Enigma? You Betcha

Posted by Pat Gallen, Mon, August 30, 2010 10:06 AM | Comments: 136
Analysis, Opinion, Posts

My hope is that you’ve stopped trying to figure out this Phillies team. It’s impossible to do, so refrain from wasting what precious time we have on this earth wondering why the Phils can downright suck against a bottom-feeding Houston team, then, travel 3,000 miles to the Southern California coast, and beat up on a playoff team. It doesn’t make sense now and it hasn’t throughout this entire 2010 season.

What does make sense, and what we have figured out, is that this Phillies club wants to take us on some kind of journey. It’s a trip through the unknown.

In 2007, the writing was on the wall for the Phillies to be a playoff caliber team. Remember how exciting it was to watch Brett Myers flip his glove into the air on the final day to win the NL East, capping an amazing run to overtake the Mets from seven games down with 17 to go? That comeback was improbable, yet, explainable. New York fell apart while the Phillies got hot at the right time.

In 2008, it was time to take a step forward, so they went ahead and won the whole thing. Building on the ’07 campaign was easy as this town rallied behind the club for their first title since 1980.

In 2009, we understood this team was still special, still the cream of the NL crop. Many knew they were good enough to win the National League once again, and again they did. The season itself was pretty much a breeze – everyone stayed relatively healthy and the Phillies won the east by six games. It was easy to comprehend.

This year, not so much. How can one team look nearly unbeatable for the first two weeks, lead the division by a healthy five games on May 17, then fall flat on it’s face for nearly two whole months without explanation? How could it happen that the Phillies then follow a seven-game stretch in mid-July when they appeared to be sinking by winning 13 out of 15 to sit one back in the division behind the steady Braves?

After their pitiful showing against the Astros at home, Jimmy Rollins hinted that (and I’m paraphrasing) maybe it was a good idea to get away from Philly and kick start things on the road. Who knew he wasn’t kidding.  The latest series in San Diego was anything but inspired baseball, however, they did enough to sweep a postseason-bound team that hadn’t lost three straight all year. Until now, of course.

There is no rhyme or reason. Injuries have taken their toll, but not ravaged the team enough to shut down the year entirely. The bullpen has been relatively average throughout, yet, has shown flashed of brilliance within their darkest days. A lineup that mashed home runs for years (651 the previous three seasons, to be exact) now places in the middle of the pack on the National League. Instead, they’ve used some small ball and brilliant starting pitching to hide their power deficiencies. Still, where’d all the long-balls go?

It may not be the team you’re used too, but if you enjoy opening a new door everyday, not knowing what you’ll find when you open it, this is the team for you. It may also be frustrating to try and understand what this Phillies team has given all season, but it’s impossible to do. If you prefer a healthy lifestyle, I’d suggest leaving well enough alone. Because in the end, this team may surprise you once more. That, or give you a heart attack.

Avatar of Pat Gallen

About Pat Gallen

Pat Gallen has written 1714 articles on Phillies Nation.

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


    Great piece-I too have been high then low then back high on this team all year,but thru all the injurys they are still right in the hunt,I believe that this battle tested group will rise to the top again.This was a very important series that proved when things get tight we can play with anyone.Cant wait for the last 30 some odd games!!!!!!

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  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    Pat – I don’t agree that the Phils have played small ball at times. I don’t believe that Shane was trying to hit the ball up the middle to score Jimmy yesterday because the Phils needed “just one”. I believe he was trying to smoke the crap out of the ball as he always does and ended up playing defensive hitting with two strikes and singled. The Phils never play small ball because they can’t. Polanco, Utley, and Ruiz can and that’s it. I would attribute the fact that we are winning close, lowing scoring games to good pitching, poor hitting, and eking out enough run support through their offensive style rather then a designed plan to just scratch out runs. The Phillies do this in the post season, though.

    I am counting on this offense to start busting out soon. An offense like the Phils never takes a whole season off. I am looking for a reversion to the mean, albeit a little late in the season. In the mean time, please find us a lefty reliever for the playoffs.

    The Dipsy

  • Posts: 0 jeff

    Yes, this is not the Phillies offense clicking. We just played a solid team with great pitching. We won three straight games. Thats the only way you win these in the playoffs. You will not score 10 runs against these teams in October.

