I thought I was being reasonable when I predicted a couple of weeks ago that the Phillies would finish in 3rd place. I thought the Nationals and the Marlins would be bad enough that the Phillies would be able to muster enough victories to be a middle of the division team.
It appears as if I am going to be wrong. This team sucks. Unless something dramatically changes, they won't be able to finish in front of anybody.
Here are the current ERAs owned by the pitching staff: Brett Myers at 3.06 (good), Corey Lidle at 5.00 (bad), Gavin Floyd at 6.75 (worse), Jon Lieber at 7.99 (and he's our #1 starter), and Ryan Madson at 8.36 (my five year old daughter could do better). Their combined ERA is 6.24.
The bullpen? Save Rheal Cormier and Tom Gordon, it isn't much better.
Four of the Phillies eight starting position players are batting over .300. Rollins is just below that mark after a recent slump. Sounds good, right? They are batting .186 as a team with runners in scoring position. Way to come through when it counts, guys.
Of course, there's our manager, too. How many times will Shane Victorino replace Pat Burrell in the last third of the game? How stupid must Manuel be? Compare the numbers. Burrell is batting .250, Victorino .182. Burrell has 6 homeruns with 13 batted in, Victorino hasn't registered one of either yet. Burrell isn't that fast. So what? How many times are you looking to run in a tight game anyway? The Phillies have only 3 stolen bases as a team this year. Manuel's in-game decision making is horrible.
This team sucks.
It's time for a fan strike. They are a whopping 2-8 at home. They aren't a product the city of Philadelphia should endorse. Don't go to the games! It's time we send a message! We won't stand for this any more! Let's unite!
What are our demands? Fire Charlie Manuel. Get some pitchers who can keep the team ERA under 4. OK- maybe 5. Well, even under 6 would be an improvement. Teach some of those guys in the lineup how to come through in a meaningful situation.
It's time, ladies and gentlemen. Enough is enough. Philadelphia is behind only New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Houston in market size. So why does our team continually perform as if they are from Pittsburgh or Kansas City?