Can you feel it? The excitement is back in the air on Broad and Pattison. The Phillies are home for the first time this season! Sure they are 1-2 after Opening Weekend in Pittsburgh, but there are 159 games left and the opportunity to play in front of 45,000+ screaming fans!
Today brings out a new start, an open door from the mistakes of the past to the unknown of the future. The Phillies look to make that future a bright one.
Ruben Amaro Jr. made moves to make the Phillies bench and offense stronger this offseason. This coming after the unknown future of Phillies stars Chase Utley and Ryan Howard. By making the Phillies bench player better, he added the depth needed in case Chase Utley and Ryan Howard, as well as other players, hit the injury bug for a long time.
After Opening Weekend versus the Pirates (take into consideration that it’s OPENING WEEKEND), Phillies fans do have a few worries that in our eyes need to be solved as quickly as possible in order to be competitive throughout the year; one being hitting and the other being the bullpen and how they are managed.
To solve the problem of hitting the Phillies need preparation, hard work, and most importantly patience. The Phillies hitters need to start being more patient at the plate and look at the pitches coming their way. The best at bat during Sunday’s 5-4 loss to the Pirates out of a Phillies player was Hunter Pence’s solo home run. Not only was it great because it was a home run, but Hunter Pence showed patience throughout the at-bat. He showed patience at the plate and found the pitch he was looking for and smoked it. This is the way the Phillies hitters need to take it, with patience.
The bullpen situation needs to be solved in another way. They were completely mismanaged during Sunday’s 5-4 loss versus the Pirates. In the bottom of the 8th, Manager Charlie Manuel put in RHP Kyle Kendrick to face two hitters, a right handed hitter and a left handed hitter and allowed one hit. Kendrick was then pulled with four right handed hitters due up in the Pirates lineup. Who does Charlie Manuel call on …. no other than LHP Antonio Bastardo. Wait …. what? Charlie Manuel put the game in a favorable matchup for the hitters and it showed when the Phillies ended the 8th inning tied at 4-4.
Although the bullpen is not filled with the most talented group of pitchers, it needs to be managed better. The right management of the bullpen will only help the Phillies be more competitive in the future and stops’ taking away wins from the Phillies starting pitchers.
Opening weekend is now in the rearview mirror, it is completely behind us and there is no reason to look there again. It is now time to look forward to a bigger and brighter future for our Fighten’ Phillies.