Friday, July 25, 2008

Phils Fall; Rollins Benched Again

It was bad enough that the Phillies wasted a stellar effort from Jamie Moyer yesterday, en route to losing to the hated Mets by a score of 3 - 1 to fall out of first place in the NL East.

He was late to the game.

This means that Rollins has now broken both of manager Charlie Manuel's rules for the team:

1.) Hustle
2.) Be on time.

Remember, that incident back in June? The one where Rollins didn't run out a ball that ended up falling in for a hit and Rollins, one of the fastest players in the league, only managed to get to first because he didn't run things out? Manuel benched Rollins then in favor of Eric Bruntlett and he did it again yesterday.

And I have no problem with it.

Rollins personifies the type of season this team is having right now. Rollins is incandescent at times and invisible other times. And if we really want to start naming names, let's talk about the second baseman. Chase Utley is hitting a mere .217 since the All-Star break and frankly looks lost at the plate. He and Ryan Howard combined to go 0 for 7 with 6 strikeouts between them.

No, there is something wrong with this team. And what is scary is that it's the part of the team that is supposed to be automatic, which is, the offense. While it is a bit too early to hit the panic button, it is not too early to be very, very concerned about the direction of this team from now until the end of the year. The offense has still not come around and the best part of the team in the 1st half, the bullpen, has now surrendered two straight losses.

This team will hit; no doubt about that. But when they start, will it be enough?

As for yesterday's game, Moyer went 7 strong innings, giving up 1 run on 2 hits. The game was lost when JC Romero came in, gave up a two-out, 2-run double to Carlos Delgado in the bottom of the 8th inning. The only Phils offense was supplied by (surprise!) a solo home run (from Jayson Werth).

The Phils come home for a weekend series with the Atlanta Braves this evening. Probable pitching matchups:

Fri: Kyle Kendrick vs. Jair Jurrjens
Sat: Cole Hamels vs. Jo-Jo Reyes
Sun: Joe Blanton vs. Jason Campillo

(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

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