Friday, April 06, 2007
Well, that just figures.
The ’07 Phillies opened the campaign with a 0-3 start to the Atlanta Braves. Yesterday’s game was a fiasco from start to end. Eaton went just four and two-thirds, surrendering eight runs (seven earned), on seven hits and four walks. Astonishingly, the bullpen actually successfully shut the braves down, holding them to a pair of hits and a walk while striking out nine Braves for the rest of the game. Expect to see a lot more of Antonio Alfonseca in the future after the struggles of Gordon and Madson in the first two games as Charlie Manuel searches for a solution.
As for Charlie Manuel, people will predictably assail his decision-making, asking why he chose to leave Brett Myers in on Opening Day to face Edgar Renteria. I wouldn’t fault Manuel at all, he’s a smart guy who made a solid decision on opening day: your pitcher is virtually unhittable, so why not leave him in and see what he can do against a light-hitting shortstop?
The weakness of the 2007 Phillies lies in their porous bullpen. That’s pretty apparent, so I’d expect to see Pat Gillick move immediately to shore up this weak point. Yesterday, for example, they acquired minor-leaguer Francisco Rosario from the Toronto Blue Jays for cash. Perhaps Gillick will try to deal Aaron Rowand to the Padres again for Scott Linebrick?
So the Phillies are off to an 0-3 start. You can’t put too much stock into the opening series of the season. The Pittsburgh Pirates are 3-0 right now and does anyone expect them to win the N.L. Central? Take a deep breath and relax Phillies fans. The season is a marathon, not a sprint.
So what is next for the Red Pinstripes? A trip to Florida to duel with the Marlins, themselves 2-1. Going tonight for the Phillies is Jamie Moyer, exactly the tonic the Phillies need, a veteran pitcher who will be unfazed by the yelling and screaming and will concentrate on what the Phillies really need: a win.
Have a nice weekend, everyone!