Tonight’s Lineup
Rollins, ss; Werth, rf; Utley, 2b; Howard, 1b; Burrell, lf; Victorino, cf; Dobbs, 3b; Coste, c; Blanton, p.

Nationals Arrive
Washington comes to town having lost 10 in a row. 

We’ve beaten them five in a row. 

They’ve won three games against us, two being shutouts. 

But, games aren’t played on paper or blogs but on the field. 

Beijing Update
Team USA defeated Chinese Taipei, 4-2, this morning to advance to the medal round in the Olympics. C Lou Marson caught the entire game, 1-3 plus a walk.  SS Jason Donald also played 9 innings, 1-2, sacrifice, walk and stolen base. 

Both USA and Japan have 4-2 records and they meet on Wednesday evening, a game that will determine the seeds for the semifinal matchups on Friday.  Cuba and Korea, both undefeated going into their game today, will determine the other seeds in Friday’s semifinals (1 vs. 4, 2 vs. 3).

After the semifinal games on Friday, the losers will play on Saturday morning to determine the bronze medal.  Friday’s winners will meet Saturday night for the gold and silver medals.

On Monday, SS Jason Donald was 0-for-2, a walk and two times he was hit-by-pitches in the 9-1 USA win over China.  C Lou Marson did not play.

Comment Corner
Team slump vs. flawed team was a comment posted on Monday. 

Jenn commented on Charlie’s plea for hitting suggestions on her site:
http://philliesphollowers.mlblogs.com/

Meanwhile, blogger “We Should Be GMs” has been promoting a very interesting Campaign Cheer for tonight:
http://pabaseball.blogspot.com/2008/08/game-day-campaign-cheer-in-full-effect.html

Blogs can be interesting.  Others can be very critical.  Ultimately, they give fans the opportunity to speak their mind, essentially creating online communities where people of like minds, or opposing opinions, can talk about issue they care about.  Based on what Champaign Cheer has got going, we know what our fans care about.

Meanwhile, getting back to the flawed team comment. 

My view: the core of this team is pretty much the same since 2005 (when Howard became a regular).  During the three previous seasons, they’ve averaged over 5.19 runs per game.  We led the NL with 862 runs last year, 32 more than the Rockies.  Lowest strikeout total for one season? 1,133 three years ago.

The point: this team has produced runs while striking out.  Power hitters will strike out, no dispute there.   

I again go back to the June 13 20-2 romp in St. Louis.  For some reason, that Friday the 13th game has been an unlucky one.

June 13–Since
W-L   41-28–25-28
Batting average  .265–.235
Runs   373–222
Runs per game  5.4–4.0
Home runs  99–67
RBI   357–214
On-base percentage .343–.313

For August, the numbers don’t get any better:
Win-loss  6-9
Average   .202
Runs   49
Runs per game  3.0
Home runs  14
RBI   47
OBP   .303

Is the team flawed? Yes, there are some holes.  Don’t know of any team that doesn’t have holes.

Is the team in an offensive slump?  To me, history says so.

Do teams and players have off-seasons?  Yes, it has been that way for decades.

Is the season a lost cause?  Heck, no.

 

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