The Slow Demise of Raul Ibanez, and Inconvenient Slumps

You can point to a lot of different reasons for the Phils' recent struggles (injuries being the most notable), but Raul Ibanez and lack of support for the top of the rotation have to be up there as well.

Ryan Lawrence of the Delco Times points out that the Phillies were just 9-14 since May 12th when Halladay and Hamels took the mound.  The two combined for a 2.92 ERA during that time.

Obviously, that trend didn't change this weekend, with the Phils not scoring until the 9th for Hamels on Saturday, and getting blown out on Sunday.

It's not uncommon for teams to "relax" when their ace takes the hill, but the Phillies have literally left wins on the board by not supporting outstanding pitching.

In other news, the slow transformation of Raul Ibanez into an everyday player is in full swing.  Ben Francisco played left field two of the last three games against lefties.  Manuel contends that he is just trying to get Francisco at-bats, but with the way Ibanez has been hitting, this feels more like a platoon situation:

“Every now and then, I’ve got to get Ben in a game,” Manuel said of Francisco, who was a starter for the Cleveland Indians before coming to Philadelphia in the Cliff Lee trade a year ago. “If he’s going to come off the bench and hit for us, he’s going to have to get in a game. To me, against a lefty is the best time to do it.”


8 Responses

  1. dude, no offense but i expect a lot better from crossing broad. this is so sloppy… the phils were 9-12 from mid-may onward, not the entire first half. given that roy halladay had 10 wins, this would be impossible. i know we’re all frustrated about the way the phillies are playing, but you still should take the time to edit and fact-check. but the point of the story is spot-on.

  2. peter, thanks. that’s what we get for writing an article early before morning coffee. we’ll fix it.

  3. I think the larger concern is Werth. Ibanez does strike out, but he still does hit the ball hard, and has productive outs. Werth couldn’t buy a hit with RISP. I think the main problem with Ibanez is swinging at high fastballs. It’s hard for anyone to catch up to a high fastball, but he’s chasing stuff, and pitchers know this and set him up for it. Atleast he isn’t swinging through fastballs down the pike as often as Werth.
    Either way, there have been far too many times when they cut to a commercial break with a replay of either one of them striking out to leave a man on base.

  4. and nothing about raul’s decline has been small. it’s been a mess after since last season’s all-star break. he’s proven to be the player we thought he was – mediocre in seattle, older and mediocre in philly.
    nothing slow about it. a few clutch hits have masked the truth temporarily, getting us to forget or overlook the truth.

  5. that was supposed to read “nothing about raul’s decline has been slow”. maaa’ bad.

  6. “i know we’re all frustrated about the way the phillies are playing, but you still should take the time to edit and fact-check. but the point of the story is spot-on.”yes,i agree.

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