Don’t kill the messenger. I merely pass along the observations of others about how the Phillies’ offense sucks right now, not to make judgments myself. But of course, reasonable people can only draw so many conclusions from data.
ESPN’s stats crew — passed along in Buster Olney’s column today — noted that in yesterday’s Cards-Phillies game, Edwin Jackson threw 15 sliders out of the strike zone, and that the Phillies chased 10 of them. What’s more, Jackson — not known for his control — went to only one 2-0 count. Jackson basically junkballed the Phillies to death and they couldn’t lay off. Especially Ryan Howard who went down on strikes three times, the tenth time he has done so in the playoffs. Howard has the highest strikeout rate in postseason history.
Meanwhile, Matt Gelb of the Philly Inquirer points out that while Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley have gotten the job done as best they can, the Phillies’ 3-4-5 hitters are ice cold.
Having Roy Halladay on the hill for Game 5 may all but moot this. After all, picturing him having some sort of disaster start is just not part of a reasonable person’s frame of reference, and you know that Charlie Manuel won’t take the ball out of his hands until the game is over or he hits 130 pitches, whichever comes first.
But in the off chance that Halladay isn’t Halladay, does anyone have any faith that the Philly offense is going to suddenly wake up?