2009/05/06

Pitching in a Pitch


The Phillies have regained their spot perched atop the NL East thanks the multiple come from behind victories and always adhering to that never give up attitude. The Phillies—and the fans for that matter—never feel like they’re ever out of a game. They’ve proven that several times this year including a late rally walk-fest against Atlanta in the season’s opening series and a seven run fury against the Marlins weeks later. But relying too heavily on the comeback could be a recipe for disaster.

At its core, a come from behind win is exciting. Watching Ryan Howard or Shane Victorino hit a grand slam to win a game is the kind of thing that makes the Phils fun to watch. But it also means something else. It means that the team was losing. And that is directly attributed to the lackluster starting staff.

Sure the potent line-up—Jimmy Rollins excluded—has provided enough dramatics to keep us fans smiling. And scheduled off days and unscheduled rain outs have kept the bullpen fairly fresh. But over the course of a long summer, sub par pitching won’t hold up. It won’t win a World Series. It won’t win the National League. And it may not even win the Division.

Cole Hamels has an excuse. It may not be a good one, but its an excuse. You can’t blame Hamels for Prince Fielder’s line drive, although he should be able to field a bunt without having to miss a start. We’re now in May, and the rust better start coming off of Hamels fast.

Brett Myers has been nothing short of a disappointment out of the gate. The hefty righty is playing for a contract but you wouldn’t know that by glancing at his bloated ERA. After watching Myers yield long ball after long ball, I sometimes feel like I could take him yard.

Jaimie Moyer is what he is. He’ll give you six innings of 3 or 4 run ball, take it or leave it. Joe Blanton has been like Jekyl and Hyde. He’s has throw three quality starts (ironically the Phils only won one of those games) to go along with several horrendous outings. Heavy B needs to find some consistency and keep us in games.

And Chan Ho may have used up all his good stuff in spring training. He wanted to be a starter so fans back in Korea could watch him pitch. I’m betting he’s wishing they weren’t.

It’s hard to complain when a team is in first place. But if things don’t start coming together, the stay at the top could be short lived. Ibanez, Utley, Howard and Victorino have grabbed all the headlines so far this season. It would be nice to see Myers or Hamels take the spotlight.

7 comments:

Kotite's Corner said...

The Return of.... JACK FLACK!!!

T-Bone said...

Yeah, Chan Ho may be wishing no one is watching him pitch, and I sure as hell wish I hadn't been. Since there's no full time grapefruit league -- which apparently is his only area of expertise -- I'd suggest that perhaps Reading may be more suitable to his skill level. No way this guy belongs in the bigs! Of course his other option is to get a sex change operation and take up golf: like an invading swarm of locusts, Korean women are owning the LPGA tour. So if he really wants to be noticed...

The Maestro said...

And then of course tonight Chan Ho pitches a shutout and the Phillies lose 1-0.

T-Bone said...

Of course he did. As a master motivator, the true intent of my comment was to get Park fired up to perform up to his capabilities. Knowing that Chan Ho devours every word of Kotite's Corner on a regular basis, this was the perfect forum to grab his wandering attention. Brilliant move on my part, I must admit. The rest of you can all thank me later. And just in case this doesn't work out over the long haul, there's always the LPGA option: since half of the hoards of female Korean golfers on tour are already named Park, Chan Ho could blend in easily...

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