Phillies Riding The Roller Coaster Of Hope
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Sunday, June.16, 2013
|Phillies 2013 Win-Loss Chart
I hate roller coasters. I really do. Can’t ride them and won’t miss them if they ever went away. Maybe it’s the lack of control or just too many movies I’ve seen where the ride goes straight through the railing when it’s supposed to turn. Either way, I’m happy to hold your purses, jackets, hats and any other items while sitting on a bench planted firmly on the ground. Go ahead and enjoy the ride while I take inventory of all the other manly things I can do in this world.
Enter the 2013 Philadelphia Phillies. Lately, I get that same, uneasy feeling watching our fightin’ Phils rise and fall as they bring us all from agony to ecstasy, mostly in streaky stretches leaving us to believe they’re anything from world-beaters to bottom-feeders. Yet, here I sit again, watching the ride go up and down day in, day out while I cling on to what the team leaves me to hold: hope.
courtesy of Zimbio.com
Poor Charlie Manuel. All their skipper can do is watch his team ascend to euphoric heights and then plummet frantically flat, twist and turn and maybe even go upside down. Last week, Manuel spent his time in a glass case of emotion as the team was riding the high of a five-game winning streak only to falter in the next four consecutive contests. A big chance to gain ground on the Braves was squandered in Milwaukee and Minnesota as the team book-ended victories around five losses against these two beatable teams with a combined record today of 56-74. Meanwhile, Atlanta’s West Coast swing swung and missed with their own 2-5 trip and returned home last night to get blanked 6-0 by the Giants. But beware: Hope is a dangerous thing.
Moving forward, the team opened its mile-high series last night in Colorado by climbing from five runs down to defeat the Rockies 8-7. With two triples, Freddy Galvis triggered the Phillies come-from-behind avalanche by knocking in four runs and scoring the go-ahead run on a Jimmy Rollins pinch-hit single in the 7th inning. It was a game typical of Coors Field where drooling batsmen stood in against pitchers in riot gear with the two teams banging out 13 hits apiece. The victory turned around what could have been a tough loss after winning in the same fashion the night before in Minnesota.
Thankfully, neither of the two ball clubs in Washington and Atlanta have left the bus station without them. The fact remains that the Phillies are still a team within a solid streak of surpassing the idling Nationals and creeping up on the division leading Braves. It’s currently a matter of putting together a complete team effort on both side of the diamond.
However, the ebb and flow between the Phillies offense and the team’s defense and pitching has yet to mesh into one, cohesive unit. Clearly the bullpen is their Achilles Heel as they rank 28th out of the 30 MLB teams with a 4.40+ ERA. They currently have the second least amount of save opportunities in the National League, mostly as a result of not being able to hold a lead in relief where they rank third to last. In the most ghastly of stats, the relief corps have allowed the highest number of inherited runners to score in the National League at a clip of 40%. Players like Jeremy Horst, Justin De Fratus, Antonio Bastardo and Mike Adams must do a better job of battening down the hatches when it gets a little stormy. As was the probem in 2012, if they can just hold leads in a handful of games or more, it may mean the difference between the Phillies playing or watching October baseball.
What lies ahead for the Phillies are two more games in Colorado followed by a return to home cooking for three games each against the Nationals and Mets with an off day in between. The Braves will host the Giants for two more games and the Mets for five (including a double-header on Tuesday) before catching a flight to Milwaukee and Kansas City for five games.
I hope the Phillies starters can give this team a chance. I hope their bullpen can hold a lead. I hope their bats can maintain some sort of consistency and patience at the plate over a significant period of time. I hope
*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com or their partners.***
A big thank – you goes out to our Philadelphia Phillies Correspondent Chris Creighton for preparing today’s featured post. Chris is a Phillies Phan, Baseball fan & player. He thinks that there is no better place for food and is a proponent of the city of Philadelphia. Huge U2 fan. Phillies writer at http://www.warroomphilly.com .
Chris says: “Follow a Web Show covering everything in the Philadelphia Sports Scene. Sit back and enjoy from the hearts of two die-hard Philly guys here ! You can follow Chris Creighton on Twitter Follow @WARROOMPHLCHRIS or the WarRoomPhilly Follow @WARROOMPHILLY
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Posted on June 15, 2013, in MLB Teams: Articles and Analysis, The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged @warroomphilly on twitter, @warrroomphlchris on twitter, antonio bastardo, Charlie Manuel, chris creighton, cliff lee, Freddy Galvis, jimmy rolines, jonathan pettibone, justin de fratus, new york mets, NL east, philadelphia phillies, roy halladay, www.warrroomphilly.com. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Phillies Riding The Roller Coaster Of Hope.