Friday, July 25, 2008

Manuel Losing His Team - Phils Lose Lead.

In their last nineteen games the Phillies have posted a mediocre 10-9 record. After the most recent series with the New York Mets, the Phillies saw their 1st place lead slip out of their hands.

What's wrong with our Phillies?

First their changes aren't working. Over the past month the Phillies acquired Joe Blanton from the Oakland Athletics, demoted and then brought back up starter Brett Myers, and change up the lineup on more than one occasion to try to spark the offense. Unfortunately none of these moves have worked so far.

Chase Utley has all but disappeared from the lineup with a .243 batting average and only 5 RBIs this month. It looks like the MVP three peat could be in jeopardy if he doesn't snap out of it quick. And Jimmy Rollins is slowly erasing all memories of his MVP status as he was benched for the second time this season because of his inability to take the game seriously.

Manager Charlie Manuel has managed to get his team in such a funk that they seem to be disinterested in competing. At this point he appears to be over-managing the games in hopes of getting lucky. Unfortunately for the fans, Manuel isn't all that good at managing regularly, so the idea of over-managing is scary.

He's appears to be so lost that after benching Rollins for the game on Thursday, he had him pinch hit against Billy Wagner, who Rollins has never connected off of. If he was planning on using Rollins at all as a pinch hitter, the appropriate time would have been in the eighth against Aaron Heilman with two men on instead of Jason Werth who struggles against right handed pitching.

Manuel is floundering at this point and appears unable to motivate a team that appears to have let MVP awards and a first place lead get in their heads. The Phils need to snap out of it quick, and it's up to Charlie to make it happen.

Needless to say, this weekend's series against the Atlanta Braves is key to getting the team back on track. With the Mets heading to St. Louis and Florida over the next week, the Phils should have the opportunity to take back the NL East lead, but they will have to earn it. Anyone who is banking on another Mets collapse is out to lunch and should probably come back to reality.

These next two months are going to be interesting...(By Jon McLaughlin)

1 comment:

colonel said...

Who would have thought that old Charlie would make it all the way past mid season before people would start calling for his head. Well,so far they are not screaming very loudly, but up until now everybody seemed to love him. But, then, everybody loves a winner, just ask Andy Reid!