Up until now their recent struggles have been overlooked because of the success of the Flyers. Everyone is aware of their recent hitting woes, but the ire of fans has been deflected by the improbable shield of the Flyers Stanley Cup run. That shield has been removed.
When Michael Leighton let in that soft goal on Wednesday night, fan attention shifted back to the Phillies. Philly has been a baseball town for the last two years, and despite the welcome resurgence of hockey enthusiasm, that won't be changing any time soon.
Expect boos like you have never seen before if the Phillies return from this six game road trip with anything less than three wins. And deservedly so.
There's no excuse for a lineup of all-stars and mostly ring toting studs to struggle the way they have. This has gone beyond a slump, it is an epidemic. There's no reason to think they can't turn it around soon, and perhaps this just shows the true importance of Jimmy Rollins, not just his bat, but also is leadership.
"Where's five? Where's five at?"
That was the phrase uttered by Rollins to Pat Burrell during the second half of Game 5 of the 2008 World Series. Burrell was hitless in the series up until Rollins called him out in the tunnel just seconds prior to his at-bat. Burrell doubled, and his runner eventually scored the winning run of the World Series. Rollins has a knack for knowing when to come up big, and when to say the right thing. Will his return be a major key to the season? Absolutlely. But this team needs to get their act together with or without him, there are too many all-stars and veterans to let this detour turn into a dead end.
The turnaround needs to start now. The Phillies met in the batting cages of Fenway Park today for a players only meeting. Someone better have stepped up, because if this goes on any longer, it's going to get ugly.