This week I was able to get a little more information on our upcoming opponents, the Philly Phillies, from Justin Klugh over at That Balls Outta Here – Phillies Blog.
Here are a few questions that he was able to answer for us to see what we are in for in this 4-game series:
1. Who is HOT and NOT right now?
What is this? What’s happening? Just a second ago we were being congratulated for having an offense that was capable of getting a man from second base to home with less than two outs with stunning regularity. Now the basepaths are desolate wastelands, with the whispers of 2007-08 their only inhabitants. I guess we should have listened when people said our hot start was unsustainable. We didn’t, though. We merely watched the runs pour in, laughing like maniacs, and assuming it was the standard.
Now look at us. Letting Doc lose out there. To the Brewers. It’s barely watchable.
So to answer your question, Charlie’s pretty hot right. Hot under the collar. For his team to start hitting. I’ve never heard a manager talk to the press about how much his team sucks at hitting in the middle of the season before, so it can’t be too great a sign that exactly that has happened.
Who is not hot is everybody in the lineup not named “Placido Polanco.” Shane Victorino has started swinging one-handed. Raul Ibanez seems to invested most of his assets in pop-ups. Jimmy Rollins has been making great contact, but there always seems to be a fielder standing there, ready to make the play. And Ryan Howard… will strike out a lot. Last night marked the first extra base hit we’d seen in like 20 innings or some insane statistic. And we lost 9-0. So.
2. Tell San Diego fans a little bit about OF Ben Francisco.
Ben Francisco tumbled into Philadelphia as the extra napkin in our original Cliff Lee Special we picked up from Cleveland in 2009. When Cliff left, he stayed, and with all of the outfielder roles taken, he dwelled on the bench for awhile, not getting his chance. Then Jayson Werth made the regrettable decision to sign with the Nationals for tons of money and management decided to make Ben, Domonic Brown, and John Mayberry dance for the position. Dom got hurt, Mayberry showed some guts, but Ben eventually won the job by ripping Spring Training in half like a phone book. He’s got the will and the skill, but he pops out a lot. At least no one’s relying on him to be Jayson Werth, then he’d be a total disappointment.
3. How has Jimmy Rollins looked this season after returning from his injury?
On Opening Day, Jimmy was bouncing out of the dug out, hopping up and down, and generally having the time of his life. The walkoff ninth inning brought such life to his face. I’ve been very happy with Jimmy this season thus far; you can tell he wants to be out there, and maybe its just because this is a contract year, but still. He gets pissed when he messes up. He gets giddy when he does well. He’s stirring up trouble on the base paths whenever he can. He is the Jimmy we missed last year.
That said, this team is so fused together, they tend to slump together. Right now they’re doing that. Its ugly. Hopefully we can use you guys as a catalyst for change by beating the crap out of you.