Sigh…how quickly we forget what it feels to be a Phillies fan. "I wish there weren’t an offseason, that way I wouldn’t forget what this feels like." I penned that sentence on April 25 of last season, but it’s sure just as applicable today. Of course, its only three games and no one’s giving up on the Phils anytime soon, it’s just frustrating having to watch the club lose and lose and lose this week. The Phils only managed 5 hits today, all off Jason Marquis – the bane of my existence.
Bobby Abreu had two of those hits, but continues to get jeered by the Phillies faithful at CBP. The Abreu bashing has really entered a new level beginning with his mid-to-late season slump last year. I realize he doesn’t always hustle and seems like a complacent player in general, but the Phillies would be no where without his offensive numbers. Check out his average production over 162 games, .303/.411/.512, 23 HR, 95 RBI, 29 SB, 107 BB, 28 Win Shares. Sure he might not have deserved that gold glove last year, but I’m not sure all this venom against the guy is completely warranted.
As an added helping of salt in the wounds, Jimmy Rollins’ hitting streak ended today at 38 games as he went 0-4. A few weeks ago our poll asked when you thought the streak would end and to the 39% plurality who voted after two games but within the first week, congratulations you guessed right. Perhaps now he will take a few more pitches in an attempt to draw walks. Usually when you ask J-Roll about why he doesn’t take more pitches, he claims that’s just not his style of play, he’s the aggressive type. He’ll often point to the fact that he’s regularly at the top of the table in runs scored, as well. But not even his own mother can convince him to swing a little less. As we’ve seen in the slew of interviews leading up to the season, J-Roll thoroughly enjoys the spotlight and relishes in the pressure to get hits and get on base. However, in this opinion he’s borderline selfish. He should be up there helping out his teammates batting behind him by taking pitches, drawing walks, fouling balls off, and in general tiring the opposing pitcher and exposing his stuff. There’s a slim chance that with the attention off him for a while he’ll start thinking more along these lines, but again, those chances are indeed slim.
Sure things looking bad now – along with everything mentioned above, you can add David Bell’s awful performance today and the fact that Mike Lieberthal ending the game for the second time in two nights. But there’s still hope. To find the last team to start the season 0-3 and still make the playoffs you only need to go as far back as 2003 when our own division-mates, the Atlanta Braves did it. If that doesn’t cheer you up, maybe you can recall the scene from today’s game of Charlie Manuel in the dugout. Just as the camera panned onto our fearless leader, the gum he was chewing popped right out of his mouth and onto his jacket. Word on the street is he was trying to think and chew at the same time and things got just a bit too complicated.
If you’re still depressed about the start of the season, click on the picture below to witness the fun that can still by Phillies fans. These are the photos from the Phillies Nation Opening Day tailgate party. A big thanks goes out to all that attended as well as to Rob for putting it all together – thanks! There are plenty of more fun events planned no matter the Phillies record, but let’s all hope they can go out tomorrow behind Gavin Floyd and secure the first win of the season. Go Phils!