If the Philadelphia Phillies thought they were closing the gap between themselves, the Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals…they were mistaken. Following a sweep of the Braves earlier this month, there was talk that general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. would be considering trades to improve the team for a second half push.
Following a four-game sweep by that same Braves team, Amaro will (hopefully) come to grips with the idea of blowing it all up. In the series, the Braves hit 11 for 43 (.256) with runners in scoring position, but they didn’t even need to do that well. The Phillies answered by going 3 for 32 (.094) in the same situation. Even Amaro can see that this team is failing.
If those stats aren’t enough to get you on the “blow it all up” bandwagon, try these on for size. The Phillies, even with the 13-hit explosion today, went 35 for 139 (.252) in the series with 29 strikeouts and only 7 walks. If a player had that kind of month, you’d consider benching him, right? Well…unless you were the Phillies and that player was Ryan Howard.
Don’t get me wrong, there was a bright spot in this debacle of a series for the Phillies. When Amaro finally starts making some trades to reenergize the farm system, there will be one player that likely won’t be touchable – centerfielder Ben Revere. While he’s only hitting .289/.309/.354, his combination of speed and sudden increase in confidence in the lead-off spot are making for some good baseball. Of the previously mentioned 35 hits, Revere collected 9 of them in the series. Seriously.
Fear not, Phillies fans, there’s more baseball to be played. The Phils open a 10-game road trip on Tuesday with three against the Miami Marlins. A.J. Burnett (5-7) is scheduled to make the start Tuesday night, followed by Cole Hamels (2-4) on Wednesday, and Kyle Kendrick on Thursday.Tags: Baseball, MLB, Philadelphia, Philadelphia Phillies
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