  • Posts: 0 paul garrett

    Howard’s hitting is key. I can understand his ankle can affect his swing but the SOs seem mental. Do each of these guys have their own sports psychologists? If not, why not? Brain training is quite the fad these days, check out Posit Science.

  • Posts: 0 NJ

    The Phillies play accidental small-ball. There are so many elements of playing small-ball past getting a man on 1st and bunting him to 2nd, the Phils do a pretty poor and often predictable job of moving runners and driving them in but that’s not how this team is built. Using a hockey analogy this is a ‘run and gun’ team, offensively the Phils play for big pay-off innings instead of a more controlled lower yield approach.

    I think many players on this team are getting a bad rep because of the teams lack of production at times. The Phils really gutted it out when the big bats were down and now they’ve returned the offense seems to have had something missing and is feeling its way to putting up some numbers.

    The Phils do need to find more of a balanced offense but we’re in what may be the golden age of Phillies baseball and I don’t think any of us would have changed anything given the overall success.

  • Posts: 1376 Pat Gallen

    Avatar of Pat Gallen

    “they’ve used some small ball and brilliant starting pitching to hide their power deficiencies.”

    Nowhere does it say they’ve become a small ball team. They’ve used SOME small ball, which they have. More now than ever before. I agree that they’ll eventually break out, but when you look at this season as a whole against the previous 3, the power numbers won’t be anywhere near. Blame that on the injuries, I guess.

  • Posts: 0 Manny

    This team is unpredictable, and I love it.

  • Posts: 0 branderson

    This series serves an interesting precursor for the playoffs, perhaps.

    Sweeping the best team in the NL on the road makes me think that once we get into the Playoffs it will not be that unfathomable to play well.
    Look at the current playoff picture:
    San Diego: Youthful, inexperienced pitching, plus Correia is falling apart. Offense is pretty inept and unintimidating
    Cincy: Pitching is again very young except for the injured/pretty pitiful Harang. Arroyo has been a surprise. Their offense can score big runs but our pitching is much, much better.
    Hot-lanta: No playoff experience except Lowe who is pretty ho-hum for an ace. In a short series they don’t seem to have the 1-3 that will blow anyone away. Their bullpen is 2nd best in the NL which gives them some solidification but their offense is nowhere near ours.

    On the bubble: San Fran: A team whose strong point is pitching has kind of not surprised in that aspect. They have made some good additions to their offense (Huff, Burrell, Sanchez, Guillen) but they don’t look particularly frightening
    St. Louis: This is the team that actual scares me in a playoff series. Having Wainwright, Carpenter, Rookie-sensation Jaime Garcia, and question mark Westbook is definitely in favor of the Cards. Plus Pujols and Holliday having solid years might make them someone to actual watch out for (if they make the playoffs)

  • Posts: 0 Bacardipr05

    Can they play small ball or are they just refusing to play small ball. They have to go back to the basics. That involves small ball. All the talent on this team they have the pieces to be able to play small ball. I dont know if they will “break out” we been saying this July. Maybe have “break out” games to be hones i cant really explain it. Enigma?

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    How was the Padres series “anything but inspired baseball”???

    Friday night: Lidge COULD have completely melted down. He didn’t. And Rollins slide in the 12th was EXTREMELY “inspirational.”

    Saturday: Joe Blanton. “Inspired” pitching.

    Sunday: Cole Hamels. SUPER “inspired” pitching.

    This series had timely hitting, great defense and pitching, both starting and relief, that will make your hair stand on end.

    I don’t know about the rest of you…but I’m pretty “inspired”.

  • Posts: 0 The Original Chuck P

    Nice piece Pat… this team has won games playing small ball but we would all agree that it looks like they are a team that is living/dying with their starting pitching.

    A couple of things… I know that it’s easy to ask where the power numbers have gone and we would all like to think that our team is exempt from everything that goes on outside of their clubhouse but in the year of the pitcher, it’s reasonable to assume that our opponent’s pitching has something to do with our lack of power. That and the fact that 7/9 of our starting lineup has spent time on the DL… replace Rollins/Utley with Valdez and you’re going to lose some pop.

    I also think that we need to stop beating around the bush… Chase Utley needs to get it going. Everyone else has either played near their potential or carried us at one point or another this season… Utley has done neither of those things. He’s hitting .265 with 11 HR and 5 SB… are you kidding me? At least Howard is producing runs… 23 HR is well off his career norm but his average has been better this season and his RBI totals are still good for top 10 in the NL (even with the DL stint and subsequent slump). Utley needs to play better.

