Friday, September 29, 2006
Last Night’s Recap: For all intent and purpose the Phillies season came to an end last night in Washington. To put it mildly, it was a disastrous defeat and a disastrous series. While the Dodgers swept the Rockies, the Phillies dropped their second of three games to the Nats and suffered their third loss in four games. After a four and a half hour rain delay the Phillies utterly failed to get anything going against the Nats. Lieber didn’t pitch a great game, but he wasn’t bad either. The problem was the Phillies offense, which managed just five hits and two walks and couldn’t get a single extra-base hit. After playing so brilliantly, they choked at the most vital moment of the season.
The Nat’s Matt O’Connor pitched the Phillies well all season and he did a good job last night.
Series Preview: Phillies vs. Marlins. And so it all comes down to this. Tonight the Phillies will send Jamie Moyer to the mound to face-off with the Marlins. I’ve been impressed with Moyer’s performance since he joined the Phillies, though I was skeptical that the 40-year old pitcher would contribute much to the Phillies. I was wrong. He’s actually been a good mentor to Cole Hamels and he’s done a great job pitching. He has a 4.6 strikeout to walk ratio, and while he’s surrendered eight home runs, he’s been pretty tough to face. Moyer has also pitched the Marlins well this season. He’s started two games against them and won both, with a 3.86 ERA. He pitched well in his start at Dolphins Stadium, going eight innings and surrendering just one run on five hits, while getting four strikeouts and no walks. Tonight’s game is vital to the Phillies playoff chances, and I like having Moyer out there. He is a strong pitcher to be going tonight.
Tomorrow night the Phillies send Randy Wolf. Wolf pitched just one game against the marlins this season, going four and a third innings, surrendering three runs on three hits and five walks. Let’s hope that Randy does a better job than he did this year or last year, when he gave up a 7.71 ERA to the Marlins. I was reading in the Philly Metro paper that the Phils might switch things around and try to move Myers up to Saturday and fit Cole Hamels in for the final game of the season, but I am skeptical we’ll see that.
Sunday, should the Phillies still be in the hunt, the Phillies will send Brett Myers. Brett hurled twenty innings this season against the Fishstripes and went 1-1 with a 2.25 ERA. He gave up just two home runs and K’d 18 batters while walking just six. He’s a good guy to have closing out this season for the Phillies.
What is interesting to me is that matchup on the final day of the season. The Phillies close against Dontrelle Willis, the Marlins terrific pitcher. Yes, Willis has a 6.75 ERA against the Phillies this season, but he’s pitched much better than that indicates: he’s K’d 20 Phillies and walked just five. He also has a 1.13 WHIP and a .225 batting average against. Aside from giving up some big hits to the Phillies in those games, Willis has generally pitched the Phillies well. One thing: with how shaky the bullpen is these days, I’d expect to see Cole Hamels close out the game on Sunday if the Phillies hold the lead.
Wildcard Watch! … I am skeptical – as I am certain everyone else in the Delaware Valley is – about the Phillies chances this weekend because … well, I am a Phillies fan. We’ve seen this before. I feel that the decisive moment of the Phillies season was their 4-3 loss on Tuesday to the Nats, a loss than put them a game back with just six left, a loss that left them needing help to make the playoffs, rather than controlling their own destiny. Now, two games back with three left, the Phillies need the Dodgers to lose at least two of their three games this weekend and the Phillies have to sweep the Marlins. No margin of error here. And I don’t see that happening. I hope I am wrong, but I doubt it.
1. Los Angeles: 85-74
2. Philadelphia: 83-76 (2.0)
Monday I’ll post-mortem the Phillies – Marlins series. I’ll either be discussing the Phillies foe in the NLDS if they made the playoffs, or I’ll be discussing the Dodgers – Phillies playoff game, or (and let’s face it, this is the most likely) I’ll be giving a brief overview of the Phillies season before moving on to talk about the playoffs.
Keep reading A Citizen’s Blog, because even the end of the season won’t stop me from talking about the Phillies. I still have my Season In Review series, and I have a long-term project that I intend to unveil for everyone. Stay tuned!
Also, an outside possibility has San Diego losing three in a row putting them into a tie with the fightins.
Lets do this one day at a time.
Just think, this time tomorrow all we might be asking for is the Dodgers to lose 1 out of 2. That aint so bad.
Do not fire Charlie when it is too late, when the nucleus you have created is not longer intact, and when the possibilities of championships no longer exist.
Fire him now, so that this nucleus can be directed by a specialist rather than by a spectator.