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Phillies Offensive Struggles Continue As Game Five Approaches

Last week, before the National League Division Series with the Cardinals began, I wrote that the Phillies are far and away the best team in baseball and that the only team that can beat them is themselves. Well, that’s exactly what they did in Game 2, tried to do in Game 3, and did again in Game 4.

The pitching staff has been awesome. There’s not much to write home about after that. The Phils’ “potent” lineup better be counting their lucky stars for their pitchers because, outside of a few innings in the series and one Ben Francisco swing, the hitters have not picked up their end of the bargain. That’s why they find themselves in the position they are in: a do or die Game 5 on Friday night in South Philadelphia.

The biggest problem at the plate has been the Phils’ astonishing lack of patience. It just seems like every time you look up, a Phillies batter is in an 0-2 count only two pitches into the at-bat. They always seem to be fighting from behind during at-bats and swinging at bad pitches. That is a way too undisciplined approached for this time of year, especially in the shortened 5 game NLDS.

It’s all about making the pitcher work and, quite frankly, the Phillies haven’t done near a well enough job of doing so. While formidable pitchers, they have made Jaime Garcia and Edwin Jackson, the former better than the latter, look like Cy Young caliber hurlers. Garcia and especially Jackson are not good enough to lock up the Phils’ lineup the way they did. Take for example, in Game 4 the Phillies first three batters reached on base hits but the team went 4-29 the rest of the game. That’s pretty dismal. The evidence is there, the Phillies need to fix their offensive approach before Friday’s Game 5.

Speaking of Game 5, how will it go?

The most obvious talking point is the pitching matchup. Halladay vs. Carpenter is a sexy matchup that will surely garner national attention, but should it?

I feel Halladay is light years ahead of Carpenter at this point in their careers. Halladay is going to be favored against almost every pitcher he squares off against but I feel this matchup is no contest. Carpenter isn’t what he was a few years ago. Granted it was on three days rest, but we all saw what the Phillies did to Carpenter in Game 2, sending him to the showers very early. He can deny it, but that has to be in the back of Carpenter’s mind. St. Louis has worked him hard down the stretch too, including 106 pitches in their season finale in Houston. Does he have anything left in the tank? Maybe. But maybe isn’t good enough when everything is on the line.

Halladay is far and away the surer bet for Game 5. Take out Lance Berkman’s three-run dinger and Halladay was dominant in Game 1. He had the Cardinals baffled for the rest of the game. This is what Roy Halladay was brought here for: to pitch in this game. You know he’s going to deliver. Having Cliff Lee come out of the bullpen is pretty good insurance too.

This one thing is for certain: ALL the pressure is on the Phillies. They haven’t shown up for the majority of the series and now they find themselves in this situation. They should be thankful they are in this situation. If it weren’t for Ben Francisco’s pinch-hit three-run home run in Game 3, they just might be getting ready to hit a golf course much earlier than expected. What do the Phillies have to lose? Everything.

What do the Cardinals have to lose? Nothing, and that makes them extremely dangerous. They weren’t expected to be here. No one thought they would be here. They are capable of shocking the world more than they already have. They have the odds on favorites on the ropes. They will be ready.

Citizens Bank Park will be packed and rocking on Friday night. Will the Phils send the Phaithful home happy? If the offense shows up then, yes, going away. If the offense continues on this slide it could be a whole different story and the dream season could turn into a nightmare faster than a two pitch groundout.

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Posted by on Oct 6 2011. Filed under BREAKING NEWS, General News, News, Phillies. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

10 Comments for “Phillies Offensive Struggles Continue As Game Five Approaches”

  1. Same thing I posted in a previous thread
    The PRESSURE is on the Phillies

    And I don’t feel good about the game for that reason

    They haven’t played well and you can’t turn it on just like that

    No matter how much the fans in the stands are behind them with towels cheers etc etc they have to do it themselves

    I doubt if any of them are anxious to play the game

  2. The Phillies will handle the pressure. Halladay will pitch a strong game and our hitters will come through. This is why you have home field advantage to win these games. Phillies will win 8 to 2. We aren’t going to let St Louis come in our house and beat us. I know they won one game in Philly but it won’t happen again. Tomorrow night will be a Halladay in Philly!!!!!!!!