  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    Pat – Respectfully, I know what you said – and I still disagree. If trying to score as many runs as you can and coming up with only 3 or 2 is small ball, then thats what they are doing. To me “small ball” is a design, not a default result, and for that reason I maintain that they don’t play “small ball” one whit. They just don’t score a lot of runs.

    The Dipsy

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Nail on head:

    “The year of the pitcher”

    How else can you explain losing to Myers, Happ and W. Rodriguez?? Those guys pitched great.

  • Posts: 0 Lefty

    In terms of the lost power, I think it’s important to remember that both Werth and Ibanez had career years in home run production last year. 2009 wasn’t normal for them. Raul only had one year of over 30 in his 13 years prior to last, Jayson never had one. Maybe we expected too much from those two.

    That doesn’t explain Howard and Utley, and it’s fair to say that even without the injuries their homer totals would still be way down.

    But last year our heart of 3,4,5,6 were pretty remarkable. I just don’t think you can count on that every year.

    Despite the stumbling and bumbling in the Astros series, I admire the team this year. They are finding ways to win. It’s heart attack city, and sometimes they’re getting a little luck, (when the best fielding team in the league makes 4 errors in one game) but I believe they’ll get it done.

    Good piece Pat-thanks

  • Posts: 0 The Original Chuck P

    What do you call small ball, Dipsy? How many runs did we score in this series via single or sac? J-Roll scored the GW run on a single, the first run yesterday was scored on a single (after a sac ground ball to move the runner to third), the insurance run was scored on a fielder’s choice with a hard takeout slide at second. The formula for this series was to score early, put pressure on the Padres and grind out a win… they beat the Padres at their own game. They hit a couple of HR’s yesterday but that’s not what won this series… great starting pitching and tough runs won this series.

  • Posts: 0 shag beta sigma delta

    This team is not built for small ball design, with exception of Poly, and other than this year Chase. This line up lacks discipline at the plate. But when the do move the runners over and in, it is an added benefit in these close games. It comes from the top down, Charlie feels the only way to get out a slump is to swing the bat, agree or disagree, it seems to work for most of these guys. JRoll did just punch the ball to right yestarday, you can not say he was not trying to just get the run in. They are not going to bunt with any; but the pitcher, agree or disagree that is how this team operates. I would even go as far as to say Polly bunted on his the other night, and it was not a called sac bunt. I truly believe this offense will come around in September, maybe not back to the first week and 1/2 of the year, but where they will start scoring 4-6 runs a game, and if the Pitchers can maintain their focus, that will be bad news for anybody we play.

  • Posts: 0 Bob in Bucks

    I grew up in northern NJ as a Dodgers fan. This did not stop until maybe 20 years ago. Now in PA and a Phillies fan and raised my son as one.
    It just hit me that the Phillies are becoming the Dodgers of the 60s and 70s. All pitch, no power.

    Dipsy is right, the team is not built for small ball but it could be. Howard is a lock, nothing can be done about it and there is no problem with one big bopper on the team. But get a young fast infielder to replace Rollins, trade or train Victorino, lose Ibanez and Werth and replace them with speed and contact hitters along with a stronger bullpen. This may take two or three years but it definitely is doable.

    Werth is gone next year and Ibanez/Rollins contracts are over next year.

    The bell might not ring that often during the game but it might ring at the end of more games. You have three top of the line starters who can pitch for ERA under 3.5, now you need to bring in more relievers and learn to bunt and move runners. It can be done and relatively cheaply.

    By the way, though I love him, Manuel has to go – he can’t handle this type of team.

  • Posts: 1376 Pat Gallen

    Avatar of Pat Gallen

    Chuck, don’t tell me this weekend was inspirational baseball. They couldn’t hit anything. Sure the pitching is great, but it has been great, especially the starters. I’d be more inspired if they scored 8,9,10 and held SD to 1 or 2. That would inspire me to believe they’ve busted out and can now scored some runs.

    I get that SD has a great pitching staff too, and that runs would be hard to come by, but I was hardly inspired by their play. The only reason they had to win in 12 is because Lidge was a wreck.

  • Posts: 1376 Pat Gallen

    Avatar of Pat Gallen

    I’m pretty sure a balk with the bases loaded is fairly close to a complete meltdown.

