Here is the first post by our new contributor, former All-Star commenter Donald McGettigan. You know him as Don M. on the commenting threads. Welcome him in with open arms, he’ll now be part of Phillies Nation as a writer, putting that journalism degree to good use!
So today is an off day, a rainy one… and no Flyers either, damn!
Our Fightin Phils managed to escape Arizona with a win to avoid the series sweep, and pull off a trip to the West Coast with a 5-2 record. Regardless of the opponent, I’ll take that every time! The big news of the day was the departure of Roy Oswalt and Carlos Ruiz, and our Pat Gallen dove into that yesterday. Oswalt’s departure turned out to be precautionary, family-related. Ruiz’s exit was due to “back pain,” and said after the game that he expects it to be day-to-day, hopefully preventing a trip to Disabled List (as we all keep our fingers crossed).
Even with all that going on, what I found more interesting yesterday was that people were ready to get the trade talks going… ready to release and find replacements for Ibanez, Rollins, Francisco, etc… but then J-Roll (3 RBI) and Benny Fresh (2 RBI) had games that helped carry us to victory. Their production was enough to quiet some critics for a few hours, but before it starts again, I wanted to just throw this out there: It’s just TOO EARLY to get carried away with stats!
If stats in April mattered, San Diego’s Aaron Harang (4 wins, 3.90 ERA) and St. Louis’ Kyle Lohse (4 wins, 1.64 ERA) would be two of the top pitchers in baseball, since their stats are better than that of Phillies ace Cliff Lee (2 wins, 4.18 ERA). …If stats in April really mattered, then “Hoagie-Joe” Blanton would be viewed as a lousy pitcher with 0 wins, and 5.92 ERA (ouch, that really is pretty crappy). (Note: Joe Blanton was sent to the DL after this post was written and put into the queue, FYI).
The point is, we’ve seen this over, and over again… fans jumping from the wagon, calling for trades, and generally OVERREACTING. It’s great to care, it’s great to be passionate, but it’s a problem to magnify things this early in the season. The time will come when our biggest problems will be addressed, but we all know that time is not now.
It’s not yet May, we’re without our #3 hitter, our closer, and even our backup-closer is now out for who knows how long. Yes, we’ve got multiple guys not playing to their full potential, a manager being questioned about the use and over use of his pitching staff – and yet, we’re sitting at 16-8… not running away with anything, not yet!
In my opinion, it’s just too early to worry and time to keep a little Phaith.