Monday, September 22, 2008

Lovin' It!

At the beginning of the season I predicted a measly 82 victories for the 2008 Philadelphia Phillies, with most of the losses to be squarely pinned on the shoulders of the rag-tag pitching staff. I thought the team's trademark would be a powerful offense to be followed by pitching that couldn't hold leads, but that has been far from the truth; and boy have I been wrong (and I'm lovin' it!). The pitching staff, both starters and bullpen have been excellent this year with a MLB 8th ranked era of 3.93. Our closer, Brad Lidge, exiled from Houston has a perfect 100% save conversion rate this season and is getting himself into the mix for Cy Young votes. The eldest member of baseball, Jamie Moyer, just won his 15th game yesterday and has an amazing 3.78 era. Cole Hamels leads the NL in innings pitched and has settled into the staff ace throne admirably. Brett Myers was a complete letdown in the 1st half of the season to come back from a minor league demotion and put on a brilliant pitching display in his return helping to lead the Phils to a eventual hopeful playoff spot. Ryan Madson, Chad Durbin, and JC Romero have played their roles well in relief and because of all the pitchers listed above that's why the Phils currently hold a 1.5 game lead over the Mets for the NL East.

Game Stuff:
*Pat Burrell and Ryan Howard are now equal in terms of batting average, each sitting at .247. I really don't care who ends up with the higher average, just as long as each of them ups it over the final week here.

*Pedro Feliz's 2-run homerun yesterday was huge. He's not playing as much as he hoped to when he first signed here, but when he does play he plays defense well and has come up with some clutch hits.

*Jimmy Rollins has stolen 45 bases despite being out over 20 games for an ankle injury and being obviously hobbled upon his return. He's now batting .280 with a .348 on base %, and in my opinion that's quality for a leadoff man.

*Rookie JA Happ is set to make his 2nd start in a week in a high pressure situation against Atlanta tonight as the Braves come to Philly for a 3 game set while pitching Jair Jurrjens in the opener. Let's hope Happ can shut the Braves down like he did last week and help the Phils roll on to another victory and game up in the standings.

*Mets lost again. I don't believe in jinxes, so here enjoy this lovely picture...



GM-Carson said...

Off topic- I hate the Yankees, but last night was pretty cool. Seeing all those legends before the game and then having the Yanks shut down the stadium with a win was nice, especially since the won't be helping them make the playoffs.

GM-Carson said...

Post from last year on this date.

Post from 2 years ago on this date.

Joe said...

Off Topic-Re Yankees:
Was it arrogance or ignorance that had the Yankees end the season on the road rather than in Yankee Stadium? Did the MLB schedule makers just assume the Yankees would be in the post season, making a farewell awkward or was no one smart enough to see the drama of having the last game of the season in The Stadium?

Or, were they afraid of the carnage and looting that would take place if fans knew the last game was really the last game, hoping post-season would keep the place bolted down.

Joe said...

Back to Phillies:

Great weekend. Nice to add distance. 1.5 games is huge compared to only a half game. With everyone hitting, their line-up is getting formidable. Now, it's just the 8 and 9 holes that are a breeze.

Was it just camera work, or was Ruiz more obviously and strongly taking charge on the field? There were a number of shots of him calming the infield, giving his pitcher strong messages with what he was saying and just the way he would look at them. Could be more perception than reality, but I like it.

GM-Carson said...

Ruiz is having a solid 2nd half. He's upped his average, been taking walks to turn the lineup over, is calling a good game, and is playing strong defense. Chooch isn't great, but he's fine in the 8-hole.

furiousBall said...

27 blown saves now for the mets? johann must be crying himself to sleep on his huge pile of money every night

GM-Carson said...

I love that the Mets are collapsing again. Some people may be tired of the story, but I'm not. Screw the Mets, I hate 'em!

GM-Carson said...

Some good anti-Mets stuff.

SirAlden said...

I would rather the have the Brewers win the wild card, and beat the Phillies in the NL Finals,
with the Mutts going home -

Than the Mets making it to the playoffs and losing to the Phillies in the NL Finals.

That is how much I hate the Mutts.

Los said...

Let's hope Happ has another "beauty" left in him tonight!

Bob D said...

Nice to see the bullpen fare well. Even Condrey has done well and lowered his ERA to 3.36. Durbin has been a little of a concern as his ERA has gone from 1.95 to2.96 in a month as he has allowed 12 run during that time.

A win tonight would be huge for the team to maintain or increase thier lead for a playoff spot. 4 wins gaurantees the wild card and could be the division if the Mets lose a few this week. This will be a good week to watch some baseball.

Bob D said...

Put this one in the win collum!

Magic # in division down to 5 with a Met loss pending (down by 4)
Magic # for playoffs down to 3

ripjgarcia said...

Although nothing in baseball is completely safe until the "fat lady sings", I think its reasonable to say that the Phillies are in as far as the playoffs go. With the Mets (despite my thoughts that they wouldn't) crumbling again, looks like we win the division again.. Happy days..

SirAlden said...

Let's put another one in the Win Column for the Phightin' Phils!!!

89-68 Matching Last Year's Win Total of 89. The Phillies are in First Place atop the NL East. 2 1/2Game Lead with 5 to play.

86-70 Mutts lose to the Cubs. 6 to play.

85-71 Brewers had the night off. 1 game back of the Mutts, 4 games behind the Phillies with 6 to play.

Phillies Magic Number 3 for the Wild Card

Phillies Magic Number 4 for the NL East Crown.

Magic Number remains 6 for the Wild Card, for the Mutts. GO BREWERS!

GM-Carson said...

F'n A! That was a helluva nailbiter last night. Happ pitched well, bullpen was spot-on, and Burrell came through big-time. Oh yeah, the Mets lost too...hahahaha!!!

SirAlden said...

Bad Break for the Phils...
Tough loss made tougher on Hamel error on the pick off to 3B.

89-69 The Phillies are in First Place atop the NL East. 1 1/2Game Lead with 4 to play.

87-70 Mutts beat the Cubs having Santana through way too many pitches. Hope he feels it next start and next year.

86-71 Brewers come back to defeat the Pirates in the 9th to keep up with the Mutts. 1 game back of the Mutts, 3 games behind the Phillies with 5 to play.

Phillies Magic Number 3 for the Wild Card

Phillies Magic Number 4 for the NL East Crown.

Magic Number for the Wild Card, for the Mutts is 5. GO BREWERS!