  • Posts: 0 shag beta sigma delta

    I am not 100% on the train that Wreth is gone after this year, he may have slumped, spaced himself out of the 5-7 year 18 million per deal everyone thought he would get when this year started. I think Jayson would stay for 4 years 56-60 million with a 5th year vested option. This deal can be done, and I think he would take it.
    And I will have what ever it is you are smoking Bob, Charlie is not going anywhere, and the Bank is not a home stadium that is built for bunting guys over and speed, alleys are small, and the walls close. The Bank is fitting for this team, and this type of team will be here for a while. Get use to it

  • Posts: 0 therookie300

    Exactly shag. This is NOT a team that was put together to play small ball. This lineup is designed to drive the ball to the hard to the gaps. Obviously the exception of Polly. That’s the problem with Vic, he’s caught in the middle of two styles. Everybody on here seems to want to make better contact and use his legs more and I definitely agree with that.
    Now despite that fact that this is not a small ball team, they should use the principles of small ball when needed. Maybe they should be using them more now because of the offense still being out of whack. But if the offense gets going to what they can really do, let them swing away.

  • Posts: 0 shag beta sigma delta

    Yes the Balk with bases jacked is a meltdown, but getting the PHillies into the 10, is was stopped from being a complete meltdown

  • Posts: 0 Ed in scranton

    Bob CBP is not a small ball base ball field, If you try to build a team like that here it will fail. The team showed a lot of heart winning thes games and the starting pitching was outstanding. Howard started to make contact and he always plays well in L.A. I think two out of three is doable.

  • Posts: 0 therookie300

    Maybe more of a mental lapse than a meltdown.

  • Posts: 0 shag beta sigma delta

    I would have to agree that this weekend’s sweep was not inspirational offensivly, but pitching and heart, and doing what needs to be done, was a little up lifting, like I said before, sometimes frustrating to watch these guys bat, but less so when they find a way to win. I did have a feeling that they were never in trouble in any of these games, even with the balk to tie the game. I felt like the Phillies were in their heads, Hopefully after we sweep the Dodgers we can me a little more inspired by the offense

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    I disagree, Pat.

    First, Lidge wasn’t a complete meltdown. Last season, he would have lost that game. But he held it together and got that last out.

    And the fact that the Phillies came back the way they did and won that game set the table for the whole weekend.

    Wheeler made mention of that yesterday after the broadcast. Losing that game on Friday could have almsot been a back-breaker….but they didn’t and it wasn’t.

    To me…that’s inspired baseball.

    Would I love to see more offense to go with the pitching? Sure. You bet. But this weekend they got the hits when they needed them.

  • Posts: 0 NJ

    I think it’s going off the point of Pats post some but…

    Small-ball is a way of playing more than it is the results, getting a run in an inning and calling it the team playing small ball is such a Joe Morgan comment as true to the reality as saying guy with 6 or 7 steals is a threat to take a base particularly when you have a power-arm on the mound.

    Small-ball is such an attritional way of playing offense consistently trying to take away something each AB by making the most of everything you can create to the point it just takes the wind out of the opposing team by bending not breaking. The Phillies are lucky when the offense produces small-ball but there’s nothing wrong with that, the Phils can bust it open like few teams can and this is the best staff this teams had in years.

    The entirety of the Phillies problem has been getting in-sync and being able to get men on base, move them and drive the runs in so he pitching can stay loose and work quickly. You look at a team like the Padres and it’s no surprise they consistently have one of the best bullpens, when a unit of a team is in sync the results always reflect that.

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Let me be clear, too. The hit batter with an 0-2 count and the balk CAN’T happen anymore. Period. By Lidge or anyone else.

    BUT….give Lidge credit for fighting his way through and out of it. Could have been a Disaster (with a Capital D!!!)

  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    No doubt that the Phils came up big by gritting out a sweep in what should be a graveyard for offenses like theirs. I don’t think there is any way on earth that Werth stays, especially since he and Crawford are the cream of the pathetic FA outfield crop this year. Is it me or does Shane Victorino have the worst swing in baseball, pitchers excluded? Its looping, reachy, and just…a lot like an unfolded lawn chair. He’s got a lot of enthusiasm and hustle and moxy but DAMN! he is overrated as far as what he actually does for your club. Just swing down on the ball, dude.

