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1-6, Right Where We Belong
2007-04-10 22:11
by Mike Carminati

The Phils are back at 1-6. Exactly where they were at this point last season and in 2004. Arguably, the best regular-season Phils team, the 1977 edition, started the season at—you guessed it—1-6.

This team just loves trying to dig its way out of a self-dug hole. Yesterday, due to Charlie "I Need a Friggin'" Manuel's inability to pull a double-switch, the team's inability to play defense, and the bullpen's inability to pitch the Phils blew a late lead to the division-rival Mets. Doesn't give you those proverbial goosebumps, hmmm?

Keep in mind that on average, a team that starts 1-6 ends up with a .421 winning percentage, which translates into a 68-94 record over a 162-game schedule. Yikes! There have been seven 1-6 teams that ended up winning their division or league and one (the 1911 A's) that won the Series.

The Phils now become just the tenth club in major-league history to start two consecutive seasons at 1-6. They are also just the second club to do it in three of four season, the 1905-07 Superbas a.k.a. Dodgers being the other:

1884Buffalo Bisons6447.5773
1885Buffalo Bisons3874.3397
1887Washington Nationals4676.3777
1888Washington Nationals4886.3588
1905Brooklyn Superbas48104.3168
1906Brooklyn Superbas6686.4345
1907Brooklyn Superbas6583.4395
1912New York Highlanders50102.3298
1913New York Yankees5794.3777
1935Philadelphia Athletics5891.3898
1936Philadelphia Athletics53100.3468
1950Cincinnati Reds6687.4316
1951Cincinnati Reds6886.4426
1951Philadelphia Athletics7084.4556
1952Philadelphia Athletics7975.5134
1972St. Louis Cardinals7581.4814
1973St. Louis Cardinals8181.5002
2006Philadelphia Phillies8577.5252
2007Philadelphia Phillies

Sure, the Phils can still turn this season around. They've done it before. But with the Mets looking as tough if not tougher than 2006 and the Marlins and especially the Braves looking even better than last year, digging a hole this deep is going to take a long time to correct.

There is also one bog difference between this Phils club and the 2004 and 2006 versions. This team has a fundamental problem, the bullpen, for which there appears to be no quick answers. That will exacerbate the situation and make it much more difficult for the team to extract themselves from it. John Lieber has pitched one game in the pen and is already disgruntled. Right now the setup guy is not defined, so no other role can be. Their two best middle relievers (Madson and Geary) have failed in the setup role. It now falls to either Alfonseca, who reminds me too much of Arthur Rhodes, or the newly acquired Francisco Rpsario. I prefer Rosario because of his strikeout ratios, but given that he has just 23 major-league innings under his belt (and 6.65 ERA and high walk ratios), who knows if he can fill the role.

At least the have the master strategist Charlie Manuel calling the shots. Seriously, Manuel has difficulty properly managing his bullpen when it's peopled with veteran pitchers who have clearly defined roles. Forget about his managing a collection of youngsters and has-beens who have nary a role defined between them all.

I wonder what will happen after the Mets sweep them.

2007-04-11 21:54:22
1.   das411
So much for that sweep. I guess that means the winning streak starts now right?

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