Sunday, December 21, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Last-place Phillies going nowhere fast

By
July 02, 2014 |

PHILADELPHIA — With the losses piling up, the Philadelphia Phillies are moving closer to a major overhaul.

The Phillies followed up a successful road trip with a dismal homestand that left them a season-worst eight games behind in the mediocre NL East. They were 34-38 and only 3 1-2 games out of first place following three straight wins in Atlanta and two more in St. Louis.

But they’re 2-8 since and just finished getting swept by the first-place Braves in a four-game series. Unless things drastically change on a 10-game road trip that begins Tuesday night in Miami, the Phillies could be big sellers before the non-waiver trade deadline. They’re 36-36 and on pace to win 71 games, their fewest since going 65-97 in 2000.

“The time has been now for two or three weeks,” manager Ryne Sandberg said. “We had a good stretch there, we had a winning streak, and we weren’t able to come home and continue. But that’s what we need now, to go on the road after an off day, where we’ve played well, and hopefully pick it up and have a road trip like we did the last.”

The Phillies spent Monday recovering from their latest awful stretch. They’ve played their worst baseball in front of the home fans, going 18-27 at Citizens Bank Park. Eight of those losses were shutouts.

“I don’t see terror in anyone’s eyes,” center fielder Ben Revere said. “We’re competing and I think it’s going to change.”

That’s more wishful thinking than realistic.

These Phillies don’t seem capable of turning it around. They hardly resemble the team that won five straight division titles, two pennants and one World Series from 2007-11.

“It’s a tough spot to be in,” slugger Ryan Howard said. “We’ll try to take this off day, get this out of our system and try to get right on Tuesday.”

An inconsistent offense has been Philadelphia’s biggest problem. The starting pitching has kept them in games and the bullpen was outstanding in June, but hitters don’t deliver in the clutch and the team continues to make fundamental mistakes in every facet of the game.

“We have to do the little things to win baseball games, whether it’s putting the ball in play to get a run in with the infield back, whether it’s getting jumps on balls, that’s fundamentals,” Sandberg said.

Howard, Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins and Carlos Ruiz — the remaining regulars from the 2008 World Series championship team — are clearly on the decline, but they’re not the main reason why the offense ranks in the bottom seven in average (.242) and runs (3.8 per game).

Domonic Brown, an All-Star last year who led the team with 27 homers, is one of the worst offensive players in the majors with a .586 OPS. He’s also a defensive liability in left field. Revere has a poor on-base percentage (.304) for a leadoff hitter and also hurts the team defensively. Overall, the entire group is too inconsistent.

Brown and Revere are two of the younger, cheaper players the Phillies were counting on to perform. They have the third-highest payroll ($184 million) in the league, so they can’t replace inexpensive players with high-priced guys.

General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. will likely field offers from contenders for several players. Right fielder Marlon Byrd, righty A.J. Burnett and ace Cliff Lee, if he returns from the disabled list, would be leading candidates to go somewhere else.

The organization has been reluctant to blow it up and start fresh, but they’re going nowhere and need to look to the future. The Phillies don’t have minor leaguers ready to fill in, so rebuilding from within isn’t going to be an easy task. They’ll have to land prospects in trades.

Most fans gave them a pass the last two seasons. But now they’ve run out of patience and aren’t showing up to the ballpark the way they did before.

Empty seats get management’s attention and could accelerate the rebuilding process.

 

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Blue Christmas service offers reflection, hope

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1

 
Shining bright for all to see: Locals deck out yards, homes

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: C1 | Gallery

The Salvation Army serves 1,000-plus across 2 days

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A1, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
Time for annual Solano County quiz

By Brad Stanhope | From Page: A2

Discovery Kingdom upgrades animal, marine mammal facilities

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

 
State Fair scholarship applications available

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

 
Bevy of holiday activities at Western Railway Museum

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Get tested, know your status

By Morgan Westfall | From Page: C4

 
 
New development fees start Jan. 1 in Vacaville

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A5

Free New Year’s celebration slated

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A5

 
A word of warning for Senator Warren

By Bud Stevenson | From Page: B7, 1 Comment

 
New technology chief will join McNaughton Newspapers

By Tanya Perez | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Fairfield police log: Dec. 19, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

Suisun City police log: Dec. 19, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

 
Sky-high price has VA rationing hep C drug

By Tom Philpott | From Page: B10

.

US / World

Air Force admits nuke flaws, but will fixes work?

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
AP sources: Cops’ killer angry at chokehold death

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 1 Comment

 
Officials: Missing dog was dyed to deceive

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Immigrants build document trails to remain in US

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

California officer kills teen after machete attack

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
4 teens die in fiery head-on crash in Pennsylvania

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

2 dozen injured in southern Indiana bus crash

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Police brutality protesters rally at Mall of America

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Texas ranchers seeking alternative incomes

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
North Korea proposes joint probe over Sony hacking

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

2 car bombs rock southern Sweden’s city of Malmo

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Bombings kill 12 in Iraq

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

US sends 4 Afghans back home from Guantanamo

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Panama’s Noriega in prison 25 years post-invasion

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Burying the dead after Pakistan’s school massacre

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
A chance to breach divide for young in Cuba and US

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

.

Opinion

Editorial Cartoon: Dec. 21, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
New school finance strategy lacks accountability

By Dan Walters | From Page: A8

Season’s greetings from the Obamas

By Alexandra Petri | From Page: A8

 
Sound off for Dec. 21, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

 
.

Living

Today in History: Dec. 21, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Why celebrate Christmas?

By Noel Reese | From Page: C3

Vatican offers olive branch to US nuns

By The Associated Press | From Page: C3

 
Horoscopes: Dec. 21, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: C4

Should I ask grandson why we weren’t included in wedding photos?

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: C4

 
.

Entertainment

Review: ‘Five’ by Ursula Archer is intriguing

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

 
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BEST-SELLERS

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

Publisher hopes to sell books through Twitter

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

 
Chris Colfer has multi-book deal

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

Jerry Lee Lewis: Sustained by brief blaze of glory

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

.

Sports

Interim coaching jobs present challenges in bowls

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
49ers squander 21-point lead in 4th straight loss

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

New Giants 3B McGehee eager to play back home

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Eagles near elimination, fall 27-24 to Redskins

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Raiders place cornerback Brown on injured reserve

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
No. 11 Lady Vols trounce No. 7 Stanford 59-40

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Big moves bring big hope for Chicago baseball

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
US skier Nyman wins Gardena downhill for 3rd time

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Vonn wins women’s World Cup downhill in France

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
This date in sports history for Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
.

Business

Your info has been hacked. Now what do you do?

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
On the money: 4 ways to hold on to your cash when renting a car

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Recalls this week: Bean bag chairs, toy monkeys

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Scarecrows outnumber people in dying Japan town

By The Associated Press | From Page: B12

.

Obituaries

Dominic C. Scolaro

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Barbara Jean Bidstrup Braker

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Perry Michael Smetts

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Luzdivina B. Banks

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Arnold Howard Evans

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Anthony Hanson Elder

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Marian Kay Zutz

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Bart Ferro

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics