The Philadelphia Phillies have started the season 3-6 and are in last place in the NL East. Considering they finished the 2013 season with a 73-89 record, very few people are surprised. One person isn’t discouraged by the slow start, however. A certain optimist actually thinks the Phillies are playing well. You know him as Ryan Howard.
“In all actuality we’ve actually played very well this year,” Howard said Thursday before the Phillies lost yet again, per Ryan Lawrence of the Philadelphia Daily News. “I disagree with everybody else. Our record doesn’t necessarily reflect that right now, but, you know, we’ve played well. We had three real bad games. So the only thing to do is go out there and try to win again.”
Have the Phillies simply been victims of a series of bad breaks? As Lawrence noted, they have committed seven errors in the past four games. Philadelphia is batting .263 as a team, which isn’t horrible. Howard, who currently owns what many have called the worst contract in baseball, is hitting right where we all expected him to — .200 with one homer and three RBI. He has one hit in his last 18 at-bats.
Is it time to panic? Of course not. We’re nine games into a 162-game season. That said, the Phillies have gone straight downhill since they won 102 games in 2011. Their roster is filled with aging superstars who can’t stay healthy and just don’t seem to have it anymore. If Howard wants to pretend the 2013 Phillies have a bright future, that’s certainly his prerogative.
H/T Hardball Talk