Posted on: June 20, 2009 2:03 pm
The best road team in Major League Baseball has still not found its bearings on it's home field. Of course I am talking about the Phillies. Fresh off a 7-2 loss to the Orioles Thursday to make it 6 losses in their last 7 tries at home, there really is no explanation for why the Phillies are playing the way they are at home. Let's look at some statistics of this 1-6 homestand, namely pitching:
L vs. BOS 2-5
L vs. BOS 6-11
W vs. BOS 11-6
L vs. TOR 3-8
L vs. TOR 1-7
L vs. TOR 7-8
L vs. BAL 2-7
Upcoming Home Games
Sat. vs. BAL
Sun vs. BAL
0-3, 38 IP, 46 H, 27 ER, 30 K, 16 BB, 6.39 ERA
Joe Blanton (0-0) 12.1 IP, 14 H, 6 ER, 9K, 3 BB, 4.38 ERA
Antonio Bastardo (0-2) 8 IP, 8 H, 8 ER, 1 K, 3 BB, 9.00 ERA
J.A. Happ (0-0) 5.2 IP, 7 H, 5 ER, 3 K, 6 BB, 7.94 ERA
Cole Hamels (0-0) 6 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 6 K, 2 BB, 3.00 ERA
Jamie Moyer (0-1) 6 IP, 10 H, 6 ER, 6 K, 2 BB, 9.00 ERA
1-3, 30 IP, 40 H, 23 ER, 30 K, 26 BB , 6.90 ERA
Chan Ho Park (1-0) 3 G, 4 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 8 K, 2 BB, 2.25 ERA
J.C. Romero (0-0) 4 G, 4 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 3 K, 7 BB , 4.50 ERA
Ryan Madson (0-1) 4 G, 4 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 3 K, 3 BB, 4.50 ERA
Clay Condrey (0-1) 4 G, 2.1 IP, 6 H, 6 ER, 1 K, 4 BB, 23.14 ERA
Kyle Kendrick (0-1) 1 G, 2 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 0 K, 1 BB, 13.50 ERA **Sent to Minors**
Chad Durbin (0-0) 3 G, 5 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 6 K, 3 BB, 1.80 ERA
Jack Taschner (0-0) 3 G, 4 IP, 10 H, 6 ER, 3 K, 3 BB, 13.50 ERA
Sergio Escalona (0-0) 1 G, 2 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 1 K, 2 BB, 9.00 ERA **Sent to Minors**
Tyler Walker (0-0) 3 G, 2.2 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 2 K, 1 BB, 0.00 ERA
Now, Phillies hitters are averaging somewhere around 11.3 strikeouts per game during the homestand, but even still, they have scored 4.57 runs per game, so it's not like the team has not been producing. Looking at the starting pitching, we can now see that Bastardo is a problem. In my opinion, the Phillies are lucky for that rain delay against Boston, because in the one inning Bastardo pitched, he gave up 4 ER on 3 Hits. Hamels gave another quality outing, although he did get knocked around a little bit. However, he did get out of trouble a few times so something can be said for that. Blanton hasn't been bad either. His strikeout numbers have been up and he's cutting down on walks. What has been hurting him are the home runs. Moyer still is looking old, but he's not down at the bottom of the rotation yet. I see him as the number 4 in the rotation as of now. Happ continues to show signs of growth, but the consistency is not there yet. He still hasn't lost a game though, so he's been able to keep the team around.
Rotation as I see it: 1. Hamels 2. Blanton 3. Happ 4. Moyer 5. Bastardo
The bullpen is what has been killing me. I bolded a few things there so let me explain. First off, the number of walks has been a big problem and is one of the reasons for the bloated ERA. Romero has been averaging 1.75 Walks per inning. You can't get by in the big leagues giving up that much. The bullpen as a whole is giving up 3.71 walks per game. It's just too many. I know walks happen, but when they total up they just put baserunners on and then a single ends up hurting you. I'd rather get hurt with the longball or a well hit double than a single scoring runs as a result of walks.
The two players I highlighted have been huge problems, in my opinion. I don't know what's up with Condrey's back problems, but he clearly is not performing on the field. The numbers speak for themselves. The same goes for Taschner. In last night's game, he puts Taschner in there down 4-2, and he ends up giving up the next 3 runs, giving the Phillies no chance to get back in it. Madson looks uncomfortable in the closing role, but we know that he will come around and start pitching well again. He's only giving up a run here or there, but in a 1-run game that costs you the game in most cases. The sad part about it all is that Chan Ho Park is finally starting to pitch well out of the bullpen. He's striking guys out and is getting the job done.
Bullpen as I see it:
Maybe it's just a bad week. Maybe it's just interleague play. Those are definitely bad excuses. The pitching needs to pick up real quick, and I still think that the Phils need to go out and get a starter. Bastardo would be a nice addition to the bullpen, maybe working Long Relief with Park. It would help sure up Taschner's spot and maybe we can get him down in the minors for a while.
- Keep your eyes on John Mayberry in LF. He's got a cannon arm and has some nice power at the plate. Expect good things out of this kid in the future.
Posted on: March 9, 2009 2:01 pm
I saw an interesting Post regarding some of the bubble teams, specifically Davidson/Arizona/Kentucky - and I'm going to just throw Creighton in there to prove my point. Lets take a look.
Davidson Wildcats 26-7 (18-2)
Arizona Wildcats 19-12 (9-9)
Kentucky Wildcats 19-12 (8-8)
Creighton Blue Jays 26-7 (14-4)
Alright lets start talking here. If you were only given the option of putting one of these teams in who would it be? Creighton has the best RPI and best record vs. the top 50, While Kentucky's RPI is the worst and Davidson's SOS is abysmal. In the last 10, Creighton is 9-1, so they are coming in hot. I think we can eliminate Kentucky, because there is nothing very impressive about that. Arizona has key wins vs. 4 well-seeded tournament teams, and they have shown that they are going to be able to compete at a high level with their 5-8 top 50 record. You could make a very compelling argument for Creighton here, and since Davidson is 1-4 vs. the top 50, and 24-3 vs. RPI above 100, I think we can eliminate them. I don't see how you can justify the bad losses with just that one win vs. West Virginia. There is no reason that they should have lost the conference tournament, and I don't think they deserve to be in. This leaves Creighton and Arizona. The problem here for Creighton is that I think Arizona is already a good bit ahead of Creighton, and as long as they win a game in their conference tournament they should be the clear favorite out of this group.
Any way you slice it, Arizona looks the best out of these 4 teams, followed by Creighton, Davidson, and Kentucky, in that order. It's very possible too that none of these teams will appear in the tournament.