Phillies Losing Parts but Still Winning

If Chooch is out, can the Phils keep winning? (Photo:

Some of you want to rip your hair out. As tantalizing as this Phillies team can be, they are equally as head scratching and mystifying.

Before you do rip the follicle from the root, understand that they are one win away from setting a franchise record for April. So as bad as you think it is right now with injuries to Chase Utley, Domonic Brown, Brad Lidge, Jose Contreras, and JC Romero, and the loss of Roy Oswalt and Carlos Ruiz on this past road trip, they are tearing up April in ways never before seen in these parts.

At 16-8, the Phillies tied the record on Wednesday with their series-finale win in Arizona. The 17th win might come as a sour reminder that several players are missing and this month could have turned out to be even more fruitful had they not been. The 17th win – if or when it comes – can also tell you just how resilient and talented this club is.

Consider that Raul Ibanez is in the middle of a career-worst slump; 0-for-23 to be exact. He hasn’t gotten aboard with a base hit since April 18th, a nine-game absence.

Consider that Ryan Howard’s home run on Wednesday was his first in 14 games.

Consider that Cliff Lee hasn’t even scratched the surface of how good he can be (4.18 ERA, 2-2 record).

Jimmy Rollins has had a tough time as the Phillies three-hole hitter, driving in just five runs in 24 games, three of them on Wednesday.

So before you rip the team for an offensive slump – we’re all guilty of it, myself included – or complaining that the bullpen isn’t good enough, or crying that Kyle Kendrick and David Herndon don’t deserve a roster spot, just know that they are still a damn good ball club. Even with all the negatives, so many positives stand out; Polanco, Hamels and Oswalt, to name a few.

Pretty crazy, right?

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  1. JML

    April 28, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    We have played well, and don’t mean to discount that, however there have been more games this April than in the past (by about 4 games) with the season starting earlier this year, so it is somewhat misleading…

  2. Tracey

    April 28, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    The Phillies have the second best winning percentage in baseball right now. But it’s never good enough for some people.

  3. Lefty

    April 28, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    Resilient is the perfect word. May not always be pretty, but tough and resilient. There has been a lot of complaining about old UC, but I give him a lot of credit last year and this for keeping this team rolling despite all the man games lost by key players. Seems Charlie’s at his best when his team may not be.

  4. The Original Chuck P

    April 28, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    It’s NEVER good enough, Tracey… don’t you know that? This is Phillies Nation… we’re realistic until we lose a game and then we’re calling for heads and storming the castle with pitchforks. Why should we be happy/content? I mean, it’s not as if this is the greatest era in Phillies baseball… oh wait, it is.

    • Lefty

      April 28, 2011 at 1:28 pm

      “storming the castle with pitchforks” that’s classic, lol

  5. Pat Gallen

    April 28, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    It is a bit disheartening to see the various forms of offensive production, however, you can’t argue with the record.

  6. Andy Kohn

    April 28, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    I say when Lee came back that injuries were the only thing that could stop this team. It’s NEVER easy being a Philly or Phillies fan. Oh BTW we love us some Doug Collins, thanks coach for making b’ball relavent again in Philly.

  7. Andrew from waldorf

    April 28, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    Playing the other side of the coin.

    10 games vs the 3 last place teams in the NL Houston Washington and San diego.
    Then throw in a mets team that is basicly the most pathetic team in sports. And even though Arizona won the series they arent a contender.

    May brings the Rangers, Reds and Rockies. A more realistic barometer

    Id not be suprised to be in second place at the end of may. Especially if Ruiz is missing a good portion of the month.

    This is the best time ever to be a phillies fan and it is a pleasure to tune in every night. Just pointing that out not hating. 🙂

    • Pat Gallen

      April 28, 2011 at 2:52 pm

      Youre definitely right in that May will tell us a lot about the Phillies. But to win 67% of your games in the first month is impressive regardless. They pretty much did what they had to do in April, when May comes around, it’ll be a true test.

    • Lefty

      April 28, 2011 at 2:55 pm

      Late August/ September schedule is not easy this year either, so we can’t wait and then hope for our normal late run. If we don’t lock it up early, I expect a rough ride all the way to the finish line. That might not be a bad thing, if we can get healthy, keep them sharp.

      • Andrew from waldorf

        April 28, 2011 at 3:07 pm

        You can only beat the teams you play. They did that and thats what matters.

  8. Bart Shart

    April 28, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    I also like the saying “storming the castle with pitchforks.” Really, it is part of being a Phillies fan and a Philadelphia fan in general. We are a bunch of crazies. BiPolar in our attitude. When the Phils win, all is wonderful and bright and sunny. When the Phils lose, it is raining
    pigeon dew all over. Tough to live this way. It is the only way I know. I do get worked up about the Eagles, not so much about the Flyers and Sixers. But I REALLY LOVE MY PHILS.
    It is sorta like having a gifted by very ornery child.

    I hope the injuries stop and we get healthy. But we are one of the oldest teams in baseball.
    What do we expect?

  9. Andrew from waldorf

    April 28, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    Adressing something in another thread where I compared Ruiz to Bench and Ivan Rodriguez it is defensively only. And thats a pretty big deal. Since catcher is a defensive first position. More so than even SS.

    Ruiz will never get a vote for the hall of fame etc etc. But he is the best defensive catcher in the majors right now.
    If he is worth 0.50 to the team ERA thats 81 extra runs. Id suspect that over 162 games team ERA with a schneider would be at least that much higher if not more.
    Bench should have been MVP every year he played 130 games in the 70s. He is the greatest catcher ever and he is under rated.
    On the flip side Piazza never won an MVP. For obvious reasons.

    Ruiz met with the team doctor. No update yet?
    I suspect they will be very cautious. A bad back and squating down 160 times a night doesnt seem to be a good mix.

  10. Adrian M.

    April 28, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    This offense is doing about what we all expected, and I can’t wait to see what happens when Halladay and Lee reach their prolonged periods of outright nastiness that we know they’re capable of.

  11. Pat Gallen

    April 28, 2011 at 4:01 pm

    I dont think anyone “expected” a combined 1-for-71 between Ruiz, Ibanez, and Valdez over the past 10 days or so. Man thats an ugly stat.

  12. betasigmadeltashag

    April 28, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    I was thinking the same thing about records for April, since it did start earlier, so I was wondering what was the best winning percentage for the month of April. I also want to send out some positve vibrations to Little Roy and his family hoping that they can get through the terrible weather unscathed and healthy. Stay with your family as long as you need Roy your team has your back, that is why you came to Philly to pitch, even if KK has to start a game I perdict he pitches one of his 7 inning 1 run games with 2 K’s. Family first is the only way to go, take care of them and come back when they are all safe.

  13. TheDipsy

    April 28, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    The ‘Killer Zs”. Every Philly who’s last name ends with a “z” should be benched. While I don’t revere catchers the way AFW does, I think that Chooch is the best Phillies catcher….ever. When I think of what a catcher should be, I think of Chooch. When I think of the megadeal that the Phillies could make in August, I think Of Vic and Blanton going for a flat out stud hitter. And I mean stud.

    The Dipsy

    • Brooks

      April 29, 2011 at 7:04 am

      Ah Dipsy – getting a stud I fully agree with. Trading Blanton is something I was espousing since before the season began but to give up our only decent arm in the OF? I dont know about that.

  14. TheDipsy

    April 29, 2011 at 7:57 am

    Pat – Brown has a great arm.

    The Dipsy

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