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The Offense Has Gone Bad

This video, for some strange reason, reminded me of the Phillies offense.  It has gone bad.  It’s gone sour.  It’s just plain terrible right now, and there are no two ways about that.

Let’s start at the beginning; April 13.  That’s when Jimmy Rollins hit the disabled list (technically he missed the game before, but for all intents and purposes lets say the 13th)with a calf injury. The bats, which were singing harmoniously like a beautiful choir, became out of tune and flat, and then basically silent. Since J-Roll sat out, this vaunted Phillies offense has scored three runs or fewer seven times in 13 games.  Is this a product of his DL stint, or merely a cold streak?

Shane Victorino has always been lauded for his speed and skill, which make him the perfect leadoff hitter.  However, he’s taken just one walk and of his 13 hits from the number one spot in the lineup, four of them came in J-Roll’s first game away.  Other than that, he’s been struggling at the top.  The trickle down effect has hit a number of players as well. Chase Utley has just three hits in his last six games, hasn’t homered since April 16, and looks lost at the dish.  After a blazing start, Ryan Howard has stretched his  career long homer-less drought to 64 at-bats, or since April 10 at Houston.

Hitting with runners in scoring position as become a lost art for this team.  On occasion, this offense is a machine with men on base. Now, they’re staying stranded on those little white islands.  Their RISP average has dipped to .246 – only the Mets, Cardinals, Pirates, and Braves have a figure worse than the Phillies in the NL.  They’ve only managed to plate 78 baserunners who have been at second and third; many of those coming in that ridiculous 7-1 start.  Milwaukee leads the National League with 109 runs scored from second and third.

During the decline, the pitching hasn’t performed well enough to keep them afloat and the NL East lead has been lost.  Don’t look now (try not to look, really) but the New York Mets have take over the division with the Phils latest loss.  Without Rollins they’ve faltered badly going 5-8, including three losses in a row.

Yes, it’s very early in the season.  And just a year ago, the fans were clamoring for a breakout after an April that saw the Phils go (gasp!) 11-9.  Look familiar?  Early season kinks need to be worked out, and they will be.  Just give it time and that offense will not leave you with such a bad taste in your mouth.

21 Comments

21 Comments

  1. JeffS

    April 28, 2010 at 10:43 am

    It’s April. The only disturbing thing to me is that some of the questions going into the season, such as Cole’s improvement or not, and Lidge’s effectiveness, as well as the other bullpen question marks, will not be answered until May or later.

    Other news – this, from CSN, really guarantees that Werth will not be signed:

    “They’re definitely relevant to Jayson’s value,” Borris said. “Jason Bay, Matt Holliday, Ryan Howard are all relevant comparables for Werth.”

    If he is using Ryan as a comp, that’s all we need to know. I like Jason, but using Ryan as a comp is ludicrous.

  2. JeffS

    April 28, 2010 at 10:46 am

    Maybe I don’t like him so much, after all. I still can’t bring my typing fingers to get his name right. It’s not my fault his parents spelled it wrong! 🙂

  3. john dinger

    April 28, 2010 at 11:38 am

    someone has got to fire the phillies pitching and hitting coach send jamie moyer to the buullpinn and trade ibaenz and ryan howard

  4. PizzaBagel

    April 28, 2010 at 11:46 am

    Yeah John Dinger, why don’t we just shut down the team while we’re at it?
    The extent of stupidity in people really amazes me sometimes.

  5. Don M

    April 28, 2010 at 11:54 am

    Can’t Hardly Wait . . . . is one of the most underrated movies of all time.. its hilarious!

    Nice job Pat, or whoever put that up!

    Ryan Howard doesn’t compare to those above-average OFs

    Jayson Werth does.. and that’s why he’s looking at $15 M per season… a few years ago, Soriano, Carlos Lee, etc … all got bigger contracts than Holliday and Bay just got now…. so maybe the huge contracts are trending downward (Look at John Lackey and Josh Beckett too..)

