It would be easy to get doomy and gloomy after this past weekend’s sweep, at home, at the hands of the Florida Marlins. I wouldn’t really blame you if you’re one of the folks who fits that description, but I can still tell you think I think you’re dumb as a rock if you’re legitimately worried.
Oh, sure, the Floridian Flippers have decided to be a pain in our side once again, but how is that different from any other year?
In 2008, the Marlins took two of three from the Phils – in Philadelphia – September 8-10 to put the Phightins 3.5 back in the division with 15 to play. The Phils would later take two of three in reciprocation.
In 2007, the Marlins also took two of three in a series down south to put the Phillies four games back on September 2. They would, once again, later take two of three from Florida at home, starting a 9-2 streak that catapulted the Phillies back toward the collapsing Mets.
Both of those were in September, even later than where we currently stand here in 2009, and with the Phils trailing in the division at the time. Even after the sweep and Florida’s win Monday night, the Fish are still 3.5 games behind, and five games back in the loss column.
This team is still in a great spot.
Notes and Thoughts
- It’s interesting to me that the Phillies opted to push Cliff Lee’s next start back to Thursday, but after thinking about it for a second, it ends up making a good deal of sense. By starting Happ Tuesday, Pedro Martinez Wednesday, Lee and Hamels are split and the rotation takes the form of Lee/Blanton/Hamels/Happ/Martinez. Will it stay that way for the playoffs? I don’t know.
- A six-man rotation never should have been considered. Amaro was right. Orel Hershiser is wrong. The argument for giving the pitchers rest is adequate, but having the quality of Lee, Hamels and even Blanton and Happ moved from once every five games to once every six is simply not beneficial. Clearly, this front office is still very loyal to Moyer, and that is likely the only reason Jamie has not been designated for assignment. By all conventional wisdom, Moyer will not be effective in his new role, but we’re still a ways away from Moyer being designated for assignment. Don’t expect Jamie to be with the club in 2010, however, in spite of his contract, barring injury.
- The Phillies will face Rich Harden tonight in Chicago. Harden struck out six Phillies over seven innings, surrendering one run, in a game his team eventually lost, 4-1. Harden, a strikeout pitcher, will probably have the same success tonight. Harden is second among all NL pitchers in K/9, with 10.73 punchouts per complete game. Against Harden and the rest of the top 10 in that department this year, the Phillies are 9-4 as a team with 66 K in 72.2 IP against. Some of those numbers are even favorably skewed by two good outings against Jorge de la Rosa. The Phils have not faced Yovani Gallardo, Max Scherzer or Chad Gaudin, who are also members of that top 10.