This came after the Phillies put on another putrid show on offense in their 6-2 loss to the Marlins in their home opener.
The numbers haven’t been pretty so far for the Phils’ offense. They are batting .198 , and they are averaging two runs per game. Three doubles and a home run is all they could muster in extra-base hits in the four games they played. They have a hard time of hitting with runners in scoring position.
This isn’t surprising. This is what happens when the team loses two of their best sluggers to start the season in Ryan Howard and Chase Utley. It’s hard to get a big hit when they are not playing.
Still, all should not be lost. It’s only four games. There is going to be peaks and valleys for the Phillies this season. The hitters deserve at least couple of months to get as many as at-bats as they need for them to perform. Charlie Manuel will eventually sort of it out with his lineup.
The Phillies are going to hit, but these low-scoring games are going to be what they have to get used to all year. They have to find ways to win 3-2 or 4-1. They won’t be outslugging other teams to win games with Utley and Howard not playing.
If anything, this is a good thing. This gives the team a chance to know how to win close games that is going to be required to win in the postseason. They need to know how to make other pitchers work, manufacture runs and utilize speed on the basepaths. It would also give some of their young hitters an opportunity to prove themselves.
Fortunately, they have the luxury of a couple months to go until they get it all together. That’s the beauty of playing 162 games in a season.
It is not pleasant now. It’s going to be tough to win games early on with teams have better offense than them. In yesterday’s game, the Marlins had hitters who could execute well in situational hitting, not to mention stealing bases that put them in a position to score. That’s how they got off to a good start in this game, and how they won this game.
It’s going to take awhile until the Phillies can execute like the Marlins. Hunter Pence will hit and be a base stealer as the season progresses. It comes down to Juan Pierre finding his way at the plate and figuring out if he has something left this year. The Phillies also have to hope Freddy Galvis can somehow hit major league pitching early and be a guy who can take the extra base.
The Phillies are hoping John Mayberry Jr. and Dominic Brown can evolve into good hitters. They are going to need them to be if this team has any chance win postseason games, especially if Howard and Utley are not playing like the All-Stars they are.
The key word is hope. If everything goes right, maybe the team will be more than fine.
That’s what makes this season fun in itself. It will be interesting how the Phillies manage to adjust life without Utley and Howard for awhile. It is going to be fun watching how the Phillies manage to play small ball all year long. They have to find out how long until they figure it out.
Manuel thinks everything will be okay. He is being paid to think that way, but he is already going to look at today’s off day to figure out what lineup he has to make to produce runs. Truth of the matter is he is hoping j like anyone else that the hitters start clicking. Problem is those guys may be complementary hitters. This is a team that does not have that many good runners outside of Pence.
Let’s call this a team that is learning to sort things out. To panic or to boo the team is not going to solve matters, especially when it’s only Apr. 10.
At this point, the pitching has to be perfect and the Phillies should score at least two or three runs a game. It’s feasible. They may not win as many as they used to, but they won’t be that bad, either.
It’s all about patience at this point. What other options do the Phillies have?