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Victorino Has Been The Missing Spark

Posted by Corey Seidman, Wed, September 21, 2011 10:30 AM | Comments: 18
Analysis, News, Opinion, Posts

Losers of seven of their last eleven, this has unquestionably been the season’s worst stretch of Phillies baseball.

Recent games have been rather meaningless for the Phils and the final eight are important only in keeping the team fresh for the NLDS. Even still, getting the offense back to the high level of August is a necessity.

The Phillies have scored 31 runs in their last thirteen games, an average of 2.4 per contest. Take away the 9-2 win over St. Louis Saturday and the Phils have scored 22 combined runs in twelve of thirteen games, or less than two per.

Where has the offense gone?

Well, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard have been out of the lineup for seven of those games. Jimmy Rollins has missed five.

But Shane Victorino’s September slump might be the principal factor.

Since September 10, Victorino is 6 for 44 with four runs scored. Two of those runs came in that aforementioned Cardinals blowout, as did three of his five RBIs.

Victorino has gotten on base consistently all season. His on-base percentages per month prior to September were: .351, .327, .383, .462 and .393. In September it’s been .267. Victorino has also been consistently powerful, posting slugging percentages of .490 or better in each month except for the final one.

A dynamic, top-of-the-order threat who can beat opposing teams with speed and power, Victorino is the type of player the other NL contenders do not have. The closest match might be the Brewers’ Rickie Weeks, but he is still recovering from a severe ankle sprain and is barely playing.

The health of Howard, Rollins and Utley will be key to October success, but getting Shane Victorino back on track will be just as important.

Avatar of Corey Seidman

About Corey Seidman

Corey Seidman has written 210 articles on Phillies Nation.

Corey is Analysis Editor for Phillies Nation and also writes for CSNPhilly.com.

 
 
  • Posts: 0 BART SHART

    Players, once they get older, need rest. The Phils will need to have a strong and reliable bench in the future. Players like Mayberry will become more and more valuable. If we could only get a stronger hitting infield utility player, then we would be in better shape. Wilson Valdez deserves a lot of credit and has filled in well, but he is also getting long of tooth.

     
  • Posts: 2952 Chuck A.

    Avatar of Chuck A.

    I don’t know. … Maybe I’m too much of an optimist and a homer. But something tells me that once the bright lights are just a little brighter that Shane’s gonna turn it on. Certainly, his slump is a concern but he’s also the kind of player that CAN flip a switch. Whether he does or does enough to help the offense remains to be seen but I feel fine about it.

     
  • Posts: 4649 Lefty

    Avatar of Lefty

    Shane began his hitting slide on August 22nd, the day after Rollins hurt his – you know- sensitive area. When looking at his splits it’s readily apparent that for some reason he does not perform well in the leadoff spot.

    At present his OPS batting 1st in the lineup is .752. Batting second it’s .945, third-.979, and fifth- .933. Kind of reminds me of Ryan Madson when he couldn’t close games, even though he was lights out in the eight, or Jayson Werth with men in scoring postion. Who knows why these things happen? , but it’s not a coincidence. When Jimmy is fully ready and up and running leadoff again full time, Shane should be fine.

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/split.cgi?id=victosh01&year=2011&t=b

     
  • Posts: 890 betasigmadeltashag

    Avatar of betasigmadeltashag

    It is strange for me to come across as the least optomistic, but somethings do worry me about this team and this post season. I know a majority of this team has been here before and knows what it takes to win. But they have never been in this spot from a position of strength. They have had to play until the last few days of the season to lock up their goalsy tThe lack of focus even before they had it locked up, even though after the Atlanta, Brewers streach they pretty much had it locked up, bothers me a little. I know there is nothing to play for as far as seeding in the playoffs, but this team was built to play to win everygame, last night did not matter tomorrow did not matter, pride in playing 27 outs, focus on each pitch each at bat. I know its a long season with ups and downs. Even the bench guys were focused. I also think there might be such a thing as too much rest, especially for a guy like Howard, to me he is a rhythm guy who needs his reps. I hope the last five games as Charlie has stated that he will have the full line up out there is enough to get them back on track. I am not saying it is all doom and gloom, and maybe I just like to be opposite then most people. I was never worried during the slumps this year and was accussed of being too postive, and now those who where pesimistic during the offense slumps are saying do not worry they have nothing to play for they will turn it around, and I am worred they will not snap out of it

     
    • Posts: 576 Brian Sr. of CO

      Avatar of Brian Sr. of CO

      There is a fine line between devils advocate as I believe this post is, and being doom and gloom (The Original Jeff.) I believe there still should be a level on concern with offensive production overall, bu to say the season is over, and its one and done is just idiocy.

