A lot of people are probably impressed by Andre Ethier’s half-a-Dimaggio, but let’s face it: hitting is easy. Cole Hamels hit a triple last night, and that guy can’t even shut out the Nationals. I can meander into a batting cage and usually poop out a line drive or two over the course of an afternoon. I might be risking the ire of an entire little league team, but whatever; the point is, I can do it, eventually.
No, the true accomplishment is going completely dark in the offensive sector. Obviously, it doesn’t take a world of skill to check swing at a pitch that bounces into the opposite batter’s box and head back to the dugout wondering how you’ll support your growing family once you are mercilessly cut from the roster. But what Raul Ibanez has done is proven to us with a thin, poisoned slice of history. And if just anybody could go 0-for-36, this would be one shitty baseball league.
April 6, 2011
Raul hits a 2-run home run and goes 2-for-5 in a 10-7 Phillies win against the Mets. He’s hitting .304.
“I was awful.”
April 7, 2011
Phillies win 11-0.
“I think we’re doing a nice job of stringing together good at-bats and getting a lot of people on base, and then getting big hits.”
April 12, 2011
Raul laughs it up with Jayson Werth in Washington, then goes 1-for-4 with an RBI in a 7-4 loss.
“Raul Ibanez, Carlos Ruiz and Wilson Valdez singled their way past Livan Hernandez and loaded the bases. Shane Victorino would strike out to end the inning.”
April 19, 2011
“Charlie explained that he likes the Ibanez-Wolf matchup, however, and Raul’s career numbers against the former Phillie include a 1.040 OPS in 17 plate appearances.”
Phillies lose 9-0. Raul is hitting .222.
April 23, 2011
Raul’s average dips below .200.
“This is a different team. This one wasn’t supposed to thump its way past opponents. Nor does it have to. The pitching and defense should ensure that.”
April 27, 2011
“Cutting ties with the idea of Ibanez as an everyday player is the first step to maximizing the talent on this roster.”
–SB Nation Philly
May 2, 2011
Raul is 0-for-36. He hasn’t had a hit since April 18.
“Going into the season, Raul told me that he felt the best he’s ever felt. Those are big words for a 39-year-old ballplayer, but I know how hard he works and how serious he takes nutrition. This slump is baffling to me…”
May 3, 2011
Raul goes 2-for-4 with two doubles and an RBI. His average returns to .168.
“The only way I have to function is to pretend it never happened.”