For any team to be a success, when one part of the group struggles, the rest must have the ability to pick up the slack.
Currently, the Philadelphia Phillies have a nice cushion in the NL East, but with their struggles of late, the team needs to revert back to their dominant ways.
In today’s game against the Florida Marlins, the Phillies tried to avoid being swept, but lost 12-3. Their offensive woes continued today as the Phils managed to go 1-for-3 with runners in scoring position, and only accrue six hits.
Aside from their hitting woes, the Phillies lackluster pitching staff allowed those 12 runs on 19 hits.
This season, no one has been able to figure out whether the Phillies pitching will improve. Even with the addition of Cliff Lee, one can’t help but look at the surrounding cast of starters and still not feel completely confident.
Which Cole Hamels will show up? Will the trickster Jamie Moyer appear? Will Joe Blanton still receive no run support?
To add to the pitching worries, relief pitchers JC Romero, Chad Durbin, and Clay Condrey are still on the disabled list. Starters Brett Myers, Antonio Bastardo, and Pedro Martinez join them in the infirmary.
On the offensive end, although shortstop Jimmy Rollins has been on fire lately, the winds surrounding him may fuel his fire, but they are cooling off some of his fellow infielders.
Second baseman Chase Utley is hitting .242 in the last month. In the few games the Phillies have played in August, the All-Star is 3-for-24 (.125).
The other All-Star infielder on the team, Ryan Howard, has had struggles of his own. He hasn’t hit a home run since Jul. 27 and in August he’s gone 7-for-28 (.250).
If there was one thing the Phillies have been consistently good at, it’s their defense.
However, in the past 30 days, that, too, has suffered with the Phils committing 14 errors. Their porous .985 fielding percentage is ahead of only the Chicago Cubs, Milwaukee Brewers, San Diego Padres, and Washington Nationals.
The Philadelphia Phillies have the talent. They have the experience. They have the title of 2008 World Series Champions.
With the season flying by, will the Phillies refocus and get all their pieces functioning correctly before those pesky Marlins take full advantage of the underperforming Phillies?