Offense, Pen Falter
The mountain to the wildcard got steeper.
After dropping the first game in Minute Maid Park, the Phillies are faced with must wins in the next three games against the Astros. Then again, nearly every game is a must win.
Aumont gets tagged with his first loss on Thursday night. He has a terrific arm, nasty stuff but is still mastering location. When he’s throwing strikes, its lights out. Pitching in his third straight game, he threw 17 pitches, five for strikes.
The young arms have stabilized the pen as witnessed by a consecutive innings streak of 21 ended last night in the eighth inning. If only the Phillies didn’t have a play the eighth inning, this season would have been different. Think baseball will allow us to go from the seventh to the ninth inning?
While Aumont as an L behind his name, the offense should have a 0. Nine hits, of which eight were singles, and seven walks produced four runs, nothing after the third inning. Two of the singles came from pinch hitters. Inconsistent offense has also been a drawback during the season.
Every September Larry Andersen complains about the MLB rule in which the 25-man roster can be expanded after September 1. For five months, teams battle with 25 players and that goes out the window during the last month when pennant races are being decided.
Perhaps he’s on to something. The Astros used 21 players last night. Tampa, which lost to Baltimore, used a club-record 26 players on Thursday. So, there’s proof it doesn’t necessarily win or lose games.
LA doesn’t have a problem with extra players but feels there should be a daily roster limit of say, 27 players. Sort of like having a taxi squad. Only 27 players can dress for a game. Not a bad idea.
TV Ratings Update
Wednesday’s late afternoon game on CSN drew a 13 household rating. That’s the highest for CSN since a 13 on July 6.
No, not Charlie but MLB’s postseason manual.
Every team with postseason potential receives a manual from Major League Baseball. It contains guidelines on hotel requirements, facility/security, finance, ticketing, publications, media accommodations, broadcasting needs, hospitality, MLB Properties sales, pre-game festivities, transportation/parking, sponsorship/scoreboard, food/retail and community affairs.
While the postseason remains a long shot for the Phillies, it is only a little more than two weeks away if they make it.
So, the office staff met Thursday for the first time to go over the manual. Fortunately, the staff has been through enough postseasons to know what to expect. No one is panicking over the details and everyone is gearing up to work endless hours if need be. Let’s hope to comes to that.
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