Juan Pierre is used to seeing the Phillies from an opposite dugout, and a much different perspective. Pierre has been one of the offensive standouts in a list that isn’t very long for the 10-12 Phillies.
He leads the team with a .318 average, although we’d like to see a little better decision making on the base paths.
Either way, Pierre, who turns 35 in August, should see plenty of time in the lineup. When he played against the Phillies, he was used to seeing a drastically different offensive team.
“It’s tough especially with the makeup in the past for the Phillies,” Pierre said following Sunday’s 5-1 loss to the Chicago Cubs. “Being an opposing guy you always had that thunder in the middle of the lineup and now you have to create runs.”
Like all the Phillies in the clubhouse, Pierre feels that the team will eventually emerge from its offensive struggles.
After the game Laynce Nix suggested that the players are now putting too much pressure on themselves and not playing relaxed. Pierre doesn’t disagree, but he feels it should be the opposite.
“With this staff if you score some runs you have a pretty good chance of winnign and you can’t say that with a lot of teams,” Pierre said. “It should be less pressure for the offense.”
But it’s not at the moment.
Players seem to be pressing and much to their chagrin, they will continue to be asked about it until showing even the semblance of offensive consistency. Pierre understands that the questions come with the territory.
“Me personally, I go through this every year, when you don’t hit the ball and get these questions,” he said. “I know it’s Philly and you can imagine it will be hyped even more.”
As all the Phillies have said, the only thing to do is keep grinding it out, realizing that there are 140 more games.
Yet the Phillies can’t keep using this excuse much longer and they also can’t wait for Ryan Howard and Chase Utley to return. Who knows when that will be and how effective the two will be after such a long layoff?
There doesn’t seem to be any panic in the clubhouse but in taking the collective temperature, one could surmise there is at least some concern.
And right now, that concern is clearly justified.