nunez was...lay down a bunt you ugly bearded bastard!
*3.96 era. No my friends, that is not a typo, the pitching hasn't been nearly as bad as most thought it would be. Let's keep in mind though that due to defensive woes our staff has already allowed 12 unearned runs.
*Cause for Concern- 46 walks and 54 k's. I can live with the low strikeouts, but the pitchers are walking a man every other inning.
*Cole Hamels (1.20 era) and Adam Eaton (3.95) have been the best of the rotation. Once again, not a typo. Rudy Seanez (0.00), JC Romero (0.00), Brad Lidge (0.00), and Chad Durbin (1.13) have done very well in relief. Ones that have been left unnamed have been disappointments.
*The state of Pennsylvania sucks at fielding. The Phils horrors on the diamond have been well lamented on here, but yesterday the Pirates overtook them for the MLB lead in errors with 14 (Phils have committed 13). The sure-handed players like Utley, Rollins, and Feliz have been ugly at times and Chooch's hyperness has caused him 2 errors of his own. If the Phils plan on contending, and I think they do, they really need to sure up the defense pronto.
Charlie Manuel hasn't done too many questionable things yet this season. I disagree with his use of Lidge in the Cincy blowout, but he did need to get into a game sometime. He's actually mixed-and-matched relief pitchers quite well through 10 games (considering what he has to work with). There is some scrutiny to be given in regards to his use of pinch-hitters/runners. I hate this "rule" of lifting Burrell post 7th inning if he gets on base. Also, Manuel sent Greg Dobbs, known struggler against lefties, to the plate last night when it was obvious Willie Randolph was going to pull John Maine for Pedro Feliciano (a lefty). So Dobbs is announced as the pinch-hitter, Randolph makes the switch and Dobbs sits back down in favor of Jayson Werth...that's the second time this season Dobbs has been announced as the pinch-hitter but didn't truly appear in the game.
Patty G went bargain basement shopping yet again, this time rummaging through the castoffs for lefty Steve Kline. Kline was recently released by the Giants and was signed to a minor league deal that will put him on the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs roster until he's summoned back to the majors. Over 11 seasons, Kline has pitched in 796 games with a 3.51 era and 1.38 whip, but struggled against lefties (his main competitors) last season. I envision the Sunbury, PA native as an upgrade to the bullpen as a second lefty, especially since JC Romero isn't used solely as a situational lefty anymore (dude gets everyone out!).