    So it looks like Cliff Lee isn’t going to get the 7 year, $140 M contract he was seeking..

    and I don’t think Werth is going to get the 5 year, $75 M contract either..

    If the Phillies went after Werth for a 4 year deal, at $50-60 M …. I imagine he’d sign…. but if it gets to Free Agency.. he’s gone, because other teams will outbid one another to get Werth, as he and Carl Crawford are the top 2 guys this year

  6. George

    April 28, 2010 at 11:56 am

    This slump is nothing new. Remember the past two years when the team hit those major offensive skids? The Phils always hit stretches like this. It also has nothing to do with Rollins being out. He probably would join the rest of the offense were he playing. This team functions as a unit; when they’re good, they’re all good, and when they’re bad, they’re all bad.

    I don’t think the pitching coach has anything to do with this slump, but I do wonder sometimes about the hitting coach. And sending Moyer to the BP isn’t an answer, either. He’s certainly pitched better than Kendrick, and arguably has been better than Hamels so far.

  7. George

    April 28, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    I’m not sure I agree that contracts are trending toward lower numbers. Bay and Beckett have potential issues with knee and shoulders, respectively. Lackey spent the last two seasons with DL time due to arm issues. And when Soriano and Carlos Lee signed, many thought they were overpaid, and the signing teams were spending money foolishly.

    Contracts are dictated also by who’s available to fill a team’s needs. Some years, the richer teams don’t need to fill a particular position, so contracts don’t go as high. If there are too many players available, they payouts won’t be as spectacular, either. It’s called supply and demand.

  8. Don M

    April 28, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    Look at the top 10 contracts in baseball … and the years they were inked…

    the trend (outside of the Yankees 2009) are coming back down to earth a little..

    Carlos Silva, etc.. . . . people aren’t going to pay $10-12 M for “average” pitchers anymore.. ….

    a few years ago, Figgins would’ve landed a $12+ M deal.. with multiple teams bidding for him

  9. Bob in Bucks

    April 28, 2010 at 1:14 pm

    Folks – it is arithmetic. If a guy bats .450 for the first ten games and you know he is going to bat .300 for the year it means that somewhere in there he is going to have an 0 for 15 streak. It just happens. It is called “return to the mean” (mean=average). Sometimes they get hot but you know it can’t stay that way which means…. they have to get cold.

    To return to an earlier observation – it appears to me that the only predictor for the offense in the spring is the temperature. Hot early in the year – big hits. Weather cools off and they cool off. Hope for a hot weekend.

  10. Gaze_NJ

    April 28, 2010 at 1:45 pm

    The “return to the mean” is a lot more painful when everyone on the team is riding the same wave up and down. You can get over one guy’s slump when the next two are producing, but when your first five guys are in a funk it’s hard to ignore.

  11. Manny

    April 28, 2010 at 2:12 pm

    Bay also has better track record than Werth (even though I prefer Werth)… but that has to count when they gave him a contract. I think the Bay contract is the “max” for Werth.. and I agree with Don’s comments about contract trends. The Phillies with Howard seem to be joining the Yankees in being the exception, not the norm.

  12. Don M

    April 28, 2010 at 2:25 pm

    If Werth was a Free Agent this past year… he would’ve been the #2 ranked OF behind Holliday..

    Bay has a better (aka longer) track record.. but Werth is better Defensively, better Baserunner.. Stronger Arm

    and going forward.. probably projects better offensive numbers for a longer period of time

  13. Second Place

    April 28, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    How long till football season?

    I smell a HUGE Phillies implosion this season and I can’t bear to watch.

  14. YT Crooks

    April 28, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    Do you mean #2 overall? Last time I checked Holliday is not a OF…

  15. Chuck

    April 28, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    Yesterday I kind of threw out there that 4 year/55-60M figure for Werth. If the Phillies were to propose it now, I’m not so sure Werth would sign it.

