This is “Keep the Change,” a new feature by Nick “The Beer Man” Staskin. Nick is a beer man at Citizens Bank Park; he’ll post weekly with observations from the fans at the park, trying to get a good sense of where the Phillies stand in the eyes of those who most matter.
Another home stand. Another losing record. Somehow, the Phillies, a team that thrived in their own stadium during the homestretch last year, is a measly 8-12 at Citizens Bank Park this to open the season.
When you start 20 of your team’s first 32 games in your home confines, a 16-16 start should be considered a lot more than just underachieving. There is a lot more going wrong than just the starting pitching — which has been the red-headed stepchild of the media lately — so I asked some of the patrons of The Bank what concerned them most. Keep in mind this wasn’t why do you think the team is struggling right now, but what concerned them most going into the summer.
The No. 1 answer shouldn’t surprise anyone … I think we are all a bit worried.
If you watch the show “LOST” and haven’t gotten around to watching the season finale, skip below …
A friend of mine recently wondered: If there can be a dead John Locke in a crate from the plane, as well as one walking the island, is there another Brad Lidge lying around somewhere? Going into this weekend’s set against the Nationals, Lidge has been awful, atrocious, abysmal … I could keep going. Something is not right with the man who was the difference maker last season.
Lidge has allowed at least one earned run in his last five outings, and has allowed the opposition to score in eight of his 15 appearances this year. The number that scares me the most is his WHIP, which is fluttering right around 2.00.
While Lidge has certainly earned the right to be the Phillies closer until Charlie Manuel sees fit, and not when the fans think its time for the hook, how much longer can Charlie let him struggle while Ryan Madson continues to mow them down? I wouldn’t be surprised if a DL stint is right around the corner.
Okay. Enough beating up on the boys. This weekend, the doctor has the right prescription … hopefully. A four-game set against the Washington Nationals at Citizens Bank Park 2.0, Nationals Park. While the Nats have turned it around somewhat after a horrible start, this is a team the Phillies should be able to beat up on while trying to fix some of their problems.
On Saturday, Phillies Nation will be making its annual trek down to D.C. While I’m sure we will see some of you there, I am personally looking forward to this year’s caravan of buses that we have making the ride down Interstate 95.
If you happen to be on the bus I’ll be running (which our own Rob Cowie has dubbed “The Badloads Bus”), expect a good Beer Man time. While the other buses will also have a great time, it seems that people are expecting a little more out of our bus for some reason. Go figure.
We have tons of giveaways and prizes this year, which will be up for grabs in a game of “Stump the Beer Man.” Think “Stump the Schwab,” but Beer Man style, since people say I look like his son.
I look forward to seeing you all for a great time Saturday!