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Time to Start Booing the Phillies?

Chris MayContributor IJune 19, 2009

PHILADELPHIA - OCTOBER 25:  Jamie Moyer #50 of the Philadelphia Phillies walks off the mound while pitching against the Tampa Bay Rays during game three of the 2008 MLB World Series on October 25, 2008 at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

What concerns you the most? The Phillies abysmal home record or the starting rotation's inability to pitch deep into games?

The Phillies are a pathetic 13-19 at Citizens Bank Ballpark this year. Only two teams (Marlins and Nationals) have a worse home record. Of those 13 wins, four have come against the Nationals, the worst team in the majors.

Take away the five games against Washington, and the Phillies are 9-18 against the rest of the league.

The team chalked up their early season home woes to multiple distractions, including Opening Day, the ring ceremony, the unfortunate passing of Harry Kalas, and multiple rain outs.

With the All-Star break fast approaching, the Phillies have won just a single home series so far. It’s time for Philly fans to start booing at home because this team is just too complacent.

It seems like the sellout crowds, still drunk off last season's glory, are giving them a pass on their continued lackadaisical play.

Despite a stellar string of starts during the team’s most recent road trip, the starting rotation's problems returned home along with the team. JA Happ, Antonio Bastardo, Jamie Moyer, Cole Hamels, and Joe Blanton all struggled to pitch deep into games, resulting in a dismal 1-5 home stand against the Red Sox and Blue Jays.

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The rotation is next to last in innings pitched, and dead last in earned runs allowed in the National League.

Due to injuries and improved play by other teams, the starting pitching market has suddenly dried up, with only Boston’s Brad Penny and Seattle’s Jarrod Washburn offering any sort of affordable veteran value. Can the Phillies survive with two rookies and a 46-year-old who maxes out at six innings each time out?

The bullpen is already tired, and has blown three of the five losses against the Red Sox and Blue Jays.

It’s time for a reality check. Stats don’t lie.

The starting pitching is flat out terrible and unless Ruben Amaro makes a move now, the Mets will be in first place by the All-Star break despite their lack of fundamentals and a rash of injuries to key players.

It was this exact same stretch of interleague play last year that the Mets overtook the Phillies for the division lead. The only difference is the Mets' vastly improved bullpen is not as prone to collapse, making a Phillies' late-season comeback that much harder in 2009.

Today’s start by Joe Blanton is a perfect example of what’s wrong with the team’s starting rotation. Blanton had 73 pitches through just three innings, and lasted a total of five and a third. J.C Romero, Clay Condrey, and Ryan Madson all gave up leads after the Phillies either tied or went ahead on three different occasions.

It pains me to say this, but it’s time for the fans to start booing the Phillies at home. It may be the only way to light a fire under a team that has taken the term "World Series hangover" to an all new level with their inability to either win at home or pitch deep into games.

Chris Coste strikes again

Why in the world would Chris Coste call for an 0-2 fastball to Rod Barajas in the top of the ninth? If there is anything we learned about Barajas during his brief stint in Philly, it was that he can’t hit anything off-speed.

Why not throw that devastating change up, or a cutter out of the zone? No, they call for a high fastball that didn’t get high enough.

Yet another example of Chris Coste being clueless late in games when it comes to pitch selection. Anyone recall Coste’s terrible pitch selection to Alex Rodriguez in the Yankees series?

[read more at firedforwinning.com

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