The Phillies are mired in a swoon. Some would even call it a June swoon. Reminiscent of the approach of summer and increase in light, their record indicates they are feeling faint in the presence of opponents and need revitalization.
It hasn't helped that the majority of the team anchors are on the shelf.
-Utley and Howard have been rehabbing from the beginning. They should have been partially prepared, and they partially were since Nix has been hurt and Thome until his week was either hurt or ineffective.
-Halladay is out and the staff attitude has been deflated.
-And now on this night, the best hitter on the team to this point, Carlos Ruiz falls for an undisclosed amount of time to the most silently painful of all injuries, the oblique strain.
Others have fallen by the wayside, such as the fielding wunderkind, Freddy Galvis, the majority of the projected bullpen out of spring training (Stutes, Herndon, Contreras), and Cliff Lee and Vance Worley for a time.
This is not to say that injuries are the only culprit of the poor record, but rather that a team can only do so much with 3rd stringers and general ineffectiveness. Poor fundamental playing and bullpen management (read here at this from Crashburn Alley for the best perspective on the bullpen I've read) have not helped the general cause.
There seems to be a general malaise around the team. Worley has allowed 4 earned runs in his last 3 starts and has lost all 3. Cliff Lee has an under 3.00 ERA for the season and has pulled an 0-fer in the W column. The offense has not been the only problem since its numbers have improved greatly with a nearly 100 point OPS increase since the end of April. Unfortunately, they have a .515 OPS with a runner on 3rd this year (the entire team essentially becomes Mario Mendoza)
They are 5-11 in one run games this year, probably worst in the league, due to the league worst bullpen.....ach...or ick.
Bright spots? I'm struggling besides tracking the rehab of Utley and Howard.....they've dropped 10 of 13. I hope this is the low point.
I have some possible solutions.
Pro: Can generate wind to blow back possible home run balls by flapping
Con: Needs someone who can cycle a long time to run it correctly.
Pro: Brings fear back to opponents in Philadelphia after stumbling to 12-19 record. Uncle Cholly says they don't scare nobody. Ghostly memories will accomplish that.
Con: May choose to haunt whoever's wronged her. Ghosts are not that controllable.
Pro: Decent enough at inspiration.
Con: Stuffs sugar down people's throats.
Pro: Easy and cheap to use. Easy to hide helium tanks to fill pores of balls with.
Con: Birds can knock them out of the sky with their beaks.
Pro: Has a good sense of the land and would be a great advance scout..
Con: Has bad luck and is susceptible to betrayal because of trusting nature. Lost a kidney and maybe his life that way (depending on which timestream you're talking about). Outfielders can't learn from betrayal.
Or maybe this is just a bad season and they;re not feeling the love of 2012. ...
These other suggestions couldn't hurt though.