Thursday, July 19, 2007

The Fewer-Than-5 Phillies Are 7-35

That's a "crisis stat" -- the deeper meaning being that when the Phillies score less than 5 runs, their record is 7-35.

Granted ... just about every team has a losing record in games in which they fail to score 5 runs. It's a fairly common trend in this, the era of plutonium-filled baseballs, uranium-enriched bats and HGH-saturated players.

Last night's 1-0 loss to the Petco Pods, well ... that was merely the icing on a cake which is filled with sawdust and moist cardboard.

Team Petco, meanwhile, has mastered the low-scoring nailbiter.

A 24-37 record when they score less than 5 runs might not sound like anything to get excited about, winning-percentage-wise -- until we take into consideration that last night's outcome marked the FIFTH time that S.D. has won by a 1-0 score this season.

It's the reason why the Pods are in first place.

It sure as heck isn't because Terrmel Sledge and the Giles Brothers are lighting up the Sea World sky.

So, for the Phillie Phan who reminisces about the good ol' days when the Phils were rapping out 23 hits (one week ago) and 26 hits (three nights ago), the "explosive" lineup is fun -- but it won't win championships.

In other words, The Cit is the place where Ryan Howard can send a shot into Section 202.

It's not a place where we'll ever see "Divisional Champs" banners hanging.

Which is OK, really -- because if the '07 Phils were in first place AND were exciting, that would tarnish the memory of the rough-n'-tumble '93 Phils, right?

7-35, though, is abyssmal -- yet, it's a stat on which a Wild-Card Also-Ran can hang its hat.
For further amplification, it should be noted that since the Phils beat the Chisox, 3-0, in that ESPN Monday Nighter on June 11 (one day after losing, 17-5, in KC), the Phils are 0-11 when they score less than 5 runs.

Hence, there are no 4-3 or 4-2 or 3-1 wins sprinkled in there.

While we're at it, we could do some comparison shopping with the '93 Phils vs. the '07 Phils.
It was a common misconception back in the day to perceive that our beloved, rag-tag '93 Phils "slugged" their way to the NL pennant -- but the fact of the matter was that pitching in April and May was commonly overlooked.

As it was, THAT Phils team spent the first two months going 8-13 when it scored fewer than 5 runs. Although the '93 Phils won only four games w/ fewer than 5 runs during June, July and August, that clutch manner in scratching out some early-season victories provided the impetus.

Or didja forget that 14 runs was NOT enough to win Game 4 of the World Series?

Not that any of this comes as a major surprise, given the circumstances.

When the season's No. 1 and No. 2 starters (Brett Myers, Freddy Garcia) have a combined TWO victories, that kinda-sorta explains how rookie stiffs such as Zack Segovia and J.A. Happ can make one big-league start ... and then return to the minors.

These are not the glory days of Carlton Loewer and Mike Mimbs.

Which is why the smart Phillie Phan is going to appreciate the numbers which Howard and Utley put up; enjoy some of the excitement from Victorino and Rowand; and continue the countdown of Consecutive Games In Which The Athletic, 13-Million-Dollar Man Pat Burrell Has Not Attempted A Stolen Base.

There's nuthin' else to get fired up about ... at least not now that Historic Loss No. 10,000 was achieved in April and everybody got all fired up about Loss No. 10,035 the other night.

FYI: Pat The Brick is at 388 in a row, by the way ...

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