       
      • Posts: 890 betasigmadeltashag

        Avatar of betasigmadeltashag

        Thanks Brian, I get that there are trolls out there that stir things up and I am ok with that. I have followed this team since I was 6, and that was 1971, and for the most part when they were not expected to do too much they succeeded, and when they were expected to be great they feel short of their goals. Back to the mid seventies, and the 94 team, really where did that come from. And this year they have met regular season expectations, so I have to worry a littleabout the post season. I do have confidence that they will come around and be ready to play come game one of the playoffs, but I still find it funny that in mid June or July that there were many on here that thought they would not ever hit or score runs again. Now everything is ok.

         
  • Posts: 0 Original Jeff

    Charlie has done a terrible job. These guys should be gearing up and they are playing with there head up there ass.

     
    • Posts: 576 Brian Sr. of CO

      Avatar of Brian Sr. of CO

      TROLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!

       
    • Posts: 2952 Chuck A.

      Avatar of Chuck A.

      Should be “their” , not “there” And “ass” should be pluralized to read “asses”. THEN your post would be gramatically correct but factually wrong.

       
  • Posts: 0 BART SHART

    Jeff, Give me an example of a player playing with his head up his ass. Frankly I believe that would be impossible and if not impossible, then it would be entertaining as hell.

     
  • Posts: 0 BART SHART

    Personally, I want the Phils to win it all. However, even if they fall short, I am damn proud of them as long as they play well, hustle and make it fun. Of course, I will go into deep depression if they lose in the playoffs, but that only lasts a few days. I fully expected a lull after they clinched. The lull will end tonight.

     
  • Avatar of The Original Chuck P

    I’m optimistic because when the bright lights turn on, we’ll still have Halladay, Lee and Hamels. Those three are at their best when it matters most. Right now, nothing matters… besides staying healthy. There is NOTHING to play for besides maybe 100 wins… this team struggles when there is nothing to play for. Last year, the Giants were really hot… they were a buzz saw. This year, I don’t see any buzz saws in the NL… I just don’t see it… we should be fine with what we’ve got.

    Shane has appeared to be a bit off – a little longer in his swing, a little less pop… I would like to believe that it’s nothing a little R&R can’t fix. Get these guys rested, let them hit the weight room a little harder and spend a little more time taking BP and work towards getting them back into the game for that final Mets series.

     
    • Posts: 576 Brian Sr. of CO

      Avatar of Brian Sr. of CO

      I am not so sure about there not being a “buzz saw” honestly. The Cardinals (granted the Braves continue to suck and Cards overtake them) are playing DAMN GOOD baseball.

       
  • Posts: 0 Original Jeff

    Yea because all three looked sharp against the Nats lol

     
    • Posts: 576 Brian Sr. of CO

      Avatar of Brian Sr. of CO

      Hey Einstein, or should I say Troll, or maybe just Bandwagoner…I hear the Braves are looking for fans right now. May I suggest finding the closest Braves blog? We would appreciate that! I mean, since the Phillies are playing so poorly, and the Braves are playing so great! I mean since the Phillies are barely holding onto the Wild Card by half a game, with a complete inability to win with ALL of their starters in, and the Braves have all of there minor leaguers playing and have the NL East, and #1 seed locked up, that would be a good team to cheer for…Oh I am sorry, I was confused (much like you). The Braves apparently can’t win a game with ALL of their starters playing holding onto the Wild Card (for now) by only 1.5 games with the Cardinals playing very good baseball. LOL.

       
  • Posts: 0 bacardipr05

    Well the season is almost over at this point. Im not so sure rest will help much maybe a little to be honest. Its baseball yes it has a certain degree of athleticism and it can be a little strainous but it isnt like they are taking brutal punishment. In fact 80% of the time players are just standing still or sitting. I am more worried about some freak accident to one of the starters or any of the Aces/Worley. They have to get mentally prepared

     
  • Posts: 0 bacardipr05

    strenuous

     
  • Posts: 0 Chief Bender

    I’m concerned about this team’s ability to produce runs in the postseason…and frankly, the bullpen in tight games. This batting slump does not bode well…not trying to be doom & gloom here but if I’m not mistaken they will play Arizona 1st round and winning that series is not a given the way this team is hitting..regardless of Halladay & Lee. I can see this team easily losing 3-2 and 4-3 games. It’s been a great year but the NL pennant is not a lock for this club.

     
 
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