“For the past few days, Phillies players have insisted they’re a team that can make it to the World Series without any major additions.
For the past few weeks, the rumors have swirled about who might be coming and who is likely leaving.
And yet, four days before the trading deadline, general manager Ruben Amaro remains silent. No wheeling, no dealing, just a Phillies team plugging away with six straight wins, including Tuesday’s 9-5 victory over Arizona.
“We’re just kind of scratching and clawing and getting runs across,” said first baseman Ryan Howard, who had two hits, including a two-run home run.
Charlie Manuel knows the dynamics of making a deal are fluid, but while Amaro must calculate the complications, the manager isn’t thinking big picture.
“When you look at it, I’m for today,” Manuel said. “Why shouldn’t I be? That’s my job. From the organization’s standpoint, they’re for today, but they’re for putting a team on the field that’s going to be here for a while. I’ve got a little, small window, and they’ve got a big one.”
Tuesday’s win proved a perfect example of the questions Amaro and the Phillies face as the trade deadline nears.
Starter Cole Hamels, who had been brilliant for the past month, threw 108 pitches in five innings, walking four and hitting two batters.
The rest of the game was left to a thin bullpen, headlined by rookie David Herndon, who coughed up the first lead he’d inherited in a month by allowing two runs in an inning of work.
Dilemma No. 1: Do the Phillies need a starter or another arm for that beleaguered bullpen?
Manuel said he’d probably favor another starter, but even that wish comes with an asterisk. While Astros ace Roy Oswalt is reportedly uninterested in coming to Philadelphia, Manuel isn’t keen on the Phillies’ brass dealing for anyone who won’t be a front-line starter.”