A lot can happen in a week. You can go from the team to beat, as quoted by JRoll, to the team that can't stop getting beat in a matter of a week. As the second week of the season begins the "Phillies Suck" bandwagon is getting really crowded. Just a week ago everybody was on the playoff bandwagon but the wheels feel off that about two days ago. There is still plenty room for optimism but Philly fans are not easy to please and right now is not a good time to be part of the Phillies organization. At least the Phils won't pick up a loss today, cause today is an off day. I think its a good time to take a look at the seasons first 7 games as a whole and take a look at the bad and the good, which isn't much. First I want to state that the Phillies slogan going in to this season could be the worst ever. I thought the 76ers "Its a Philly thing" was bad but no this is worse. "Goosebumps, free with every ticket." Oh thanks. Thanks for the goosebumps I get every time Madson or Geary step on the mound, its a real pleasure. I get goosebumps every time the bases are loaded with one out and we ground into a double play. Its a great feeling, and those are not goosebumps. Those chills and bumps you get when the Phils do something really embarrassing are called, Douche chills. The slogan should be Douche chills, free every time you watch a game. Anyway I'm going to start with the good. Jimmy Rollins and Pat Burrell are off to a pretty good start. Burrell is batting .385 with 5 RBI. Rollins is batting .269 with 3 HR's and 6 RBI. On the flip side of Rollins getting off to an okay start, he had a costly error in NY yesterday and really hasn't stepped up to take charge and be the leader of the Phils. He was running his mouth during spring training but now that the Phils are 1-6 he's quiet as a church on Tuesday. Instead of being a little fiery and trying to get this ball club a little bit heated, he just said this kind of stuff happens. "You have times when you're up and times when you're down, and right now we're down," Rollins said, smiling. "But if we can get up and get things rolling, it's going to be a helluva season." Oh well lets hope you guys decide to get rolling soon. Cause right now your out of gas on a hill and rolling backwards into the bottom of the NL with the likes of the Nationals. They are digging themselves into a hole that come September they might not be able to get out of. But all is good in the clubhouse. It's just frustrating that there is no leader or voice of this team. No one out in front that is upset with the way they are playing. Instead you get, this happens, and we'll turn it around, we have a really good team this season. Ummm, no you don't. They are playing all around terrible baseball. It's the same old song and dance with this team. For another good note the starting rotation isn't too bad. Yes Adam Eaton struggled and so did Segovia but Garcia should be back soon hopefully to give some relief there. But Cole Hamels and Brett Myers have pitched well. If it wasn't for our terrible bullpen Cole would be 2-0 right now.
Now let's move to the meat and potatoes of the Phillies problems. Bullpen and hitting with RISP. Their bullpen is hor-ren-dous. Ryan Madson is already 0-2. Geoff Geary aka the alien from the movie Mac and Me, it was a good movie when I was a kid, has already blown an important game. Oh did I mention Lieber has a ERA of 27.0. Now for the offense. The Phillies as it stands today are the worst team with RISP. They are batting less than .200 with RISP and have a league high 68 runners LOB. I actually read a Phillies blog yesterday that asked what is wrong with the Phillies? They answered by saying "not a whole lot." The blog writer went on to say how the Phillies rank second in the N.L. in On-Base-Percentage (OBP) at .360, and they are sixth in slugging percentage. I'm so glad we are second in OBP. But there is a little problem, OBP doesn't matter if all those runners are left on base. That is a huge problem. Clutch hitting is something this team lacks and has lacked for years. Here's another problem. When your starting pitcher hands you the keys to the game when your up 5-4 , you don't drive the game into ground giving up 7 runs in the 8th inning. Its a problem, a huge problem. We haven't even delved into Ryan Howard and Chase Utley yet. I'm not fully ready to go bashing on either but they both are struggling right now. Howard is continuing his poor performance that started this spring and is batting .222 right now and has made some costly errors on the field this year. Most notably when he ran over Nunez in yesterdays game. It looked like a scene out of the Bad News Bears, it was embarrassing. Utley also has been pretty much non existent when he's up to bat. He's batting .258 and has knocked in 3 RBI. But again I really believe that they will turn it around. It is going to take Manuel making the right decisions, and some help form Gillick making a move here or there to get some bullpen help. There are a lot of games left to play, but these first 15-20 games could cost the Phils the wild card in September.