Monday, March 10, 2008

Phils Offense Strong While Pitching Stinks

Same story, different day for the Phillies this exhibition season. The Phillies lost today 8-5 to the Pirates, but the offense put on a show, with Pat Burrell, Ryan Howard and Pedro Feliz all hitting solo home runs. Unfortunately it was all a waste as the pitching continues to struggle, with J. D. Durbin giving up 5 runs in 3.1 innings.

Durbin had a chance to assert himself in the race for the 5th starter, but failed to show that he even deserved a spot on the Opening Day roster. He gave up 8 hits, walked 2 batters and only struck out one. His ERA has risen to 9.64 this spring. As a team, the Phillies pitching is only slightly better with an ERA of 6.77, which ranks 27th amongst all teams. The poor showing can't all be blamed on Adam Eaton and his 15.75 ERA, there are several others who are getting shelled. Kyle Kendrick is coming off a terrible performance against the Blue Jays where he gave up 6 runs to raise his ERA to 16.43. Cole Hamels and Tom Gordon, both key parts to the team, also have ERA's above 10. Hopefully the pitchers are just rusty and this won't be an omen for the rest of the season.

If the pitchers can't get their act together, at least we will see a lot of 10-8 games because the offense has been coming on as of late. Ryan Howard, who is hitting .433, hit a towering home run yesterday, and then added another today, to continue his torrid spring hitting. Pedro Feliz has hit 2 bombs, showing he is capable of some pop to go with his solid defense, and So Taguchi has played well, hitting .412. Just about the only Phillie regular to not be hitting well is NL MVP Jimmy Rollins, who has only 3 hits in 26 at bats for an average of .115.

The Phillies have an off-day tomorrow, so hopefully they can figure out how to get their pitching back on track. It's still early in the exhibition season, but the trend they have started could lead to another horrible April. This team needs to get some momentum to avoid the early season struggles that have plagued them in recent seasons.

No comments: