Monday, August 11, 2008


How many times have you gone to check a Phils score this season and ended up just shaking your head? How often do you think about the trajectory of this team's season and say, out loud, the following phrase, just like this:

I just. Don't. Get it.

Every time you think you have this team figured out, they go and surprise you. Just when they seemed to be hitting their mid-season stride, they went into a tailspin from the middle of June through the All-Star break. Then they got hot again, but still couldn't beat the Mets and the Marlins, something I figure they'll have to do at some point if they want to win this division. Now--and I can't believe I'm writing this, though some have been saying it for a while now--I have to ask:

Where on earth is the hitting?

Wasn't this team supposed to be an offensive powerhouse that was going to win a whole bunch of 10-8 games? Wasn't the starting pitching supposed to be the question mark?

Say it with me now: I just. Don't. Get it.

This past Thursday and Friday, the hitting machine that was supposed to be our batting order plated zero runs. Zero. Cole Hamels gave up two earned runs in six innings in Thursday's 3-0 loss to Florida. Then Joe Blanton, in his second straight magnificent start, gives up one hit and strikes out seven over seven innings. And we couldn't get him one lousy run.

To be shut out is embarrassing, to be shut out in extra innings is another thing. And to be shut out in extra innings by the Pittsburgh Pirates, well that's just downright shameful. With a lineup like ours, we should win every single game in which the starter gives up 3 or fewer. Probably even 4.

And yet, somehow, we're still in first place. And Jimmy Rollins seems to be finally waking up. His slumber might explain the dropoff in runs--when Jimmy doesn't set the table, there's no one for the big boys to bring home.

The pitchers are doing their job. Here's hoping the hitters remember how to do theirs.


Other musings: Those who tell you that the preseason record in football (or in any sport) matters is, with all due respect, an idiot. What matters is the sorting out of the depth chart and other individual performances. So I couldn't care less that the Birds lost their preseason opener. The only stats that matter to me: McNabb, 10 for 13, 97 yards, one touchdown.

Did you know that Bud Light, aside from having "superior drinkability" (see last week's post), also "keeps it coming"? What??? I just. Don't. Get it.