Phils Drop Game, Series … And To Many, Season

Posted by Tim Malcolm, Wed, September 10, 2008 11:48 PM | Comments: 152

The team that had its grip on first place — so long, long ago — has suddenly slipped out from contention.

Okay, so with the Phillies’ latest stinker — a 7-3 loss to the Marlins — they’re not technically out of anything. At 3.5 games in back of the Mets and four games in back of the Brewers, there’s still time to make up ground. Well, statistically. But we know better.

Brett Myers pitched well enough, but not as well as Ricky Nolasco, who seems to have the Phils number in 2008. Plus, Myers couldn’t escape the eighth, the inning that has completely murdered the home team in the last few weeks. Myers went 7.1 innings, surrendering four runs on eight hits. I applaud the fire in heading out for the eighth, but it wasn’t meant to be. Meanwhile, the Phils squandered all day against Nolasco, who got his outs when he needed them.

Criminals No. 1 and 2 for the Phils were Chase Utley and Jayson Werth. We don’t completely expect the latter to come through all the time, so for once, I’ll attack the former. Utley isn’t getting it done. He’s coming up short. Is he injured? Probably, and we may have to face the real problems in 2009. Meanwhile, he’s leaving men on base, grounding out and popping out lazily to end innings. And late in Wednesday’s game, like we all predicted, Utley and Ryan Howard were mowed down by LOOGY Arthur Rhodes.

Sad because these are the same freakin’ problems we’ve been harping about all season. Utley is hurting. Charlie Manuel needs to put a righty between Utley and Howard. The bullpen is in dire need of an experienced setup arm. The Phils can’t get runners home in big spots. As the games wind down the little freakin’ problems become the reasons for losses. That’s how it goes in marathon baseball campaigns. And yet again, we don’t know why, but the fans knew it all along, and nothing was fixed.

Look at the comments, peruse the other Phillie fan blogs. Most of the post-game speak concerns bigger things, all-encompassing discussion. Why? Because this latest loss to the Marlins seemed like the day the heart stopped beating. This was the day the Phils flatlined, rolled over and became pale as a ghost. While the Mets take care of business without flinching, and while the Brewers hijack late-game heroics reels, the Phils are shopping for caskets. Discount caskets.

The Phillies lost 7-3. Ryan Howard hit his 42nd home run of the season. Brett Myers was just OK. Jimmy Rollins went 0-for-4. Chad Durbin let in the go-ahead runs. Jayson Werth drove in run No. 60 for his career season. Whatever. Even if this team surprises everyone and sweeps the Brewers for a Wild Card tie, it won’t matter. While the media will say there’s still time, and while the Phils PR department reminds us what happened with 17 to play last season, we know better. We always do.

Associated Press photo

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About Tim Malcolm

Tim Malcolm has written 1947 articles on Phillies Nation.

  • Posts: 0 David, the Mets fan from Queens

    I was at Shea tonight. What’s up with Elijah Dukes? What was up his ass tonight? He’s an immature man; a boy.

  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    tim, i think you mightve said this earlier, or it couldve been someone else, but you were right whoever it was. ryan howards numbers are phony. he racks up home runs and rbis but strikes out ALL THE TIME when the game is on the line. terrible, get out.

    what did i say back in july? they need a setup man at the trade deadline because tom gordon was done. of course they didnt get one. maybe eyre could do it but they probably dont even realize that. against, phillies failing to get it done. in the front office and on the field. failing. again.

  • Posts: 0 NEPA

    Well said Tim. Season, over.

  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    i cant wait until they trade jimmy rollins for conor jackson and edgar gonzalez. the diamondbacks move steven drew to 2nd to replace orlando hudson

    i cant wait until they trade ryan howard to the giants for matt cain and jonathan sanchez

  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    well i can wait another week or so to declare them done or not. they do have a 4 game series coming up. ill be going to 3 of the final home games.

  • Posts: 0 sean

    there’s a reason we’re frustrated, and that’s because we love this team. in some ways i think last year’s comeback is a curse this time around for the fans. it’ll string us along til the very end, when deep down, like you’ve stated tim, we know that a comeback like that in consecutive years is highly unlikely. i’m holding off to see how we perform against the brewers. if this team we’re truly concerned with winning, we would have made some serious moves at the deadline. with all that said, i just can’t give up hope yet. let’s see how they play against the brewers. go phils!

  • Posts: 0 SJ Mike

    I think the saddest thing is that I’m honestly not ready to give up on the Phils or baseball yet this season. Comes with the territory of loving this team, I guess.

  • Posts: 0 PhillyFriar

    More eloquent than I was after the loss today, Tim, that’s for sure.

    This team’s put itself in an untenable position: they must, MUST, take 3 of 4 from the Brewers if they want to have any chance. And with no starter set for Sunday, and Moyer going on 3 days rest against Sheets tomorrow, let’s just say I’m not holding my breath.

