Friday, June 14, 2013

Certain plays explain problems with Phillies so far

Young scooted around Minnesota Twins catcher Joe Mauer, but was out 

There were a couple plays from last night's game that stood out in my mind on why the Phillies are not doing too well this season. Yes, they did get the win last night by a score of 3-2, but the game last night shed some light on what is wrong with this year's team.

There was a close play at first base last night, it was really important for the Phillies to get this out, and the throw to Ryan Howard at first base appeared to be in time to get the runner, who was called safe. There was no protest from Howard, he just went about his business as if nothing happened on the play. It was so clear that the runner was out and first basemen especially have a knack to know if a throw beats a runner.

If the first baseman doesn't react, then the manager can't react usually. The play, which was very important, just got swept under the Phillies 'dirty carpet' of stuff that happens like this. Charlie Manuel doesn't want to argue a play that his player doesn't even react to so why would he? Ho hum, it's just another play, but they were playing it back 5 times on the TV replay and just no response from Howard, it's like he's in another dimension sometimes.

The other play that struck me was the play at the plate with Michael Young trying to score from second base. There would be a play at the plate on Young's attempt to score, but Young doesn't try to bowl the catcher down and play aggressively, he just tried to scoot around him and tag the base with his outstretched hand. Again, he was out by 6 feet, but sometimes you have to make a stance and try to score by running into the catcher, again an important play with less than stellar effort.

Yes, Young got the game tying hit late in the game, and Ben Revere's hustle against his old team spelled the win for the Phillies last night, but there is not enough of this kind of hustle and extra effort being exuded by this team.

We've seen a lot of these kinds of plays on the Phillies team this year.

The 5-game losing streak is over, and the Phillies stay out on the road to Denver and Coors Field against the Colorado Rockies. A gift for the Phillies on this as Troy Tulowitzki injured with a broken rib, they won't have to face him. It's Kyle Kendrick for the Phils tonight.

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