After Saturday nights 2-1 loss to the Braves, the Phillies deadline strategy has become much clearer. Ruben Amaro stated that this Braves series will have a direct impact on the teams plans to buy or sell.
It looks like the Phillies store is now open for sale.
The Phils couldn’t get anything going at the plate against Braves young lefty Mike Minor. Coming into last night’s game Minor had struggled mightily, only keeping his spot in the rotation out of necessity. But watching him pitch last night gave no indication of his season long inconstancy. He pitched eight innings striking out nine, only allowing a solo shot to Utley in the fourth. Minor’s end line was helped more by anxious Phillies bats than from dominating stuff. There is something wrong when players are repeatedly swinging at 88mph fastballs out of the zone. In this case being the desperate team didn’t help.
Joe Blanton was equally good on the mound, auditioning in front of would be buyers. As he racked up his strikeouts, the thought of finding someone to take on his salary seemed more and more likely. Who wouldn’t want someone who puts up 7 k’s over 7 innings of 1-run ball?
The rest of Manuel’s club looked tense.
The strikeouts are one thing, but watching Ryan Howard drop an easy throw from Joe Blanton at first base is said it all. Even if you missed most of the action, all you had to do was look at the faces in the dugout to figure out what was going on. The sinking ship has finally gone under.
The team is in Atlanta today for the series finale, but there is little hope left on this struggling squad. The only question left is what can Ruben get for his spare parts.