In honor of the upcoming series between the State buddies Phillies and Buccos, WSBGM's has decided to pay tribute to a Phucco...hello Gary Varsho! Varsho has spent time in both organizations as a player and coach, currently employed as bench coach for Pittsburgh (also bench coach for Phils as recently as 2006). Gary's playing days lasted 8 illustrious season from the time he started as a Cub back in 1988 until the day he retired a Phillie in 1995. In between Chicago and Philly were two stops with the Pirates and one with the Reds. Career line: 571 gm, 101 r, 204 h, 41 dbl, 11 trpl, 10 hr, 84 rbi, 27 sb, .244 avg, and .649 OPS all while doing mostly pinch-hitting with occasional time at all three outfield positions. Of note, Varsho holds a .667 playoff batting average going 2-3 in the '91 and '92 postseason with the Buccos.
Showdown in PA:
The Philadelphia Phillies (12-11) travel to Pittsburgh for a 3 game set against the Pirates (9-13) starting Friday night at 7:05 in beautiful and underrated PNC Park. Match-ups: Friday- Adam Eaton (0-0, 4.74 era, 1.34 whip) vs. Zach Duke (0-1, 4.37, 1.77), Saturday- Kyle Kendrick (1-2, 5.59, 1.81) vs. Matt Morris (0-3, 9.15, 1.98), and Sunday- Brett Myers (2-1, 4.78, 1.31) vs. Paul Maholm (1-2, 4.22, 1.50).
Phils Jackpots: Pat Burrell (.355 avg/1.224 OPS), Chase Utley (.385/1.288), Jayson Werth (.300/.958), Greg Dobbs (.355/.992), and Chris Coste (.370/1.172).
Buccos Jackpots: X-Man Nady (.337/.919), Nate McLouth (.333/.978), Ryan Doumit (.344/.943), Ronny Paulino (.290/.726), and Jason Bay (.270/.859).
Phils Bankrupts: Geoff Jenkins (.225/.600), Pedro Feliz (.213/.654), Carlos Ruiz (.194/.484), Eric Bruntlett (.207/.534), and Ryan Howard (.176/.638). Of note- Mr. Ten Million Dollar Man Ryan Howard has only 7 hits in 63 at bats against the Pirates for a .111 batting average with no homeruns, only 4 rbi, 31 k's, and a piss poor .303 OPS.
Buccos Bankrupts: Freddy Sanchez (.227/.513), Luis Rivas (.188/.433), Doug Mientkiewicz (.212/.606), Brian Bixler (.158/.390), Adam LaRoche (.149/.454), Jose Bautista (.178/.525), and Nyjer Morgan (.130/.433).
*Each team sucks at fielding, 21 errors for the Phils and 25 for the Pirates.
*My prediction, the Phils are going to get hot and sweep this series and build a strong foundation for their first winning April in quite some time.