What’s the old saying? You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him hit with runners in scoring position?
Well, first of all, we’re in second place behind a time who’s city thought this was a good headline. So that feels nice.
You can laugh it off, you can clench your fists, you can perform ritualistic voodoo in front of all your neighbors, but this shit-streak just… won’t… end. And every game, every pitch, every called third strike, feels more and more like a sluggish, lackadaisical, unfortunate parasite tunneling deeper and deeper into your innermost guts.
Instead of asking if the Phillies won, I ask if they scored. Instead of worn and pissed, Charlie answers questions with a smile, because… well, what the hell do you want him to do? Walk out in front of the press corps and play Russian Roulette for 20 minutes?
He’d do it, too. Dude’s a bad ass.
Its a problem without a solution, at least, not one that can be seen from this particular computer chair. And it’s got wheels on it, too, so it’s a really nice chair. I can glide around this room with frequent success.
The slump is in complete control, and if a perfect game–an alteration to the very history of the sport the Phillies are playing–is not enough to break free of its grasp, then all you can really do is bow your head, say your prayers, and maybe read this terrific rant about Joe West that I wrote.
Braves 9, Phillies 3
So. What went wrong for the second-place Phillies.
Joe Blanton got railed with bullshit once again, and drops to 1-4. Is there a statistic for like, being a solid starting pitcher, but constantly getting dicked over? QSD% (Quality Start Dickage Percentage)? And don’t laugh, this is baseball, so that probably already exists.
Today’s particular QSD% spiked thanks to the fielding prowess of the last Phillie to hit a home run (63 innings ago), Ross Gload, who dropped a fly ball, making you wonder, really, just what the hell he’s doing out there. Yes, Jayson Werth is getting time off to squeeze all the shitty out of his swing. I know how an off day works, thanks.
Then there was the spectacular glove of Ryan Howard, who is not as bad a defenseman as they’re going to tell you. It seems more appropriate to blame that one on the slump. Something like the ball sneaking under your glove the way it did to the $125 million man is the kind of baseball they’re playing in Angels in the Outfield before Christopher Lloyd shows up: Some of it you can blame on people–Ross Gload–and some of it is just horse shit luck.
And now for the lineup.
“At some point they’re going to break out of it. You just hope it’s not against you,” Chipper Jones said, which is the difference between losing to the Braves, who appear to be gracious, and losing to the Mets, at which point Jeff Francoeur would probably piss himself with glee and mention that it’s about time something heavy fell on Charlie Manuel.
“This is a team of guys that are going to fight and scratch and claw,” said Raul Ibanez.
If that’s the plan, Rauuuuuul, then stop filing your nails on your batting average.
I’m now going to weigh you down with the nightmares that are the offensive stats of the Phillies right now (Here’s a fun little tidbit! Chase Utley’s BA has dropped 30 points (.307 to .277)! Huzzah!) because that shit’s going to be everywhere already.
But what is going on? It’s not like they’re performing weakly… there’s nothing there. It’s like opening the door to your apartment and walking into a vast, empty void. You know you had a coffee table when you left. There’s no way it just dematerialized.
You know a team is offensive when the opposition is assuring the papers that they’re down but not out, as Chipper did for us. It’s coming. Hey, maybe it’ll be today! Maybe that horse will learn to get the ball out of the infield with RISP after all.
Yeah. He’s back. And he’s not happy.