The past few days have left Phillies fans wondering who turned the lights out. The mental mistakes, lack of concentration and outright wackiness of this team begs the question, where have the Phillies head’s gone? Did they drink too many Slurpee’s in the hot weather and are suffering from severe brain freeze? Or, are they day dreaming of midget clowns, fire eaters and candy? Hmmmm….
At the plate, they appear to be asleep; weak swings at bad balls, staring like a deer in headlights at strikes down the middle of the plate and base running that brings back memories of their little league days. Tonight, Pedro Feliz killed an inning that had real potential by forgetting how many outs there were. 1 out in the 6th, Pedro on 1st and Matt Stairs on 3rd, Eric Bruntlett did his job and hit a sac fly to center. Feliz, however, thinking there were two outs, ran all the way to second and got doubled up at 1st before Stairs could score. The run did not count and the threat was over.
But this is only one of several examples of spontaneous stupidity displayed by the team this week. It has made most fans wish they really were living in la-la-land, as the Phillies appear to be. At least in la-la-land, the rest of the NL East catching up to the Phils may not factor in. However, in the real world, the Phillies have run themselves into big trouble.
And trouble rolls downhill, starting with the starters. Antonio Bastardo was given a 4 run lead to start the game and immediately gave 3 runs right back to the Rays in the bottom of the 1st inning. And as expected, it all went downhill from there. Maybe if Bastardo more closely resembled another Antonio, I would be able to cope with his lack of control:
Put Banderas on the mound and I don’t care if he walks in 12 runs…at least he would look good doing it ;O) But Bastardo still needs work before he is major league ready. And he may have taken that decision out of the manager’s hands anyway tonight, as he left the game early with a left shoulder strain. The Phillies need a starting pitcher – real bad. The hole in the rotation left by Brett Myers continues to haunt the team, with no answer yet in sight. And even worse, because the Phillies have let so many teams in the NL catch up to them over these last few weeks, most teams are not ready to give up and start unloading talent. They all still have a shot at the Wildcard, thanks to the Phillies bad play. And therefore, the pickings are slim for starting pitchers. Talk about shooting themselves in the foot…ouch!
Hey, maybe Antonio Banderas IS available? I have no idea if he has ever picked up a baseball, but I am willing to give him a shot. Hey Tony…call me ;O)
Player photos by Jenn