You’ll have to excuse the Phillies if they don’t want to return to Canada for quite some time. After dropping the first two games to the Toronto Blue Jays at Citizens Bank Park, the Phillies jetted north of the border to complete the home-and-home series.
The results were astonishing. Astonishingly bad! The Phillies must have forgotten to stop at Tim Horton’s for their daily caffeine jolt – sleepwalking through both games. Meanwhile, the Blue Jays were busy playing home run derby – the Phillies’ beleaguered pitching staff serving up the juicy meatballs.
The roster turnover has begun. Whether it makes a difference, remains to be seen. Some see the moves as rearranging the deck chairs on a sinking ship.
Freddy Galvis has finally been demoted to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Galvis was batting a horrific .048 (2-42). It is nearly impossible to have an average that low after 42 at-bats. Infielder Reid Brignac had his contract purchased from Lehigh Valley. The move was long overdue. Through Thursday, Brignac’s numbers were impressive. A slash line 0f .284/.357/.514 and a .871 OPS. The power numbers were equally impressive, five home runs, eight doubles and 21 runs batted in.
The bullpen had some movement as well. Journeyman right hander Shawn Camp was out righted and elected free agency. Right hander Luis Garcia was recalled from Triple-A. He had impressive numbers in the minors, but was greeted rudely by the Blue Jays, allowing five runs in two innings, including two missiles that may have landed in Lake Ontario had the roof been open.
The Phillies will look to find their offense at Citi Field. Between the second inning on Sunday and the ninth inning Wednesday, the team scored in only one inning. Offensive challenges aside, the Phillies did show signs of life late in Thursday’s game in Toronto. The hope is that there will be a carryover effect into the weekend series with the Mets.
The starting pitchers will need to put the Blue Jays series behind them as soon as possible. Cole Hamels, who has pitched very poorly in his career against the Mets, needs to get back on track after two very poor starts.
Like the Phillies, the Mets have hit the skids recently. After getting off to a hot start, they have cooled off dramatically – winning only three of their last 10 games. The Mets are returning home from South Florida where they were swept by the red-hot Miami Marlins. That was preceded by losing three of four to the equally hot Colorado Rockies.
The offensive struggles are quite similar. Big ticket, free agent acquisition Curtis Granderson enters Friday’s game with a .175 batting average and three home runs. All-Star third baseman David Wright enters the series with only one home run. First base has been a black hole for quite some time. Since the departure of Ike Davis, it’s been even worse.
The pitching hasn’t fared much better. Phenom Matt Harvey is recovering from Tommy John surgery and will miss the entire season. Young flame throwers Zach Wheeler and Jenrry Mejia have had their struggles. Closer Bobby Parnell went down in April with a bad elbow and had Tommy John surgery, as well. Kyle Farnsworth is not the answer as closer. Never has been, never will be.
Friday, May 9 (7:10 PM)
PHI: Roberto Hernandez, RHP (2-1, 4.50 ERA)
NYM: Jenrry Mejia, RHP (3-0, 5.23 ERA)
Saturday, May 10 (7:10 PM)
PHI: Kyle Kendrick, RHP (0-3, 3.58 ERA)
NYM: Dillon Gee, RHP (3-1, 2.51 ERA)
Sunday, May 11
PHI: Cole Hamels, LHP (0-2, 7.02 ERA)
NYM: Jon Niese, LHP (2-2, 1.82 ERA)
When the Phillies and Mets look across the infield into each others’ dugouts, they will see mirror images of one another. Something has to give. Either somebody’s offense will get well because of subpar pitching, or somebody’s pitching staff will turn a corner because of an anemic offense.
The Phillies need to turn things around in a hurry. This weekend against the Mets would be a great starting point.