    Werth’s quote: “For me to sign something now on what’s happened statistically or what’s taken place may not be as beneficial to all parties involved, including myself, instead of waiting until the end of the season to find potentially really who I am. I’ve had one full season. For me to take something now would be doing something on inconclusive evidence.”

    That, to me, sounds like a player that wants to test the FA market next off-season.

    Of course, Werth could be….and probably is….. thinking $15M all along and may be pleasantly surprised if the Phils actually offered that. So, yeah, maybe he WOULD take it.

    But with the words by Werth, “It would appear right now we’re at an impasse.”……that sounds like the Phils have thrown numbers out there that would be much less than $15M.

  16. Manny

    April 28, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    Don, you could also say that Bay has better righty/lefties splits than Werth (which is true), that Bay’s defense is extremely underrated (also true)…. and make a very strong case as to why Werth shouldn’t get a bigger contract than him (Bay’s track record shatters Werth and his one full season)… plus they’re essentially the same age (Werth turns 31 in May).

    I like both players–actually I have both in my fantasy team– but I do think that as of 2010, Werth has become slightly overrated (he’s on the map now and a relatively “new” face) while Bay is severely underrated.

  17. Phan in the outfield

    April 28, 2010 at 6:19 pm

    Werth did NOT say “we’re at an impasse” – his agent, Borris, did: “it would appear right now we’re at an impasse.” A spokesman for Beverly Hills Sports Council, which represents Werth, said Tuesday that Werth’s agent, Jeff Borris, stood by his comments.

    Agents do that. It’s their job to be assholes. That’s why they get paid the big 10 – 15%.

    Werth said, “It’s too early.”

    I thought Werth’s statements were really honest. I can’t remember the last time I read a pro sports guy saying something these things. Considering that he’s seriously spent his entire life working toward this one season and how much is on the line for him, this statement was impressive.

    Also I think he’s being unusually reasonable. He’s allowing that anything could happen both FOR and AGAINST him this season stat-wise. And those numbers will be factored into the contract negotiations. Not only that – he said outright that he wants, hopes, and thinks it will work out that he’ll stay in Philly, but if it doesn’t he will be forced to move on. Ok. What else should he say? That he’s going to have a mental breakdown?

    It’s staggering what people get out of words literally written on a page. Read for yourselves. Get out of it what you will.

    This is the link http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20100427&content_id=9631294&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb

  18. Phan in the outfield

    April 28, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    Interesting was also the part where Werth said, “I’m not other people. I’m not Ryan [Howard]. I’m not Jason Bay. I’m not Matt Holliday.” There’s a possibility that Borris wants to ask for more than Werth thinks he’s werth – I mean worth. Sorry. Seems like he might want to wait and see how he does this season to prove to himself and everyone else that he’s worth more.

    It just seems like it might’ve served a the greedier purpose better to say outright – ‘we’re going for FA, forget it’. But he didn’t and he hasn’t allowed his agent to either.

    This is totally reasonable, which is beyond anything I expected as a fan. I think he’s showing class.

  19. Chuck

    April 29, 2010 at 7:40 am

    Phan…

    My bad.

    I MISREAD the article on phillies.com that said that his agent said those words about an “impasse”

    However….like I said…..I took the comments right from the Phillies website….I didn’t make them up.

    So for you to be assusatory and condescending with your comment that was directed at me…”It’s staggering what people get out of words literally written on a page.”

    I simply didn’t see the part where BORRIS….NOT WERTH…..said that word.

    Besides….based on the honesty of Jayson’s comments….like you said….HE (Jayson) probably said that at some point too. So it’s not like I just made something up.

  20. Yu Splonskowski

    May 29, 2010 at 9:34 am

    Hey, how is it going? Great stuff. When I put up my motorcycle I always use my battery tender. It has added to the life of my battery, in fact I have not changed my battery in six years and my motorcycle starts at a moments notice. Just a trickle charger is not enough you need to use the tecnology of the battery tender.

  21. Roosevelt Munar

    June 12, 2010 at 7:57 pm

    Hola, I will have to look into this deeper, thank you

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