Michael/Male/26-30. Lives in United States/Pennsylvania/Wexford/Christopher Wren, speaks English. Spends 20% of daytime online. Uses a Fast (128k-512k) connection. And likes baseball /politics.
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Monday, August 01, 2005

Do or Die... 

With the passing of the trading deadline we've entered the Do-or-Die portion of the season. This is the stretch run that the Phillies have to cover to make the playoffs. The last two seasons this is where the Phillies have faltered, so let's see what happens.

Am I surprised that the Phillies were to passive at the trading deadline? Not really. I'm actually glad because I didn't want to see the team do something boneheaded like make a deal for Pirates centerfielder Matt Lawton, one of the worst defensive outfielders in baseball. The Phillies held on to Wagner and Howard and their prospects.

Part of the reason why the Phillies didn't do much was because other teams didn't do much: this was one of the most passive trading deadlines I've ever seen. Whatever happened to a blockbuster deal like last year's moves by the Red Sox to send Nomar to Chicago? So many teams think they are in the thick of a pennant race that nobody wanted to be the MLB's Sam's Club, selling players for discounted prices. Even the Pirates, usually sellers at this stage of the season, were pretty passive.

Well, with 56 games left the Phillies are doing alright: taking 3 of 4 from the Rockies nicely salvaged the sweep in Houston and landed the Phillies 2.5 games out of the wildcard. At the moment the Phillies are 6.5 back of the surging Braves who look to capture their (yawn) 13th, 14th, 15th ... whatever ... pennant. Growl.

Aside from a four game set with the Nats the Phillies will send the month facing off with NL West and Central teams. This is the team for the team to strike:

Record vs.
Central & West: 28-17 (.622)
East: 20-26 (.434)

See you tomorrow.

Can’t help to think it was do or die in Houston, but they managed to take 3-4 from the Rockies. Still I’m not overly hopeful at this point. Maybe Bobby will wake up. Maybe Thome will come back healthy and put the team on his back for the last few weeks. Maybe Liberthal will have his late season streak of good hitting. But that’s way too many maybes to hope for. I can’t help but think this team is going to fade away.

I think they could make it, I just can’t see them making it if that makes any sense. Either way I still love this team and I’ll live and die with every pitch
Interesting that all of the maybes had to do with hitting (I won't touch the irony of Thome carrying the team on his back). How about: maybe Lieber will return to early season form, maybe Lidle will begin to pitch well again, maybe Padilla will pitch like he did two years ago...

I'm not usually as bitter as I am this year, but I've grown tired of the typical Phillies behavior. They hang around enough to make it interesting. When they go on a losing streak and its just about time to say bring up all of the prospects, they win a bunch of games and are back in it. Then repeat. And in the end, disappoint.

I'd love for a final two months with them playing like I know they can play, I'm just not holding my breath.
Heck, it's a game of failure. We're headed to a third straight winning season, and have a good shot at the playoffs. We cant all be the Braves, I suppose.
Well yeah I think hitting is a big problem with this team. Which may not make sense but here the thing. No one on this staff has ever been consistent. Lieber hasn’t been since he had Tommy John. Lidle never has been, Padilla never has been, Myers is having his first really good year and Tejeda is a rookie. I’m not going to expect that all of a sudden they are going to be consistent now.

But all the things I said about the hitting have happened in the past. Libby seems to save his best hitting for the last month in the season. Bobby goes into these funks and breaks out of them, Thome has carried the team with his bat.

I’m not really that bitter about the team. It’s all about perspective. If baseball did their playoffs like the NFL The Phillies would have been a playoff team 2 of the last 3 years I think and would be right in it again this year. These teams Wade has put together are a lot more fun to watch then most of the teams I grew up watching. I like Ed Wade and I like this team. I just want to be in some playoff baseball again. That to me would be enough.
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