  3. Did the Card’s Sweep the Phils at CBP a couple weeks back,
    They have a veteran team and will not be intimidated at all playing in Philly
    Cards win 4-2 beacuse they are simply the better team as this time that is playing it’s best ball when it counts..
    Halladay needs to have his A++ stuff tommorrow for the Phils to have any chance..

  4. Agree Paul

    The Doc needs a 9 inning shutout and hope that the Phillies can scrape up a run

  5. I said it before and I will say it again ,25 million a year man ,Howard is a friggin choker when it somes to the big games when the chips are on the table . He might get his 100 RBI”S and 35 or so HR’S during the regular season but come crunch time ,playoffs or world series he crawls in his hole and chokes “”Big Time”". Just for a reminder ,Whom owns the strike out record in the World Series , Ryan Howard with 17 ,in case you didn’t know !! And I saw his article on just recently on the internet that will make Howards striking out even more hurting for Phillies fans ;

    Ryan Howard had his 10th career three-strikeout game in the postseason, easily the most ever. Only one other player has more than half as many.

    Most 3-Strikeout Games, Postseason

    Ryan Howard

    10

    Reggie Sanders

    6

    Derek Jeter

    5

    Duke Snider

    5

    Reggie Jackson

    5

  6. Is this another Philadelphia “Dream Team” Sports Team that ended up a nightmare..I think Philly and us fans have seen the end of a good run by their Sports teams and are in line to have 10-15 years of below average and basement type of teams.. It’s just how the Cirlce of Life works and it’s good every so often to have a generation of sports fans suffer for a while, for it helps clean out the casual and bandwagon fans and helps keep the Philly faithful hard-core Fans intact…..

  7. Pman – next drinking conversation for you and me is our definition of Philly faithful hard core fans -

    Phils will win -and win big 10-0 wiht Halliday toying wiht a no-no – Haward is going to bust out and Rollins and Utley will continue to hit well —– (hard core and faithful – never a doubt)

  8. paulman, you have every right to be down on the birds but the Phillies too is just stupid, this is a 5 game series, anything can happen, the cardinals are a good team, we knew that and expected at least 4 games, possibly 5, well its here, doc is on the hill, Phillies home, and Phillies win, and you can calm down with all this gloom and doom, or at least save it for the eagles, in your words “good grief”.

  9. I love getting the hardcore-faithful fans a little fired up.. it’s how our Favorite Teams need to react…Get out their on the field and kick some ass and take no prisoners…

  10. Paulman, the Phils did not get swept by the Cards. The Phils beat the Cards 9-2 on Sept 17th tow sew up the NL East title. After that, the Phils took the foot off the gas a bit.

    However, the author of this article has not been watching the games apparently.

    The pitchers have been awesome? Maybe Doc and a gutty performance by Hamels, but Lee and Oswalt choked away leads–the one by Lee was particularly shocking as it was a 4 run lead after 2 innings. The bullpen hasn’t been bad–they have only give up those 2 runs after Hamels in Game 3.

    And the reason why a lot of Phils are 0-2 in the at bat ISN’T because they’re swinging at bad pitches–it’s because the Cards are throwing 1st pitch strikes and the Phils are just watching them go by. We’ll look at last night–the 1st inning with Jackson pitching–
    Rollins doubled off a 1st pitch fastball right down the middle of the plate
    Utley let the first pitch go by because it was out of the strike zone, but hammered the next fastball in the zone for a triple
    Pence hammered a first pitch fastball for a single–

    Then, inexplicably, Howard let’s a first pitch fastball, right down the heart of the plate go by for a called strike. This is their problem–they let the fat pitches go by, which then puts them at the pitcher’s mercy. That’s why you see Howard and Polanco especially swinging at outside pitches.

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