    The eulogy hasn’t been written yet, but the requiem’s starting to play.

  • Posts: 0 Fran

    season is not over. We sweep the brew crew and we win the wild card with an outside shot at the division crown.

  • Posts: 0 SJ Mike

    I don’t feel good with how the Wildcard looks still.

    Houston 4 42-29 37-38 659 672 -13 Won 5 9-1 0.1 6.0 6.2
    Philadelphia 79 67 .541 4 40-31 39-36 707 616 +91 Lost 2 5-5 11.6 9.5 21.1
    St. Louis

  • Posts: 0 SJ Mike

    Sorry, it posted for some odd reason before I was finished posting.

    Milwaukee -
    Houston 4
    Philadelphia 4
    St. Louis 4.5

  • Posts: 0 jeff

    Overreacting much? There’s a nice chunk left to play.

  • Posts: 0 Phil

    I like how weeks ago Houston had a 1% chance of making the post season. I think they’re going to end up with the WC. They are playing ridiculous baseball right now.

  • Posts: 0 J-Man

    Yea i think it’s time to close the door on this season because we aren’t the team we were last year that was winning when they had to and the Mets seem like they aren’t gone away…I agree Chase Utley is hurt or something because he hasn’t been the same in month,maybe they need to give him a few days off and let Tad Iguchi play some games…Pat the bat is back to himself pretty much because he hasn’t really been the same since his hot start early in the season.

  • Posts: 0 Mark

    I’m just going to focus on what I see as the paradigm moment of this game and of the current play of the Phillies;
    2 out in the eighth inning, bases empty. Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez brings in lefthander Arthur Rhodes to pitch to 2nd baseman
    Chase Utley.

    You remember Arthur Rhodes don’t you? The bane of all Phillies fans’ existence in the 2006 season. For those who don’t remember just how bad Arthur Rhodes is;p check out the stats; 0-5 w-l, 45 2/3 innings, 47 hits, 27 runs, 5.32 ERA.
    Well, getting back to yesterday’s game; Rhodes vs Utley — 3 pitches, 3 strikes (the first 2 looking) as the Utley of September 10th is but a shadow of the Utley of May 10th. Check it out on Utley’s game-by-game log.

  • Posts: 0 they know we're better than them

    i bask in frontrunner misery. this year just proves the phillies have no heart and they were nothing but lucky in 2007.

  • [...] the season at this date, and as a die-hard Phils fan I never do until it’s over, I think that Phillies Nation’s Tim Malcolm best sums up the state of the Phillies; Utley isn’t getting it done. He’s coming up short. Is [...]

  • Posts: 0 VA Steve

    Come on…..the obvious failings are on display for 140+ games, we suddenly fix them for the last 15? Don’t think so. Little things folks, little things. Getting that runner home from 3rd with less than 2 outs. Have we done it? Nope. What will change? Uggh. No one wants another playoff spot more than me, but I just don’t see it. I truly hope I am wrong. Little things ……………..

  • Posts: 0 Bigbob

    All teams are streaky, of course, but at any given time this year, each key player has experienced a 4+ week slump: Howard, Rollins, Utley (who must be hurting), Burrell, and of course, the pitchers: Myers early in the year, and now Durbin (tired arm) and Kendrick (four out of five really bad starts since July). On the other side, Lidge, Moyer, Coste and Werth have played pretty consistent all year. The Phils can still win the Wild Card but when I look back, I’ll remember how the key guys really slumped for long stretches. Strange.

  • Posts: 0 Jim D.

    Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor

  • Posts: 0 Fred

    How many days until spring training?

  • Posts: 0 bull

    This team does not show the fire they did last year. Would anyone else like Utley to throw a bat or helmet when he lazily pops out to third with runners in scoring position. Now that Vic has cooled no one has stepped up to lead the way with the emotion they lack.
    I give them the brewers series to see if they are done or not, and can someone remind utley you can swing at 1st pitch fastballs down the shoot and that howard is not going to see a fastball from a reliever before 2 strikes so don’t swing at the slider in the dirt on the first 2 pitches

  • Posts: 0 Griffin

    Since June 9th, the Phillies are one game below .500

    This team hasn’t been good for a long time, but the Muts took awhile to get things going, so it kept us in the race until mid-September.

    Before the season, Vegas predicted the Muts would win 93 and the Phillies would win 87. Vegas is damn good.

  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    thats pathetic. i know theyve been bad since then, but come on…

  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    but, interleague play is when they blew the season. they got their ass kicked and then never really recovered

  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    they need some major changes. these “stars” just flat out arent getting it done. maybe they arent really “stars” but people we overhype and overvalue because their mostly home-grown products.

