The Phillies were in a great spot down in Florida to get the job done, and tell the Florida Marlins who was in control of the National League East this weekend in Miami. That did not happen, the Phillies let the series slip away and lost the weekend series 2-1 against the younger, and more hungry Marlins.
After the win on Friday night, the Phillies stood to command the next two games and they stayed in the ball games on both Saturday and Sunday, but didn't do what they had to do to win. Now the Phillies find themselves in a tie with the Mets for first, and the Marlins breathing right down their necks only 1/2 game out of first.
Is this Phillies team the team to beat? They didn't play like it this weekend down in Florida! The former NL MVP, Jimmy Rollins, had a chance to score in the late innings on Sunday's game, but for some reason ran at half speed and only ended up a third, instead of scoring the go ahead run that would have been the win for the Phillies. I don't know how this could happen? How could a player like Rollins just pull up on a two out sure hit to center? Even the announcers for the game said the same thing, and on the replay they showed us why. Rollins wasn't giving it his all, this isn't the Jimmy Rollins we know.
Cole Hamels has had now three straight starts where the Phillies can't score runs to get him the win. Three games where they are struggling to produce. Pedro Feliz was a big 0-5 in this game, and he can't seem to get in sync with this offense despite him being one of the best third baseman of the last three years when it is all added up. He is hurting the Phillies offense, and Rollins just doens't have that spark in him that he had last year with his fervent, "We are the team to beat" attitude, if anything he's playing like he is beat. What has happened to Jimmy, perhaps he feels unappreciated by the Phillies in some manner, he was the MVP and yet doesn't really get featured that way by the team. Could this be the reason? Something has changed with Jimmy since his ankle injury and the Phillies should find out what that is and fix it.
Now the Phillies face those Mets again, with Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday games. I am anxious to see Blanton pitch for the Phillies, if he goes out there and gets batted around, the Phillies could be in deep trouble as they play they have been producing lately hasn't been too good. Adam Eaton went to the bullpen, and that's a good thing, he's been terrible all year despite people saying early on that he has had quality starts this year. The only quality start in my book is a win. That is what matters and that is what the Phillies need to start doing consistently again in order that they make the playoffs!
Rich Baxter - Fightin Phillies