By: Seth Everett
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Just a few days ago, there was champagne in the clubhouse. Two days later, the Phillies clinched home-field advantage throughout the 2011 playoffs. On the radio & on this blog, I have talked about how much I wish it was October already.
Judging from the St. Louis series, and the Double-Header, the Phillies are treading water as well. They lost 3 of 4 to the hot Cardinals, and then got swept Tuesday vs. Washington.
Hunter Pence tweaked his knee, Carlos Ruiz hurt his ankle.
Pence will have an MRI today to determine the damage. He apparently has Patella Tendinitis. Chase Utley has the same thing.
Charlie Manuel stated that Pence didn’t hurt himself on one particular play, but that it’s been a gradual thing. Then why was he still in the game during the 6th inning? Pence has played every inning since being acquired from Houston. These games are meaningless! Originally his name was in the lineup for the 2nd game, only to have trainers recommend he sit. It took trainers to get him to rest?
Remember, these games are (say it) MEANINGLESS!
That brings me to Cliff Lee. Don’t worry he’s not hurt. He lost Tuesday after throwing 120 pitches. Take the message from the last paragraph and ask if it would have been ok for him to throw 90 pitches. He may be in the top 3 for the Cy Young, but I’m more interested in how he pitches in October as opposed to late September.
The bullpen is a big concern at this point. Antonio Bastardo continues to lack confidence, and Michael Stutes isn’t all the way back from his struggles as well. Those two are young, and I have heard rumblings that they are tired. I don’t believe that to be true, but rather that they have hit a wall. I want to see them both snap out of it before October 1st.
Brad Lidge has actually pitched well. One point I have raised on the radio is that with his swing role, he tends to come in during the middle of innings, as opposed to starting an inning when he was a closer. Considering he primarily relies on a slider as opposed to his missing fastball, I worry about him coming in with men on base, after Stutes or Bastardo got into trouble.
Let me ask the Phillies a favor. Can we just finish the final 8 games without an extended losing streak, and no more injuries? Can it really be that simple?
I was on Newsradio 1060 KYW with Matt Leon at 12:45p.m. & 3:45 p.m. to discuss these concerns.
I’ll also be on SportsRadio 94 WIP with Rob Ellis Wednesday night at 6:40 p.m. to preview tonight’s game.
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