  • Posts: 0 Met's Fan

    Stop crying your heart out.

  • Posts: 0 brian

    Someone said 3 of 4 from the brewers is good enough….that’s a bunch of crap we must sweep. That ain’t happening. 3 of 4 still leaves us 2 back.

    The front office left us high and dry this year at the deadline. Joe Blanton isn’t an impact move. Scott Eyre, while a nice pick up isn’t an impact, balls to the wall move. This team needed a kick start since mid July, it was obvious and it never even came close to happening.

    Trotting Kendrick out there every 5th day on a prayer, Eric Bruntlett getting almost every game for a while there, the catching situation. There was no way we were going to make it this year without serious help and it just wasn’t happening.

    When was the last time Victorino, Rollins, Utley or Burrell came up big? I’m thinking md August maybe.

    The season probably ended after the sweep in LA, but it officially ended yesterday.

    As long as frontrunners keep filling the park ownership won’t even begin to address issues

  • Posts: 0 Paul

    Season isn’t over since they do get to play the Brewers.

    But man… this team barely has a pulse.

  • Posts: 0 Don M


    I seriously can’t stand how you girls are all ready to pack it in.. we JUST won a series against the Mets.. but then lost one to the Marlins, so its over???

    What if they sweep the Brewers this weekend?? That gives us crazy momentum with two weeks to go..

    They need to have Utley batting second, Werth 3rd, Howard 4th, Burrell 5th…

    These lefty-lefty lineups KILL this team, so why not break it up with the guy that leads the league in HRs off of Lefty-pitchers??

  • Posts: 0 brian

    how are we sweeping the brewers with what pitching? They Kill lefties and we’re starting Moyer, and Hamels…..last time I checked they were left handed.

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    If we would’ve gotten Arthur Rhodes.. or any other shitty reliever… everyone on here would’ve flipped out and said it was a bad move too..

    Remeber that people wanted to TRADE guys in our bullpen for Pudge?? Could you imagine if this bullpen was actually thinner than it is now?

    They both have 7 hits in their last 10 games (Pudge does have 2 RBIs compared to only 1 RBI for Ruiz though…), and they both have .992 fielding percentages on the season… so that wouldn’t have been a very smart move to make.

  • Posts: 0 Eb

    You can not call the season over!!!! They have a 4-pack agains the brew crew who is 3 game s up on them rihgt now.

    If you are going to call the season over, get off the board and stop posting.

  • Posts: 0 Meghan

    Don M – completely agree!! Last time I looked at the schedule, the season ends on September 28th, and you want to wave the white flag on the 10th? Call me naive or maybe overly optimistic, but I believe this team can and will repeat last year – if not our division (which can certainly be done with 17 left) then the wildcard. I predict we take at least 3 out of 4 this weekend. As the saying goes, “it ain’t over till it’s over.”

  • Posts: 0 Georgie

    Don M , you are either employed by the Phils or you are a motivational speaker, I don’t think I’ve ever encountered such a positive person. You can’t be serious in thinking that they still have a chance, have you been watching the same team as the rest of us? IT’S OVER, buddy, the players don’t care as much as we do, and the FO cares even less than that.
    If I’m wrong and the Phils win the WS, I’ll be the first to kiss Don M’s upbeat ass, but I ain’t putting the lipstick on just yet.

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    They are throwing Manny Parra, Dave Bush, and Jeff Suppan in games 2-3-4 …. If you don’t think we can beat those guys, then you have zero confidence in your home team.

    Sheets is hit-or-miss.. literally.. his last start he looked great.. but he’s had health issues his whole career, including a “tight groin” two weeks ago… and in his two previous starts he got as deep into games as Joe Blanton who you were all ripping yesterday..

    he’s allowed 13 steals… get a couple baserunners, steal a few bags.. make something happen. Im not saying its likely that they put up a ton of runs or anything, but I sure as hell don’t think its impossible to beat Sheets tonight

  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    theyd BETTER be able to climb back into the WC race by takeing MINIMUM 3 of 4 from the brewers. there are no excuses. PEOPLE HAVE BEEN MAKING BULLSHIT EXCUSES ALL YEAR for this team. ALL YEAR! starting from the owners to the GM to the fans and the media. there are no excuses.

  • Posts: 0 ZeroPlayoffWinsSince1993

    If the Mets go 9-8 in the last 17, then the Phils need to go 12-4 to tie for the division and force a one game playoff. It’s more than mathematically possible, but I would be surprised if the Mets do not win at least 10 of the last 17. The 40 man roster temporarily conceals the Mets’ decrepit bullpen. Phils can take 3 of 4 against the Brewers who suddenly have misplaced their confidence.

  • Posts: 0 Georgie

    I wish I did have more confidence in them at home, but when most of the team looks asleep at the plate it’s hard to put much hope in them. If I were Charlie, once they’re officially out of it, I would start a game with nothing but pitchers in the line-up. Most of our pitchers look better at hitting lately than the regular guys. Why is that, it’s inexcusable, and these guys need a shake-up!

  • Posts: 0 NEPA

    I said above that the season’s over, sometime after midnight. Obviously that was a lot of frustration and when thinking clearly, the Phils could hypothetically go and sweep the Brewers and tie up the wild card race. I just don’t see it happening and I don’t see how anybody could at this point. This team couldn’t afford to lose 2 important series to the NATS and the Marlins. Seeing the Mets take care of business with the Nats made me even more pissed last night, knowing the Phils couldn’t do it last week. No matter what happens this next series, I’ll be watching every game intently like I have been all season, but I think we need to look at this realistically, we’re running out of games here.

  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    these FAKE superstars are killing this team. ryan howard, jimmy rollins, chase utley, pat burrell. each of them has been hot and cold and various points of the year, but when it counts in crunch time almost none of them have been clutch. jayson werth has been more clutch than any of those 4. ryan howards numbers are mostly phony. whens the last time he actually won you a game, late, in a clutch situation with pressure all on him?

  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    if they sink out of it lou marson, jason donal, greg golson and all those youngins are getting started the rest of the season. if they were like 10 games back id alreayd be trying to arrange a pre-trade agreement for howard and rollins and be opnly auditioning prospects to replace them. same with jamie moyer and kendrick and the catchers.

  • Posts: 0 NEPA

    Agreed Geoff, if at any point they become mathematically out, I’d be starting everyone of those guys. Lets the superstars sulk on the bench.

  • Posts: 0 Georgie

    I think the biggest disappointment for me is that I really LOVED this group of players at the beginning of the season, they were all hustlers, played their hearts out. One by one they seem to have lost interest, almost like they don’t want to be there. Maybe they all realize the FO isn’t going to get them the pieces they need to actually win, so they just gave up. I’m really grasping at straws to explain why a team who seemed to have so much potential has turned into what they are today.

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    Ryan Braun .313 vs LHP, .297 overall

    Mike Cameron .299 vs. LHP, .252 overall

    Prince Fielder .225 vs LHP, .262 overall

    JJ Hardy .308 vs LHP, .283 overall

    Corey Hart .299 vs LHP, .280 overall

    …pretty damn good against LHP..

    Our team hits RHP pretty well and they have 3 of them going:

    Rollins .261 vs RHP, .273 overall (but 32 of his 42 steals are from RHP)

    Utley, .303 vs RHP, .289 overall (19 of his 31 HR are from RHP)

    Howard .262 vs RHP, .241 overall (30 of his 42 HR are from RHP, 85 RBI too)

    Burrell .250 vs RHP, .254 overall (24 of his 30 HR are from RHP)

    Victorino 2.80 vs RHO, .276 overall (24 of his 32 steals are from RHP)

    so you can use whatever stats you want.. but the baserunners we have do better stealing bags vs RHP.. and our PowerGuys hit with lots more power against RHP.. I just happen to always think my team is going to beat the other guys

  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    i dont always think that. you can sometimes tell, sometimes youre not sure, sometimes you know.

    when the flyers were up against wasthington and montreal, people were all like ooooh theyre too good for us. and i was like, you know what? no, the flyers are a better team than both of them and they will beat both of them. i knew the pens were too good though, but still.

    the point is when youre REALLY confident you just know theyre going to win. we had that earlier in the season, when i OPENLY predicted they would easily win this “garbage division” despite their terrible gaping holes. they squandered that with relative ease and now i really dont have any confidence in them at all. they blew a 7 game lead in their division in the span of like a week already this year, more than once.

  • Posts: 0 NEPA

    Don M, I thought that way against the Nats last week and the
    Marlins this week, and they blew both series’. So I’m done thinking that way for a while, hopefully they surprise me.

  • Posts: 0 Georgie

    Yeah, Geoff, I had the same feeling with the Flyers last year, I even thought they might beat the Pens, but that team had a whole different attitude than this year’s Phillie players.

  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    yeah they do. they were hungry and they still are. the phillies are a COMPLETELY different team than they were last year. their attitude has reversed and theyre all lazy and arrogant now just like their owners and GM.

  • Posts: 0 NEPA

    Does anyone think that the whole “the team doesn’t care” stuff is mostly in our heads? When they’re winning by just pounding the ball and it has nothing to do with the small stuff such as hustling, we all feel really good and think the world of the team. When they’re simply in slumps and not hitting the ball well, we seem to think it’s because they don’t care anymore. I think it’s all about winning. I think for the most part (not including some of J-Rolls antics) the team has hustled all year long, it’s just that when they lose we tend to think of them as not caring at all.

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