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Week In Review – Survival Is the Key

Posted by Kieran Carobine, Sun, May 06, 2012 04:00 PM | Comments: 11
Posts, Week in Review

Cliff Lee could start Wednesday against the Mets.

As frustrating as this week has seemed, the Phillies can still come out after tonight’s game 4-3 for the week.  A win tonight also helps the Phils avoid the sweep at the hands of the NL East Washington Nationals.  There were a couple bad tasting losses this week; both extra inning affairs with Atlanta and the Nats.

There are a lot of things ailing the Phillies.  Charlie Manuel has to better use his bullpen I think.  I have never been more uncomfortable with him calling for Joe Savory and Brian Sanches.  Jonathan Papelbon has been very good this season going a perfect nine for nine in saves, but it seems Manuel is skeptical about using him for more than one inning.

The offense has been clicking better lately.  There are still times where the bats disappear and it seems like a million runners get stranded.  Manuel has tried countless lineups to see what works best.  It is probably in his best interest to find one and stick with it.  This will give the guys he is using to have regular swings and looks.  It’s hard for a guy to come off the bench one day, and then play the next.  Consistency is key.

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The Phillies have been battling injuries all season.  Chase Utley and Ryan Howard never made the Opening Day roster and are still sitting on the DL.  Cliff Lee was added a couple weeks ago and now Jim Thome and David Herndon join the group.  Utley and Howard could be back soon and Lee is throwing BP sessions looking for a return.

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Being part of PN is following your beloved Phillies into battle.  And we love it when you do.  The PN fan base made their annual trip to DC this past weekend.  We took 13 buses and over 800 people to the Nation’s capital.  Check out some of the pictures from all the fun.

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Game Notes

Worley impressive again

Offense, bullpen come up big

Chipper ends wild game

Blanton spares pen, throws CG

Free baseball not friendly to Phils

Nationals continue dominance over Phils

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We are still not in panic mode.  We are in survival mode.  If the Phillies keep everyone at an arm’s reach, they will be just fine once everyone gets back from injuries.  So everyone just calm down.

Go Phillies.  Sunday night baseball tonight against the Nationals!

Avatar of Kieran Carobine

About Kieran Carobine

Kieran Carobine has written 180 articles on Phillies Nation.

Kieran has been writing since 2010 and is based in Virginia Beach.

 
 
  • Posts: 0 George

    I disagree with you on Papelbon. This early in the season you don’t risk using your closer later by pitching him too much in early May. One need only look at the Braves’ bullpen failures late last year to know that relievers CAN be overworked.

    Also, though everyone cringes at Savery and Sanches, there really aren’t too many decent arms available right now. Stutes is on the DL as well as Herndon, and at least those two are more experienced and possibly better.

    I agree, but only somewhat, with your wanting Manuel to pick a lineup and stick with it. But he has to find one that works, first. Also, with platoons at 1st and LF, it’s not ever going to be a set lineup. Pierre and Mayberry have completely different skillsets and will have to bat in different lineup spots. That will affect every other player’s spot.

    I do believe that if the team can just tread water until some key players return, they should be okay. They still may need to get a bullpen arm, though.

     
  • Posts: 0 George

    To whoever is in charge concerning duplicate comments: If your site worked better, I wouldn’t have to hit the submit button twice. The first time I hit it, absolutely nothing happened. Things are just too pathetically slow loading on PN.

     
  • Posts: 0 Jaron B

    I am not in panic mode; we’re surviving well w/o Utley and Howard. I hope one or both return in 4-6 weeks. As for Charlie, he’s doing an ok job with what little his guys are doing, but there are improvements needed:

    (1) OBP: we need to work counts and walk more. Howard gets about 100 BB (25% are IBB) a year. Ultey gets hit about ten times a year. That’s a lot of free pass production gone to injuries. However, Rollins is the lead-off man now, the player that should get much of the blame for not stepping up and working out BBs. Also, Charlie has to get these guys working counts and using scouting reports. Is simulated BP a solution for some of these guys? Could be.

