Philadelphia Woes: Is There Any Relief In Site?

Daniel SpevakContributor IJune 20, 2009

NEW YORK - JUNE 09:  J.A. Happ #43 of the Philadelphia Phillies waits on the mound before being taken out of the game by manager Charlie Manuel #41 against the  New York Mets during their game at Citi Field on June 9, 2009 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

"Our game is not together."  In order to win games, of course you've got to be consistent."

These were Manuel's words after the Phillies 7-2 defeat at the hands of the Baltimore Orioles on Friday night, pushing the Phillies losing streak to 4 games and their overall home record to 13-20 on the season.  The Phillies once again struggled to hit the ball, and their "worn out" bullpen proved much of the same of which it already has over the current home stand.

Over the recent homestand, which has seen them go an abysmal 1-6, the Phillies have struck out a total of 75 times, have given up more than 40 walks, and have been outscored by a deficit of 52-32.  This is all to the tune of repeated bad outings from the Starting Pitching and ineffectiveness shown by the bullpen night after night.

After Antonio Bastardo had a quick 1-2-3 inning to start the game, and Jayson Werth doubled in two in the bottom half, the Philly faithful started to have a little more faith that maybe the uninspired play was behind them.  Sadly, that was not the result.  Bastardo ended up allowing 4 runs in 7 IP, while striking out 5, which, in all reality, is not that bad of a line.  However, the offense continued their woes, scrapping together just 6 hits and 2 runs, both of which came in the first inning.  The question this now leaves every Phillies fan wondering, is there any end in site?

The answer to that question, well, quite frankly there is no definite answer to that question.  Last week on the road trip which saw the Phillies go 7-3, the Phillies were able to get quality start after quality start from their SP.  But for some reason, that all seemed to falter once the Phillies came back to the not so friendly confines of Citizens Bank Park.  Now, I can't exactly say why the Phillies have been struggling as of late, especially at home.  They just haven't seemed to find their location on their pitches lately, and this has allowed for those walks given up and the repeated home runs allowed while the pitchers are ahead in the count 0-2 or 1-2.

I'm not gonna address the bullpen, as I'll basically be repeating what has been said over and over.  They're worn out, they've been putting in too many innings, etc.  It's all been said, I'm not gonna reiterate it.  I would like to touch base on the offense.  Other than last Sunday against Josh Beckett, and somewhat in the final game of the Jays series, the Phillies bats were silenced.  I think it's more of a problem that instead of showing some patience at the plate, they've been chasing pitches and trying to make things happen, and most importantly, they seem to be looking to crush the ball out of the park instead of just getting the bat on the ball.

So I bring it back to the question, what is the answer to the Phillies woes?  Do they need to go out and get another starter, maybe some bullpen help?  Does Charlie Manuel need to lash out at this team and give them a major wake up call in the locker room to snap them out of it?  I'm not sure, but whatever it is, they need to find it quick, otherwise first place will slip out of their grasps sooner than later, and the Philly faithful may lose some faith as the season goes on.

Leave me some comments and feedback.  This is my first article I've written, so I'd appreciate some feedback on where I should improve and such.  Also, regarding the topic, leave comments on what you think the Phillies should do to help improve their team.