At 3-6 through their first nine games, and with a last place standing in the National League East, the Philadelphia Phillies are off to an undesirable start this season.
Pitching has been a big problem for them, as the Phillies' staff collectively holds a 4.81 ERA and 1.500 WHIP. As a result, their run differential is -11, worst in the division. The elite pitching that distinguished Philly during their NL East dynasty of yesteryear is no longer.
But, even with all that said, Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard doesn't see it the same way as everyone else. He actually thinks the Phillies are playing quite well.
Here is what he told CSN Philly:
"In all actuality. We've actually played very well this year. I disagree with everyone else. Our record doesn't reflect that right now, but I think we've played well."
It is still early, but the Phillies were just swept by the Brewers at home. They gave up an average of 8.3 runs per game along the way.
Howard could be right, that it is only a small sample size and the Phillies will break through soon. Still, it's hard to justify his argument at this point.