"The biggest problem with the Phillies' rotation is that they don't have one"

That's the conclusion of a Hardball Times article which explores the reasons that the Phillies, expected to contend in the National League, have 'phlopped'. How bad have they been? Since May 16th, the Phillies starting rotation has had a 6.61 ERA, and only Cory Lidle has been able to go 5 innings every time out (to the tune of a 5.07 ERA in 10 starts). Cory Lidle has been our ace. Cory Lidle. How many more times can that be said without the severity of it sinking in? Cory Lidle is our ace right now.  So what rotation should be out there?  It really can't get any worse, so why not go with Lidle, Mathieson, Hamels, Mathieson, Brito rotation and see what we have in these younger arms?  Look to deal Lidle and Lieber for anything at this point.

Pitcher         IP     Starts     ERA
Cory Lidle      55       10      5.07
Brett Myers     45.1      8      5.16
Cole Hamels     32.2      6      6.34
Ryan Madson     31        6      6.97
Gavin Floyd     18.2      4     11.09
Jon Lieber      11        2      7.36
Scott Mathieson 8.2       2      9.35
Eude Brito      8.2      2     10.39
TOTAL          211       40      6.61

 The lack of starting pitching has affected the bullpen as well, focing many pitchers to be overworked. Some of this is also due to Manuel using the same arms over and over, but the fact still remains that there are no 7 inning pitchers on this staff. Geoff Geary, Aaron Fultz and Ryan Franklin as simply being trotted out there way too much. The only two relievers not being overworked are Arthur Rhodes(15) and Tom Gordon(14). The relief corps has a 3.81 ERA, but this ignores some of the inherited runners which they have given up.  By August, this team will probably have jettisoned several of its relievers either because they traded them or they simply flamed out from overuse.  This use them and abuse them method didn't work last season, not sure why it will work this season either.

Pitcher         IP     Appr.     ERA
Ryan Franklin   23.1    18      4.63
Geoff Geary     22      23      3.68
Aaron Fultz     20.2    19      3.05
Clay Condrey    20.1    13      3.54
Tom Gordon      14      14      3.21
Rheal Cormier   13.1    17      2.03
Arthur Rhodes   12.2    15      7.11
Scott Mathieson 10.2     2      4.22
Ryan Madson     9.1      4      1.93
Brian Sanches   7.2      6      5.87
Rick White      2        1      0.00
TOTAL            156    132     3.81

 To be fair, this was all done before Ryan Madson went 8.2 scoreless innings last night against the Orioles. Perhaps the pitching is turning itself around. Perhaps Madson is going to anchor the rotation. Maybe the continued recovery of Randy Wolf and Jon Lieber will bring about a sense of urgency for some guys. Maybe those two guys will come back and light up the stat sheets. But something has to be done, because the team is dropping like a rock due to its pitching.