At the start of the season, everyone was worried about the Phillies offense being strong enough to carry a solid starting pitching staff to wins. Now that the offense is slowly piecing runs together, the entire pitching staff has fallen apart. Let us examine the grisly evidence:
Roy Halladay is on the DL. Vance Worley is pitching will bone chips in his elbow. Cliff Lee has no wins and is recently making a habit of blowing leads. Cole Hamels has been hit or miss. Kyle Kendrick and Joe Blanton keep see-sawing between okay and downright horrible.
As for the bullpen, 5 out of 7 pitchers have little big league experience. 4 of those are rookies in their first (3) year or second (1) year in the majors. Chad Qualls, a veteran, has basically been a bust. And their $50 million closer hardly ever pitches because the save situations are slim and they are afraid to use him in non-save situations.
Last night in a horrible 11-7 loss to the Twins, 3 of 4 bullpen guys who pitched combined to allow 5 runs. Kendrick started the game allowing 6 runs in only 4 innings. He was beyond awful. Meanwhile, closer Jonathan Papelbon has not thrown a single pitch since 4 days and 3 games ago.
Making matters worse, Hunter Pence has officially lost his mind in right field. He only has 3 official errors on the year, but if you add in the mental mistakes and plays that he clearly should have made despite not being an “official” error, he probably has at least 10 by now.
In fact, my favorite moment of last night’s game was a comment by announcer Tom McCarthy. After Pence failed to field a routine hopper in the 5th inning, turning a single into a triple, McCarthy said, “I think it is safe to say he needs to stop doing that.” He hit that nail on the head.
Right now, the Phillies are a very BAD team. Now 9.5 games back of the Nationals in the NL East, they do not have time to wait for Chase Utley and Ryan Howard to return. If they do not turn it around right now, this season is over.
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Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography