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Stale, Stagnant Offense Remains So as Hamels Gem Wasted

Posted by Pat Gallen, Mon, June 07, 2010 11:25 PM | Comments: 42
2010 Game Recaps, Posts

Flirt – v.: 1. To come close to reaching or experiencing something.

Over the past few games, the Phillies have flirted with the idea that they would, for good, break out of their three-week-long slumber. It didn’t happen.

For 6 1/3 innings tonight, Cole Hamels flirted with a no-hitter. It didn’t happen.

In the 9th inning, the team flirted with a comeback against Padres closer Heath Bell.  You can tell where this is headed.

What did happen was another failure to produce a victory on a night where a win was attainable. Cole Hamels pitched eight great innings, tossing 121 pitches, while striking out six and walking two. He baffled Padres hitters all night until he threw two mistakes in order.  A fastball right down the heart of the plate was sent into the flowers in left field by Adrian Gonzalez. Scott Hairston, who owns Hamels in his career (5-for-13 with 3 homers) took a curveball and demolished it into left field as well, and just like that, the night was over.

Adjectives are becoming harder and harder to find that can truly demonstrate just how bad things are for the Phillies offense. Hamels has been one of the pitchers who have dealt with this. For the third time this season, Hamels pitched eight innings and did not leave with a win.

Hamels took the high road after the game when discussing the offensive struggles. “We know what job we have to do,” said Hamels.  We know that if we keep plugging away with the type of team we have, the good things will come around.”

Raul Ibanez also reiterated that sentiment. “This teams gonna hit. We’re not doing it right now, but I have a lot of confidence that it’s going to happen.” Ibanez also went on to say that it’ll be a battle to kick this awful slump. “The only way to get out of things is to keep fighting through it,’ Ibanez said. “This teams not gonna quit, there’s too much talent in the room and there’s a lot of season left. It’s frustrating, but it’s a confident group of guys that work their tails off.”

Right now, that mix of talent, dedication, and will to succeed just isn’t cutting it.  Tonight, Ibanez finished 1-for-3, and like his cohorts, had a few ugly at-bats. The only run was plated by Placido Polanco in a ninth inning comeback attempt that fell short. Ryan Howard knocked him home with two outs, giving Jayson Werth an opportunity to exercise his demons with the tying run on. He could not.

For the second straight night, Werth struck out to end a close game. Afterwards, Charlie Manuel said, “He’s [Werth] trying to hard.”  The right-fielder’s slump has reached an unsightly 3-for-38 since May 26.

Chase Utley also watched his average dip to .260, the lowest he’s ever seen at this point in the season since becoming a full-time player in 2005. His 0-for-4 tonight is an indicator of how it’s been going lately for this team.  Even the immortal Utley has found a kryptonite.

Two parallels have developed as this slump rolls on. One is the absence of Jimmy Rollins, which began again on May 22.  Since that time, the Phillies are 4-11.  Coincidence? Also, “Binocular-gate”, or whatever it’s been referred to as, happened in Mid-May.  After the game, Manuel was asked if he thought that had anything to do with the downward spiral this team has been on. Of course, Manuel denied it saying, “if we’re stealing them, we got ‘em wrong,” which drew a good laugh from the media.  Still, this disastrous three-week stretch has been anything but a laughing matter.  It’s been more of a joke.

At this point, all they can do is wait it out.  Manuel will try to find a way to manipulate the bats. Ibanez will fight on.  Utley will remain quiet and calm. Howard will hit home runs. Werth will find a groove.

But when?

Avatar of Pat Gallen

About Pat Gallen

Pat Gallen has written 1676 articles on Phillies Nation.

Pat is Editor-in-Chief of Phillies Nation. He also covers the Phils for 97.5 FM in Philly.

 
 
  • Posts: 0 MysteryMet

    Don’t know what’s funnier watching the phills lose, or watching that little kid get caught drinking beer. Stay classy Philladelphia

     
  • Posts: 0 lurkinggrue

    Nice writeup for yet another heartbreaker of a game. One of the only consolations for a Phils fan at a time like this is to be able to share the frustration (beyond frustration, approaching agony at this point!) with fellow Phans. Thanks for that, to you and to the rest of Phillies Nation.

     
  • Posts: 0 phills fan

    Time for Charlie to bench Chase and Werth for 3 games like he did with Rollins last year. Granted the whole team is in a major rut, but when they do get something going Utley or Werth are always up and strike out or worse. Thankfully the Braves are losing and doing us a favor or I would really be in panic mode.

     
  • Posts: 0 JP

    Phils are heading below .500.They have the Yanks,Red Sox and Twins coming up.It is time to shake the lineup up or make a trade. We don’t know when Rollins will come back. Howard has done nothing since his new contract.He has become a singles hitter.Is Utley hurt again and not telling anyone? Can he lose his swing that fast? Where is that quick,short compact swing? Werth needs to go with the pitch. How can Ibanez lose so much power in one year?

     
  • Posts: 0 Manny

    Great post, Pat… seems cool and balanced and PATIENT… we’ll get out of this guys. Have some phaith.

     
  • Posts: 0 mnjam

    The team will rebound strongly in 2011 and win it all. Good things come t those who wait.

     
  • Posts: 0 jt

    They look awful out there I mean what’s wrong with this team?howard does seem like a singles hitter anymore and werth is in a awful slump that’s gotta end soon he’s much better than this…when I saw utley .260 average my jaw dropped I mean wow and ibanez has fell off the face of the earth I’m beginning to wonder if he was on something last season maybe it’s time to bench him and call up domonic brown because charlie gotta shake things up until these guys break out of this slump..

     
  • Posts: 0 John

    You guys already made it to the WS the last two years and won it one of those times. Don’t get greedy. People will start to think you’re Yankees fans.

     
  • Posts: 0 Utley's Hip

    I’m feeling fine. Chase is just in a slump. Sorry to break your man crushes. Chase is not hurt. He is in a slump. Stop making excuses.

     
  • Posts: 0 Randy

     
  • Posts: 0 Dan

    Now I know the Phillies are going bad when the one Nats fan is here trolling.

    As for MysteryMet up there. Yeah, stay classy, because it’s so classy to troll the blog of another team.

     
  • Posts: 0 Nunzio Scholeri

    I like the idea of Werth “exercising” his demons. Put ‘em on a treadmill!

    This offensive slump is blowing my mind. It has just gone on too damn long. Halladay, Hamels, and Moyer can’t carry this team on their own. If this carries on the Phils could dig themselves a pretty deep hole to have to climb out of later in the season.

     
  • Posts: 0 Brooks

    This is getting harder and harder to watch.
    Perhaps even changing the batting order would help?

    How about:
    Vic
    Castro (or Valdez)
    Poly
    Howard
    Ruiz
    Utley
    Werth
    Ibanez

    Really, if Cholly insist that these men can bang their collective selves out of a slump, let them taste a little something different. Perhaps not make it so easy on them. I remember when changing Vic in the lineup had incredible results last year. Who knows and why not try?

     
  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    I really have no words. Except for utter frustration.

    I mean, how long can we all keep saying, “But the Phillies pitching has been really good through it all.” ????

    SO FREAKIN’ WHAT IF WE CAN’T SCORE RUNS!!!!

    And can someone PLEEEEAAASSEEE tell Jayson Werth that it’s really ok to wait and swing at pitches IN the strike zone !!??!!??

     
  • Posts: 0 TheRobSpecial

    If the Phils lose and the Mets win tonight, we will be in THIRD place. Baffling.

     
  • Posts: 0 bfo_33

    With a right hander on the mound, sit Werth tonight. No worries about Howard, took a good walk, pounded the double to the opposite way. Utley looks absolutely terrible right now, but there aren’t a lot of options until (if) Rollins comes back. Vic had a decent game, PP steady as ever. Not quite a wasted start by Hamels – at least the bullpen should be fresh.

    I don’t expect the Phils to win every night, but the lack of runs is terribly frustrating. 3 weeks of games with stranded runners, feel like we’re out of the game if we’re down by 2 runs. I like your line up Brooks, but for tonight I’d put Gload in the 2 hole, whoever is playing short at 7. Francisco off the bench if a lefty is brought in (for either Ibanez or Gload). Let Werth sit a few days, get his head on straight.

     
  • Posts: 0 Dave

    This team better get it together before the weekend. They will be sitting in 3rd or 4th place after their interleague matchups are over.

     
  • Posts: 0 Scott in D.C.

    At one point do we stop calling it a slump? At the end of this month? Next?

     
  • Posts: 0 Stuart

    Dominic Brown needs to be called up ASAP for Raul. I think he could be the spark that ignites this lineup.

     
  • [...] fact, the Phillies couldn’t really score any runs, and even though he managed to keep the first place Padres [...]

     
  • Posts: 0 The SHART Factor

    Jimmy Rollins’ return to this lineup will mean everything. He will be instrumental in pulling this team out of the slump. Then we bring up Domonic Brown to platoon and get some experience hitting major league pitching. We probably won’t make it to the post season this year, but should have some real fun. The key, enjoy what we have…. a team that is clearly like a race engine in desperate need of a tune-up.

     
  • Posts: 0 Gaze_NJ

    Raise your hand if you’re tired of a Cole Hamels “gem” being ended by a home run. Why is it that when Roy Halladay and even Kyle Kendrick make “mistakes” they turn into double to the gap, but when Cole makes a mistake, it ends up in the flowers. 1HR every 5.56 innings isn’t gonna get it done regardless of how the rest of the game goes.

     
  • Posts: 0 bfo_33

    I don’t understand why Ibanez has become the whipping boy for the current slump. Utley, the #3, and best hitter on the team, has done nothing for a month. Vic – leadoff guy, had two hits last night, but a whole lot of o-fers before (in his defense, he’s not a lead-off guy, but an obs of .325 is low for anyone). Werth, the protection for Howard, has been striking out 20xs for every homer (ok, probably not that bad, but it seems that way), yet somehow dropping the # 6 hitter for an AA player is going to turn the streak around?

    Over the past month, I’d rather see Ibanez up there with a guy in scoring position than Utley or Werth, yet he’s the guy that has to go. Are the white boys untouchable?

     
  • Posts: 0 AGONY ANNIE

    Yes, the Phillies are in a deep sleep offensively. A team that has seen the top of the mountain only to stumble and tumble down the great divide. Once a bellweather, now a laughingstock. This is a team that will set a new record for breaking hearts and smashing dreams.

    So, fellow fans, to survive this calamity you need to look at it philosophically. We in Philly are in crisis, a crisis that runs parallel to the Gulf Oil disaster. When the leak is plugged, our bats will come alive. It is that simple. Somehow, somewhere all this is tied together and it is much more complicated than our small human minds can fathom.

     
  • Posts: 0 teejvee

    There is only one logical explanation for this.

    Right after the 4th shot in the shootout vs the Rangers, some Phila fan tried to bargain with the gods of sports. Obviously to get to game 6 of the
    Stanley cup finals, one has to concede something big. Like what, though?
    ‘Last place in the NFL East ‘ for the Eagles? T he gods scoffed. ” Already taken care of ‘
    ” Last place in he Eastern Division for the Sixers? ” . Again, the gods snickered.

    The Gods would accept only one thing in return. ” Last place in the NL EAST ‘

    So the blame is clearly on some Phlia. fan with a Flyers bias!!

     
  • Posts: 0 Ted Bell

    bfo_33, the difference is that the Ibanez slump has been for a full calendar year, while the Utley and Werth slumps have been for three weeks. Unless you’re totally clueless (which you very well might be), you should easily be able to see that difference.

    I’m Ted Bell.

     
  • Posts: 0 Adrian

    Ugh…forget it, just call me when it’s the All-Star Break. At least then the Phillies on that team won’t feel guilty because they’ll be with a group that’s been trying to beat their opponent for 14 years. Maybe they can all draw some inspiration from the ’07 Phitins who were facing a similar drought…

     
  • Posts: 0 Georgie

    Teej- the really sad thing is, as a 56 year old fan of Philly sports, I had already thought of that scenario. I have become so jaded and superstitious that I will look for almost any excuse for why my team is sucking. I HAD NOT, however, related it to the Gulf spill, as someone upthread has. I may get bashed for this, but in the grand scheme of things, the Phillies slump is NOTHING compared to what’s happening in the Gulf.

     
  • Posts: 0 Phylan

    GAZE_NJ It will most certainly get it done if he doesn’t allow any other runs, as he did tonight. And stop with the “HR every [x] IP” thing, that’s a dumb way of phrasing it. All the cool kids use HR/9. Cole’s HR/9 is 1.62 right now, but that will come down as his 17% HR/FB mark falls back to the league average of ~11%. So fear not!

     
  • Posts: 0 bfo_33

    Thanks Ted Bell, now I am suddenly enlightened. If I chose to evaluate games by looking at a box score, I could somewhat understand your view, though it is quite difficult for someone as clueless as me to evaluate a swing like that. With my limited mental capacity, I find it much easier to watch the games.

    Almighty Bell, when was the last time you saw Chase Utley take a decent swing? I don’t know if he is hurt, deranged, or possessed, but he looks overmatched against pretty much everyone right now. He is a detriment to the team batting #3. Ibanez has the appearance (at least in my impaired observation, although clearly you operate at another plane and see something quite different) of turning his swing around. Right now, when Utley comes up with a guy on first, I take a sigh of relief when he strikes out on a 92 mph fastball down the middle – at least it wasn’t a double play. With Werth’s size, he’s going to run into a fastball every once in a while, give him a chance to hit one out. Utley is all swing mechanics and bat speed, both which look terrible. His best chance to get on base is hbp.

    Utley will go down in history as the best hitting Phils 2nd baseman ever. But if Ibanez doesn’t get a pass for playing hurt after carrying the team for the first half last year, I’m not sure why Utley does for sucking right now. Then again, I’m clueless. On the bright side, at least BP has their best and brightest working on the spill in the Gulf. Maybe someday the region will be able to support fishing again.

     
  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    Ibanez is not the the “whipping boy” for the entire slump, but he is catching a lot of heat and various reasons: 1) He has been a horrible offensive player for almost an entire 162 game season; 2) he has been a horrible defensive player the whole time; 3) he is the poster boy for RAJ’s “find my player and pay him any price” approach; 4) we can’t get rid of him. He’s like the oil spill…we just have to keep on watching the horror w/o any ability to stop it; 5) Now, he is starting to get desperate. Swinging at pitches out of the strike zone….way out of the strike zone.

    Its a shame. He’s a nice guy. But his contract is such a bleeder. No one will go near him. Maybe he’ll be a man and take a buy out.

    The Dipsy

     
  • Posts: 0 Bob in Bucks

    Actually I am pretty satisfied with a split vs the Padres. To me Howard is getting there – if he wants to hit a single instead of a strike-out that is OK with me.

    Utley is a mystery, I don’t remember a slump like this but I agree that short compact swing is not there – all of a sudden he is hitting to left field with popups and grounders. Means to me that he has lost reaction time with his swing. Why I don’t know.

    As for Werth his numbers are returning to the mean. He is NOT a .300 hitter – he had a fantastic first six weeks but that was an aberration. He has always been streaky and unfortunately this is the inevitable valley after the peak. When he comes around I expect he will settle around .270.

    Very tough schedule coming up for the Phils. Best we take the fish because then we face the big boys. I hope for .500 for the month so third place does seem likely by the end of June. Should still be in the hunt for a big August/Sep finish.

     
  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    Bob – my brotha. Satisfied with a split?

    The Dipsy

     
  • Posts: 0 Phan in the outfield

    Ok I’ve stayed quiet b/c for some reason my typing upsets Chuck. But this slump has been really hard. I’m keeping the faith but I feel like I’m having flashbacks to the Phillies that used to make me cry every summer. Howard IS striking out. A lot. And at $19 mil/this yr & the new contract at dollars that could single-handedly clean-up the BP oil spill he should be hitting better than a single when he does get a hit. He’s paid to be ‘clutch’, that’s what the big bucks are for. He and Utley are raking it in & not doing anything. Meanwhile they’re conveniently directly ahead of Werth in the line-up and happily letting him take all the truly terrible flak for this slump. And we all know one guy is not to blame. It’s irrational. Of all the guys on this team Werth is the one with the incentive to do well, in fact to the best. And he came out blazing this season as we saw. Based on his numbers getting better the past 3 yrs, I had thought he could be better than a .270 avg (not .340 or anything) but I guess that remains to be seen. He must be in hell right now. That’s all I can think. And this upcoming series of games, Marlins, BoSox, Yankees, has me – flatout scared.

     
  • Posts: 0 George

    Phan, you say that Howard and Utley are “happily letting him (Werth) take all the truly terrible flak for this slump.” Come off it! Werth is currently striking out at a higher rate than either Utley or Howard, usually with men in scoring position, and it appears from most the posts of late that it’s Ibanez who’s taking the flak.
    (I don’t see anyone saying “release Werth!”, or even “platoon Werth!”)

     
  • Posts: 0 Phylan

    Probably because that would be patently ridiculous, as the circumstances of Ibanez are far different from those of either Utley, Howard, or Werth.

     
  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Can we all please stop referring to the Gulf Oil Spill?? It has NOTHING at all to do with baseball or the Phillies….and what’s going on down there is in a totally different league of events and issues from that of the world of Philadelphia sports.

    ————

    Phan….I’m not sure where the reference to me came from.

    ————

    Who said they were happy with a split? Really???

     
  • Posts: 0 Phan in the outfield

    Thanks Phylan. Striking out at a higher rate, what – 3 or 4 more strike outs than Utley over the past 3 wks?! Wow, well at least Werth’s a heck of a lot cheaper than Utley & Howard. And let’s face facts, they’re all doing it with men on base. Werth didn’t leave the huge number of men on base that this entire team has done over the past month or so on his own. Come on. One of these guys is as bad as the next one. Blaming one over the other is silly, it’s looking for a scape goat, the thoughtless, easy way out. Werth got booed last night but I didn’t hear that happen to Utley or Howard. And for some bizarre unknown reason Utley still leads his position in the All Star voting. I can’t fathom that. I’m also not down w/the booing & name calling. I don’t understand what it’s supposed to do except make the players feel worse & extend the pissy feelings all the way around.

     
  • Posts: 0 Phan in the outfield

    Chuck: I’ve posted maybe a total of 5 times. I just lurked before and since. Prob the last 2 times you resp’d negatively directly to my posts. Just for kicks, ck back & see. That’s where the ref came from & that’s why I haven’t posted in awhile. It’s not worth it to me b/c then it isn’t fun. This is a forum for everyone’s thoughts and ideas about a team we all hope everyone likes/loves and wants the best for. I know I do. Moving forward – I just want this “slump” to be over. How long does it go on before it’s officially “reality”. And the fact that these guys are pros and they look so amazingly lost scares the holy hell out of me. It’s like they have no clue what to do next. I mean if they don’t, who does?

     
  • Posts: 0 bfo_33

    I don’t think a more appropriate situation for the term “frustrating” has ever been demonstrated than the last month of Phillies play. At least a Mets fan from last year saw a bunch of regulars go down. We’re getting good to great pitching (which was the question mark after Halladay), but not scoring (was supposed to be our strong point).

    On the bright side, we’re still in it. I’ve purged my sarcasm for the month, now I am back to irrational exhuberance. Sweep the Fish!

     
  • Posts: 0 Douglas

    The oil spill is nothing to laugh at but I just saw a kid wearing a t-shirt that cracked me up. BP – We’re bring oil to America’s shores. I died laughing because BP’s billion dollar image change to their new sunflower logo is forever going to be associated with the worst environmental disaster to strike America. Check out the shirt here – http://bit.ly/bJAuTb

     
  • Posts: 0 Byron Daurizio

    I wonder if they should come to their senses and finish with all the oil. Alternative technologies is already there to replace it!

     
 
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