Another struggle that was showcased by this weekend's embarrassing performance is Pat Burrell's continued struggles. The kid just looks scared. Burrell has yet to show any resemblance to the player he was last season, when he tallied 37 home runs and 116 RBI. Something needs to be done, whether it's demoting Burrell to AAA Scranton, or giving him time to ride the pine, he just isn't ready to play every day. With this being said, the Phillies will need to make a move here. Whether it be internally, or via trade, the Phillies must bring a bat into this lineup, to play left field. Tyler Houston is recovering from injury, but he cannot play everyday. It appears Pat the Bat may not come out of this thing, in 2003 and the Phillies need to address the situation.
For the next seven days, the Phillies must put these distractions behind them, and focus on the task at hand; winning two series' before the all-star break. The team's next six games come against National League East opponents, three against the Mets after three against the Expos beginning tonight.
Brandon Duckworth takes the mound against Livan Hernandez in the opener. Duckworth looks to record his fourth win of 2003. Duckworth already has one thing going for him, Vladimir Guererro is out of the lineup for a substantial period of time with an injury, so he will not have to face the Expos' hitting machine.
The Phillies bats fell silent when faced with the scorching Marlins pitching, and need to rebound against the Expos. Spurned by the All-Star team, players like Jim Thome, Mike Lieberthal and Jimmy Rollins may have a chip on their shoulder and there is no better time than now to showcase that they belonged on the team. Each has had solid seasons, and need to continue their success throughout the remainder of the schedule for this to be a truly successful campaign.
The Phillies will struggle in this series. There are many question marks surrounding the team, but with that said they should still be able to narrowly take two of three from Montreal.