Phillies Far From Perfect

Ryan Howard Striking Out

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Despite Roy Halladay pitching the 20th perfect game in MLB history, the Phillies have been absolutely terrible. Over the last 10 games, the Phillies have won three of them. They have watched their lead in the NL East fall, and are now 2nd to the Atlanta Braves. How could this team, who has won the NL pennant the last 2 years, perform the worst it has in quite some time? The answer is simple; the power is out.

Over the past seven days, not including yesterday's loss to the Braves, the 3-4-5 hitters (Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Jayson Werth) for the Phillies are a combined 7 for 64. That is a .109 batting average. They have a combined 22 strikeouts, which means they are striking out 34% of those at-bats. You think that is bad? Just take a look at Jayson Werth specifically. He has 11 of those strikeouts over 20 at-bats. That's right; he is striking out more than half the time. That kind of production, or I should say lack of production, leads to five loses over the last seven days, four of which are shutouts. I suggest splitting up those three for a while, at least until they start hitting. How about this for a lineup:

(Stats are for the last 7 days, according to

SS Wilson Valdez- .313 AVG, 5 H, 1 SB

2B Chase Utley-  .087 AVG, 2 H, 1 RBI

CF Shane Victorino- .304 AVG, 7 H, 2 SB

1B Ryan Howard- .190 AVG, 4 H, 7 K's

LF Raul Ibanez- .250 AVG, 4 H, 1 RBI

RF Jayson Werth- .050 AVG, 1 H, 11 K's

C Carlos Ruiz- .308 AVG, 4 H, 1 K

3B Juan Castro- .200 AVG, 2 H 1 K

Yes I agree, that doesn't look much better. But, it does split up Utley, Howard, and Werth. When Polanco comes back, I think he should lead-off. He is batting .417 over the last seven days, with 5 hits. Then, I would move Valdez to the 8th spot in the line-up. While no combination seems promising right now, one thing is for sure: this line-up needs a shake up. What would you do if you were Charlie Manuel? Let us know in the comment section.