    (2) XBH/ SLG: I see a lot of doubles and a few homers from these guys from time to time. One point I want to make is that as long as you string hits together, 2B and HRs are not needed as much. On average, how many guys in the line-up hit in one game? About 3-5. That’s not going to get it done.

    (3) Line-up: if guys are not hitting, can you blame Charlie for having so many different line-ups? No. He also has a lot of bench depth and needs to use them regularly.

    (4) Chooch: He’s the best hitting catcher in the game right now, but you can’t put him out there as often as Charlie is now. We saw the Braves organize their line-up around McCann (a catcher). That didn’t work out due to fatigue. Charlie appears to be using Chooch too much: some minor injuries suffered behind the plate have occurred recently, illustrating this point. Charlie should limit Chooch to catching for the three aces, while Scooch catches Worley, Joe & Kendrick.

    (4) Bullpen: Only Papelbon is stepping up. Bastardo regressed big time. Contreras is starting to come around, but he has his nights. Qualls and Herndon (fly-ball pitchers) are struggling in hitter-friendly ballparks like CBP. There are injuries. The guys lack confidence. What can Charlie do about that? Not much. He can’t throw Pap out there all the time. He CAN ask Papelbon about getting a multi-inning save once in a while, yes. Rube should call Francona and ask about that. What can Charlie really do besides asking just a little more out of Pap? Not much more if you ask me.

    (5) Rotation: One criticism of Charlie here: he should have put his foot down and said “NO” to Lee in San Fransisco. He put his foot down with Halladay on opening day. Otherwise, Charlie is doing well here. And the rotation has recently exceeded my expectations after Joe’s CG-SO the other day in Atlanta. That is a perfect example of the fact that ANYTHING can happen in a grueling, six-month regular-season schedule. The Phillies CAN survive and will have a shot at the NL East for the sixth consecutive season after Utley and Howard return. I give Charlie a B- for the season so far.

     
    • Posts: 0 George

      Regarding #4 on your list (the one concerning Ruiz, not the other #4 about the bullpen): I think Manuel hasn’t overworked Ruiz at all. Schneider has worked several times so far; Ruiz isn’t playing one bit more frequently than he did last season. He gets usually one day off every five games, sometimes more when day games follow night games, or when games aren’t scheduled.

      It’s true catcher is an injury prone position, but you can’t pull your best hitter (currently) just because he might possibly get worn down. Catching only the top three would be fine if Schneider could hit his way out of a paper bag.

      Charlie has always tried to give Ruiz as much time off as possible. Even at present, when he’s the top guy in the lineup, Ruiz has had a few days off in the Phils’ twenty plus games.

       
      • Posts: 0 Jaron B

        Need to give Scooch and Kratz some at-bats to see what they’re capable of. Charlie needs to watch Chooch closely though but right now, you play the hot hand.

         
      • Posts: 0 Jaron B

        Chooch has a sore hand. Tell me now that he isn’t overworked and that Scooch & Kratz haven’t had a chance to shine.

         
  • Posts: 0 Jeff Dowder

    I think if they use Papelbon two or three innings a game they may solve their pesky bullpen problem.

     
    • Posts: 0 chuck s

      Your joking right, Jeff?

       
      • Posts: 0 Jeff Dowder

        Of course.

         
  • Posts: 0 bacardipr05

    Savery needs more work his career is flip flopped between position player and pitcher. He did look good at times up there. I think he has potential and can be a emergency PH as well Kendrick filled in admirably for Lee, except his first start which was kind of expected.

     
    • Posts: 0 George

      Savery needs more work, but it should probably be in the minors. Trouble with that, though, is that they’d have to call up another probably more inexperienced arm to take his place. I like the idea of him pinch-hitting, though. He might actually be better than some of those other guys they’ve been using. Another idea here is that he could replace a pitcher whose spot is due up without having to be hit for himself. Charlie should try that sometime.

       
 
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