Through Sunday, 5/11, Mother's Day, I pretty much still don't know how to take this team. Physically, everyone seems to be ok. I am duly impressed with Rollins and Utley and have no issue with the play of either. While Howard also seems healthy I AM disappointed in his play a bit. The best way to describe him is inconsistent. Maybe that gets you Howard freaks off my ass, but I expect more. I know he's capable of MUCH more... if only the Phillies had a batting coach who was worth a shit. Yes, his hustle yesterday was noteworthy, but that eyelash play at first with E Young Jr could have been averted with 1) Asche not crow hopping and 2) Howard giving a full stretch. The man makes $25Mil/year, he is fair game and I don't care what happened last year. There are too many days in between "good games" and I don't mean 4 hits etc. In 34 games he is hitting .256 with 7HR and 21 rbi. Hardly MVP or $25MIL numbers either. Doesn't even equate to 100rbi/yr.
|Shhh! Maybe no one will notice my stats|
That's not all. As stated Utley(.333, way down from .486) and Rollins .274 no issues, performing as well as could be asked to. Same for Chooch at .279. Cody Asche is coming back from the dead, back up to .240 from just over .100 a month ago. Marlon Byrd has been steady all year between .275 and .300, thank god for him. Brown is back to pre 2013 numbers at .234 with 1 HR. Plus,
he is an average fielder with an average arm. I love Revere to death, but there is no defensive position for a spaghetti arm outfielder unless he hits .450 with 70 steals a year. All of this backs up their record at 17-19. Color me disappointed.
Gwynn is showing why he didn't play least year. Nix... meh nuff said. Mayberry .143, SMH. At least Nieves is earning his keep. I see nothing to make me excited for warm weather. Even given Howard's history of a slow start, nothing points to a possible 10 game winning streak anywhere in the lineup. I see .500 wherever I look realistically, although the talent level should dictate more and recently there have been signs of progress.
Lest we forget pitching.... Cliff has mostly been an ace. Burnett, even with his physical status, has exceeded expectations. Cole has shown signs of possibly being a top of the rotation guy lately, even though he mostly hasn't done shit since he hit the lottery excluding today's game. Kendrick has teased us with both good and bad, just like 2 years ago. Fausto has surprised me, even being up and down. And herein lies the problem... bullpen. Ryno has very few guys he can trust. Adams is a bust, Diekman can't throw strikes. Bastardo same, and when he does he sometimes get lit up. And those are the best. Papelbum gets a pass after coming back strong from his first outing. The rest of the pen is "who dat" and bleh.
I so wanted this piece to be positive after my last one. Certain points in the last week or two had me hopeful. Now I can best describe the season as disappointed, and not looking like anything better than last year. I'm getting too old to be looking at what I see and not being happy. If history holds my kids will be my age before we win another World Series unless big changes are made. Who's going to make them is the biggest question, and one I cannot answer.
Bill S aka/netfather