But, Jester, wouldn't you rather put yourself in the position to not have to win games later by winning just one more per week in the first month of the season? Again, one more win per week in the month of April and the Phils make the post season.
By starting 1-5 the team is already 4 games under .500 and 4 games back. IMO there is nothing worse than having an uphill climb and with a slow start that is exactly what this team will have to do again.
If you want to point to the middle of the season as to why the team didn't make the post season that's certainly your perrogative. As far as I am concerned the team has their backs against the wall after the first 3 weeks of the season and couldn't climb out from that start.
obviously they couldn't... but it's a 162 game schedule and you can't cut it up and point to one section over the other... they didn't win enough games and that was that (same for the Leafs in the playoffs).
you want to win every game... you want to clinch in July... but it doesn't happen that way.
they're 1-5... 6 out of 162 games.
to win 90 games they need to go 89-67 the rest of the way... that isn't a particularly ridiculous record for a good team. so, i'm not stressing about it. if you're looking 50 games in and they're something like 20-30... then they need to go 70-42 the rest of the way, that's starting to get tougher... even for a good team.
this is a team that is built around knocking the crap out of the ball... which means they are more likely to perform well during the summer than when it's not so warm, as the ball will carry further. if they can get to 50-60 games and be a bit over .500, they aren't in too bad of shape... and Gillick is in a position to tweak the roster some via trades to help in small ways (this is what the As do and why they always take off after the start of the season).
so, yeah, i agree... ideally the team is 5-1, not 1-5. however, i just don't think it's worth getting into a fret over the record until you've gone a bit of a distance into the season... we're not even CLOSE to the quarter-pole.
No, I don't want to clinch in July and I know that you can't win every game.
What I do want is for the team to not have a major uphill climb by starting so slowly season after season.
89-67 isn't a "major uphill climb..." if this is a good baseball team, which we will find out. the point remains, though, your record is what it is at the end of 162 games... they just can't let this linger for 20-30 games like they've done in the past before they get going... especially in the division heavy play at the start of the year.
The bottom line is that Gillick knew going into this season that in addition to having an inept manager that their bullpen stunk and he did nothing about it.
I don't care how good the starting pitching is, the reality of today's MLB is that starters don't pitch complete games any more and rely on the bullpen in innings 7, 8 and 9. I don't have any confidence that this bullpen can protect 1 or 2 run leads at all. So, basically, if the Phils don't have a 5 run lead any game is in doubt.
The question then becomes when do the starters get completely frustrated by the fact that no matter how good they pitch it isn't good enough?