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The Downfall of Pat Burrell?

In his time here in Philly, Pat Burrell has gone from hunky Phillie slugger to media whipping boy symbolizing all that is wrong with the Phillies.

This year for Pat has been particularly troubling.  Like Chase Utley, Pat Burrell has had a very hot and cold season.  However, unlike Chase's schizophrenia, Burrell's has been in two very divergent chunks.

Unfortunately for the Phils' stretch run, as we all know, Burrell's cold spell has come in his second half when the team has needed him for the stretch run.

Here's the breakdown of Pat's season.  The key date is June 20, when apparently something happened to Pat's swing that night:

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Pat Burrell G GS AB Runs Hits 2B 3B HR RBI BB K BB/K BA OBA SLG OPS AB/HR
Start to June 20 65 62 219 36 59 10 0 18 52 46 57 0.807 0.269 0.397 0.562 0.959 12.170
June 20 to Sept. 10 61 53 193 32 44 13 1 6 32 37 60 0.617 0.228 0.350 0.399 0.749 32.170

From the start of the season to June 20, Burrell was on fire. He had 18 home runs in 65 games and was hitting to the tune of a .959 OPS. He was on base almost 40% of the time he came to the plate and had a respectable walk to strikeout ratio of .807.

Since June 20, however, Burrell has struggled, although not by as much as I would have thought. His .749 OPS in that period is much better than Chase Utley's ugly stretches. His batting eye is part of the problem, as his walk-to-strikeout ratio has decreased to .617. Again, though, I would have thought it would have been a bigger decrease, but it hasn't.

So, what's the big difference here? Whatever afflicted Abreu in his last year as a Phil has taken over Burrell, as Pat is suffering a massive power outage. He has only 6 home runs since June 21 for a .399 slugging percentage. He had 12.2 at-bats per home run in the first part of the season; 32.2 in the second.

Without Pat's potent power bat in the lineup, Ryan Howard is being pitched around and the lineup as a whole has another big hole at the bottom.

There is one long-term positive though - Pat's second half this year is not as bad as his disastrous 2003 season when his OPS was .713. Maybe he can come back from this long slump as he came back from that atrocious year.