    The Dipsy

  • Posts: 0 shag beta sigma delta

    The one thing that I have not seen since Howard and Chase have gotten back from the DL is stealing bases. Does Jayson just not have the cofidence to run, is he affraid of getting pick off if he takes to much of a lead. Same thing with JRoll and Vic they have stopped running all together. Especially with Polly up he hardly ever strikes out so with two strikes they should be running almost all the time, especially now that the offense is struggling. I get you do not want to run yourself out of innings, but at a place like Petco, you would think you would almost run every time you get on base.

  • Posts: 0 NJ

    Dipsy come on you have it flat out wrong on Victorino, overrated in what he does for the club? He’s one of the most underrated players in baseball because he’s not considered by many outside Philly as more than just a good player. He is one of the best defensive outfielders in the game, he’s not a gifted hitter but he uses his bat to get the results he can and he’s shown power this year at times there hasn’t been much else in the line-up.

    Werth has shown to be overrated unfortunately, Corey Hart is overrated, Jose Bautista will now be overrated. Unfortunately stats performances now come before what those guys are doing on the field and in the clubhouse.

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    No, Dipsy, it’s not just you. I CRINGE every time I see Shane at the plate.

    I have, like no confidence in him at all. Is that wrong? I feel like it’s somehow wrong.

  • Posts: 0 NJ

    Does Shane having an ugly swing have anything to do with how good an all-around baseball player he is?

    Is his swing ugly? Hell yeah but Jayson Werth’s is one of the ugliest swings I’ve ever seen for a gifted offensive player, Ruiz’s swing isn’t exactly pretty and you look at players on other teams and I’m sure you’ll find guys in the same class or higher than Vic with worse swings.

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Pat, in thinking about it more, I DO see what you are saying to a point. We all are frustrated by the lack of offense.

    I guess I am so stoked at where they are now compared to where they were in mid-July that I’m pretty inspired.

    I think, though, that the bats MUST come around (esp. Ryan) in order for this team to be in the playoffs.

  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    I happen to think Jayson has a nice swing. Vic has a great arm, no question. He’s not great at taking lines on the ball at all. Shane…what are you? I just never went for the small speedy guy who tried to hit homers and doubles instead of using what God gave him. Does it make him a bad offensive player? Not necessarily. He’s fast. Well, learn to bunt. Learn to work the count. Walk. Why is he even switch hitting? It doesn’t help. Just stay on your natural side. Sometimes I think that Jayson Werth is trapped in Shane’s body and vice versa. Shane is not as productive as he should be and it bums me out. He is a better than average offensive player, no question. He’s like a flat chested girl with a great rear end and legs that goes to the beach and wears a sarong (sp) and a just a bikini top. ????? Use your assets is my point.

    The Dipsy

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Great analogy.

  • Posts: 0 Kate

    After dropping four in a row to Houston, I think sweeping the Padres is inspired baseball. The Padres have been in first place in their division since April.

    The Lidge of 2009 would have given up another four runs and lost the game. He buckled down and contained the damage. I call that inspired baseball.

    I call Matt Sweeney’s and Jayson Werth’s homers in Petco Park of all places inspired baseball.

    I call Jimmy Rollins avoiding the tag to win a game inspired baseball.

    Maybe it’s not pretty, but inspired baseball isn’t always pretty. Most of the time it can be pretty moments in the middle of ugly games.

  • Posts: 0 NJ

    How much more productive can Vic be? His average is down but he’s having a career year for homers and driving in runs while maintaining his second highest stealing percentage. He’s not having a great year offensively but you can’t expect career years every year and it’s not been a down year, just not a great year for him.

    No-one on the team is having a great offensive year, debatably Polanco, but it’s unfair to single Vic out because he has contributed to the team when others haven’t and he’s not one of the guys it would be fair to criticize for lack of efforts or adjustments. He isn’t the most talented guy on the field but he’s one of the hardest working.

    When Werth doesn’t connect his swing looks like he’s playing golf with a hockey stick.

  • Posts: 0 NJ

    ^just to add- use your assets really doesn’t mean much in baseball when you’re playing 162 games plus post-season if your lucky and spring. Does it mean anything that Jose Bautista has hit 40 homers? Only to his agent. Marcus Thames is meant to have more power than almost anyone in the league but hasn’t helped him much.

