Monday, June 22, 2009

Get lost, Phillies, and don't come back until you are ready to win at home

On the road, they are the best team in baseball. At home, they are as bad as the Nationals. That's your 2009 Phillies, everyone.

Since lamenting in my post last week about their home woes, the Phillies proceeded to lose four more games at home, bringing their home record to 13-22, the second worst home record in baseball. On the road, the Phillies are still a remarkable 23-9, far and away the best in the league away from home.

I'll once again ask the same question I asked last week: is this a real trend or just a statistical anomaly? The teams that the Phillies have played at home and on the road are just about equally as good, so you can't blame it on a harder home schedule. Injuries, while they are a lame excuse because every team deals with them, still play a part in the current losing streak. I defy any team to lose their top hitter, their second best pitcher and their closer and keep winning consistently. Add on top of that the sickness that kept Ryan Howard out yesterday, and the Phillies can blame some of their current woes on injuries.

But, injuries don't explain why the Phillies still make average starters like Rich Hill and Scott Richmond look like All Stars. And, injuries don't explain what has happened to Jimmy Rollins, who is hitting an atrocious .217 and has a .261 on base percentage. How is a team supposed to win when their leadoff hitter never gets on base? I think it's time once again for Charlie Manuel to drop Rollins to 6th in lineup. Shane Victorino and his .304 average and .365 OBP deserves to be at the top of the order.

Luckily for the Phillies, they get to leave Philadelphia for a 9 game road trip, heading to Tampa Bay, Toronto and Atlanta. Hopefully the Phils will hit the road and leave all of their home woes behind. I have never seen a team be so backwards, to be this bad at home and relish playing on the road. I've also rarely seen a team keep its slim lead atop a division after losing 6 straight games, but that shows just how bad the rest of the NL East has been. If the Phillies want to stay in first, however, they need to right themselves at home. You simply can't win a division if you can't win at home.


Renaissance Man said...

Rather than giving Scott Richmond his due for a masterful 11 strikeout pitching performance, old sour grapes Charlie Manuel said that they didn't have many quality at bats.
At least the Rangers Ron Washington was gracious enough to say after Richmond recently dismantled his lefty heavy lineup of veteran Texas sluggers, striking out 8 of them, "He kept us off balance all night, we just couldn't figure him out."
Ron Washington showed that he is a class act by tipping his hat to the rookie Richmond for his sterling effort; unfortunately Charlie Manuel revealed his lack of class with his comments.
Shame on you Charlie!

allthingsphilly said...

Richmond is a decent pitcher, but the Phillies made him look like Cy Young out there.

Renaissance Man said...

Did it ever occur to you that maybe it was Richmond's performance that "made him look like Cy Young out there."
I would respectfully suggest, that if it had been Roy Halladay pitching exactly the same game that his replacement did that day, the talk around Philly would have been, more along the lines of, "Doc schools Phillies in another Cy Young type performance."
The fact that egos were bruised due to a rookie's brilliant performance was unfortunate, but shouldn't detract from the kudos that Richmond should have received.
At least Chase Utley acknowledged a fine performance by saying, "He threw strikes, and took just enough speed off his curve to make it look tempting enough to swing at."

allthingsphilly said...

You are really going to compare Roy Halladay to Scott Richmond? The reason Halladay would get credit like that is because of his track record! Halladay IS a CY Young pitcher who has been dominant for several years now. Richmond is an almost 30 year old rookie has never proven that he was better than an average major league pitcher until he had a few good starts this season.

Anonymous said...

What I was really trying to say was that I felt that any pitcher's performance should be rated on the performance alone, whether he's an unheralded rookie or a seasoned vet.
In some circles however, if such a rookie has a great outing, it's suggested that it was only because the batters he faced had a bad game, whereas if the seasoned vet blanks a side, it was because he brought his best stuff and was unhittable.
I'm suggesting that this constitutes prejudiced reporting.
No, I am not naive enough to imply that Richmond is the equal of Halladay, but that outing in Philly was described as Halladayesque by more than one Toronto reporter.
Renaissance Man

allthingsphilly said...

Well, of course it was! The Phillies fans will say they had an off game and the Blue Jays fans will say their pitcher was dominant. It's all about perspective.
Richmond also doesn't have a track record of doing that, so it's not a bad idea to have a "prove it" attitude when it comes to whether he is really a good pitcher.