April 21, 2005

Phils must wise up against lowly Rox

The strategy should be simple – make Colorado pitching throw strikes.

Colorado Rockies pitching has surrendered a league-high 79 walks this season. Their bullpen is by far the worst in baseball, featuring such stiffs as Byung-Hyun Kim, Jose Acevedo and a motley crew to man the hull in their heroic quest for 50 wins.

It can’t be said any clearer than this: the Phillies must beat teams like the Rockies at home. Last night represented Colorado’s first road win since Sept. 29 of last season.

It’s unclear, even to the broadcast crew, whether Charlie Manuel is giving his hitters the go ahead, but it seems the green light is shining brightly these days. Ideally, you want your batters to hit the ball into play, but in the last couple nights, opposing pitchers haven’t been throwing strikes, and in a number of situations, looking for the walk would have been smartest approach to keep rallies alive. The Phils drew seven of them last night, and could have drawn seven more against Kim, Brian Fuentes and Acevedo alone.

Right now, Jim Thome is pressing to hit his first home run, and his impatience is starting to hurt the club. Here’s last night’s inning 7, with the score 6-1 Rox.

- J. Acevedo relieved J. Wright - C. Sullivan in right field
– M. Lieberthal homered to deep left
– J. Offerman hit for R. Madson
– J. Offerman doubled to center
- J. Rollins grounded out to second, J. Offerman to third
– K. Lofton singled to center, J. Offerman scored
- B. Fuentes relieved J. Acevedo
- B. Abreu hit by pitch, K. Lofton to second
- J. Thome flied out to right
- P. Burrell walked, K. Lofton to third, B. Abreu to second
- P. Polanco hit for C. Utley - P. Polanco popped out to right

If you didn’t watch the game, the Rockies bullpen was as bad as advertised, featuring a number of wild throws and pitches that flew behind hitters. Poly haters can use this opportunity to jump all over him for ending the inning with a pop fly, but I’m going to jump on Thome, our $13 million veteran. Abreu was beamed when the count was full. Why, then, is Thome swinging on the very next pitch?

Here’s my question: Does Manuel pull Big Jim aside to have a little talk, even though it might create for an awkward situation on the dingy when the two go fishing? After all, comfort, and letting players play their game, is the key, right?

For this veteran offense, it’s time to play consistent baseball instead of stringing together peaks and valleys.


At 9:51 PM, Blogger That Dude said...

If u really wana be sick over Phillie decisions, take a look at Easy Ramirez's stats with Triple A Louisville. Cory Lidle is ok, but this kid is gonne ba a stud.

At 9:43 AM, Blogger Jason Weitzel said...

I've read good stuff about Easy. He was up with the Phils for a little last year in kind of a bizarre roster move. I'm OK with the Phils trading prospects though.

At 10:19 AM, Blogger el123chico said...

if that guy's name really is "easy" he just became my new favorite player.


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