    Vic is using his assets by being a good role player and trying to truly help the team anyway he can and the team has been winning, some would say that is using his assets.

    That said there is clearly something wrong with how the running game is being handled when a team with two top base-stealers and other guys who can take bases are near the bottom of the league in steals

  • Posts: 0 bfo_33

    I made a vow not to bash Vic, but NJ, you’re way out there. Regardless of how pretty Vic’s swing is, it’s ineffective from the left side. He’s batting 220 from there, and about 60 % of the pitchers in the mlbs are righties. Dispy, I’ll sign the petition to end Vic’s switch hitting – either platoon him, or always bat from the right.

    Not worried about Howard, he’ll get his swing back – if not in LA, then against Mil. Chase concerns me more. I realize he was out quite a while, but he just doesn’t look like he’s seeing the ball well. I’d still rather see him work through it up here than in LV.

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    I don’t want Vic to have a career year hitting homeruns.

    Bunt. Hit the opposite way. Take a walk. Just try to get base hits and stop worrying about being babe Ruth.

    And, yes. The switch hitting needs to end.



    Exactly was I was saying about “inspired baseball”

  • Posts: 0 NJ

    Jose Bautista (RHB) is hitting .220 against lefties while having a career year.
    Mark Reynolds and his 29 homers have him hitting only .197 against righties …

    Teix has a 50pts difference between his switch splits, few years back he decided to hit from the one side quickly returned to switch hitting.

    It isn’t that easy you can say Vic should hit from just the one side and he’ll get better results. The difference between being either side of the league average is something like 15-20 hits either way a year and I’m pretty sure when teams assess their players they look at how has this guy affected the team not how good are his individual numbers, unless your the A’s


    RYAN WILL BE OK-Now chase scares me,because it has been all year and he still has not produced at all…………

  • Posts: 0 biz

    Why are we so concerned with Victorino? He bats 7th when we have all of our pieces in the lineup. The main reason for our offensive troubles this year is Chase Utley. Sorry to say it, but Chase has been mediocre at best. .265 and 11 hr? Even missing 40 games he should be hitting around .285 with 18 hr and 60 rbis. He’s been awful. Even before he was injured. And he produced nothing the last 2 series.

  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    NJ – Vic is not being paid to be a role player. I think Vic is a good player but he also has flaws. Flaws that should have been able to correct over time. As fast as he is and not being able to bunt is inexcusable. I don’t want him hitting homers either, because you know what that means? He’s trying to hit homers, and that is nit his job. Actually, I’m not even really sure what Vic’s job is. Or Jimmy’s. Or Jayson’s.

    I’m just a guy trying to understand his team.

    The Dipsy

  • Posts: 0 The Original Chuck P

    Thanks Biz… I’m glad someone else sees it. Like I said earlier, stop beating around the bush and call for Utley to get his crap together… it’s a shame that people take every chance they can get to run Werth and Vic out of town because those guys are actually doing some things right. Utley, on the other hand, is not doing much of anything… if he was, we wouldn’t be looking up.

    Werth is having a career year… best full season in terms of BA, OBP and SLG%. He could get to 100 R and 100 RBI… probably won’t but I guess he could… and here we are talking about how expendable he is. We’ll be sorry when he’s gone.

  • Posts: 0 biz

    The OCP,

    I agree we will miss Werth. But his talents are being wasted. He should be leading off. I wouldn’t object to switching him and Rollins in the lineup since Rollins thinks he’s a power guy anyway. Plus, if you put Rollins 5th he probably won’t pull his diva act like he would if you put him 7th or 8th.


    Why not? It looks solid to me, plus, you put a guy with a .390 OBP at the top of the order while simultaneously removing a guy with a .156 w/RISP from the 5 hole. How is that a negative? I don’t see Rollins hitting .156 w/RISP, and I don’t see him getting on base 2/5 plate appearances.

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Nobody will ever try to run Chase out of town because….you know…..he’s Chase Utley.

  • Posts: 0 bfo_33

    Agree that the team doesn’t sink or swim with Victorino, and Utley plays a much larger part of the offense. In his defense, he’s only been playing a week after being out for 7. Hoping that the pitching stays strong in LA, take 2 of 3, then the offense kicks in when Mil comes to town (should be able to hit them).

    It may make more sense right now to move Utley out of the 3 hole until he gets his swing going (platoon between Ibanez and PP – both did well batting 3rd).

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