April is the Cruelest Month




So this month ended up with the same record as last April, with some different players and scenarios, but the same results nonetheless.
    Last year, Jon Lieber was specatacular in April. This year, he clearly was not.
Pat Burrell started well then, he has now, too. Howard and Utley weren’t playing this time last year, and this year they’ve had their moments, but have been inconsistent.   
The lineup didn’t make sense until last week, but even since the hit-Utley-second move, there have been some head scratchers, including sending Alex Gonzalez to the plate last night with the bases loaded when he was 0 for 9 against the man he was facing. Sheesh.Burrell_on_base_2_1

    Mike Lieberthal is hitting early, something he hasn’t done the last few years. But this is the longest he’s gone without a homer.
    The pitchers have struck out a ton of batters, but the starting ERA is miserable. The bullpen, which was getting worn out in the early part of the month due to bad starting (making us totally frustrated) has actually settled down and dropped their ERA a lot, and have, for the most part, delivered. Oh, they’ve had their spots and an individual here and there has slogged a bad one every now and then, but boys, for now, you’re off my hook. Rheal Cormier’s ERA is 0.00.

    When I attended my last game, April 26 against Colorado, they scored a lot of runs (9) but Madson was still a bit shaky. However, watching them win 9-5 sure beat the alternative scenario.

     Then they go out the next three days and lose three in a row, including two to the stinkin’ Pirates. The team of my childhood in recent years has been a joke. They play in a beautiful new park that nobody goes to. The Steelers are it in that town and no wonder. The swagger of the black and gold hasn’t been seen in decades. So, to the worst team in the NL they lost 2 of three.

   And while we’re talking about beautiful parks that nobody comes to, the last two games I attended were, until another game came along to beat it, record LOWS in attendance. First, one of the nights they lost to Washington, it was the lowest number in CBP history, then a week later, same thing. The night I was there to watch them beat Colorado, there wore more people across the street INSIDE at the Wachovia Center watching the Flyers against Buffalo. If things don’t improve, come June, the excuse that the kids are in school etc. won’t be valid. Gas prices aren’t going down. Neither are ticket and concession prices. So it could be ugly. The tumbleweeds could start rolling through the upper levels. As a matter of fact, Wednesday against Colorado, not all the downstairs seats were filled.  It’ll be real ugly when the Yankees and Mets come in. They can’t get to StubHub fast enough to get all the ticket the season ticket holders will be jettisoning. I know a lot of people doing this already.The place will be filled with them – "THE OTHER" – the lovely New York fans. And for the little people who want to buy tickets for the better teams, how wise is it to have joined the ranks of those teams who charge more for seats for some teams? So, even though the Travis Lee years are behind us, the attendance figures from that era are not.

     Yet today Gavin Floyd looked terrific. Six shutout innings is what we need to see from him. He needs his confidence back. It’s way too early to bring up Cole Hamels, but if he continues to knock ’em dead in coal country, he might be here. The lineup HAS to gel NOW. They have to drive runners on base in NOW and consistently. The creeps in orange and blue north of us are playing really well. Who’d have thought that we finally keep pace with the Braves in a season, and it’s a season when THEY STINK, TOO!



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