I am trying to stay completely in tune with the whole Phillies season with this blog and my podcasts. What I have noticed here in the second series of the year with the Phillies is this is the second 'quality start' this one by Adam Eaton, which goes along with another by Cole Hamels when the Phillies had good pitching, but in the end lost it eventually do to one reason or another.
What is the current theme where the Phillies can't hold a lead? Nothing is a sure lock, but when the Phillies have a lead you can never figure the game to be in the bag as a win until the game is officially over. They are finding these 'black holes' so to speak where they open the door to teams to come back and beat them in the late innings.
Last year it was very much like this. A nail biter to end of every game. This shouldn't be from a team that is going to win the division if they are to do so. The Phils must some how break this terrible habit. How will they do it? That is the question.
The other day in the Philadelphia Inquirer, readers got to ask Ryan Howard questions. Click here to read about it. That's great, because the questions didn't just ask, "How did you feel when you hit that towering homerun?" - no the questions came from the readers and I am most disappointed with Howard's first answer to what should have been a softball sized question that Ryan could have hit out of the park with the right answer. The question simply was, "Given the choice would you prefer to be a Phillie your entire career?" Howards simple answer: "That's not up to me." Wow, talk about a serious head trip. If it isn't up to you, who is it up to? Players like this even though it is Ryan Howard are more indicative of the 'me' first type player, one who doesn't care about 'team' he cares about 'me'. Here's someone who went on a preseason tour two years ago, was really happy about making the big league team, now he barely makes the radar as a 'happy Phillies player.' He won a big decision in the offseason and 'that's not up to me' is about all you can get out of him as an answer about his team, the Phillies. Instead of Howard saying, "Sure, Philly is a great town, they've made me the ballplayer that I am today' or something like that, he swung and missed and that is a shame.
Rich Baxter / Fightin' Phils blog