Philadelphia Phillies (33-20) @ Washington Nationals (22-30)
Season Series - Phillies 5 wins, Nationals 1 win
Monday, 1:05, Roy Halladay vs. Livan Hernandez
Tuesday, 7:05, Cliff Lee vs. Jason Marquis
Wednesday, 1:05, Roy Oswalt vs. John Lannan
AVG - .229 (29th)
OBP - .299 (28th)
SLG - .360 (25th)
R - 198 (23rd)
Simply put- this teams sucks offensively. Ryan Zimmerman is on the DL for the eleventith time in his career. Jayson Werth is underwhelming (apparently $126M buys you a .790 OPS). Danny Espinosa is barely clearing the Mendoza Line (.203). Ian Desmond still has a ton of talent, but still has a ton of problems consistently hitting the ball (.223). Pudge Rodriguez is a shell of his former self (.211). The two boons for this squad are in the unexpected form of Laynce Nix (.307/.897) and Michael Morse (.288). When will Bryce Harper be ready?
ERA - 3.88 (17th)
WHIP - 1.32 (19th)
BAA - .257 (23rd)
We've firmly established that Livan Hernandez is the heftier, tanner, right-handed Cuban version of Jamie Moyer. Marquis is a sinkerball pitcher. Lannan hits Phillies and the Phillies hit him back. This trio isn't anything to be frightened of.
In the bullpen are workhorses Drew Storen, Tyler Clippard, Doug Slaten, and Todd Coffey; all with ERA's 2.25 and under. Fireballer Henry Rodriguez is quickly acclimating himself to the league too, striking out 17 in 11.2 IP with a 2.31 ERA. Relief pitching is this team's strength. Hit the starting pitcher early and often and hope you have enough runs before these guys come in.
Facebook Comment of the Week:
"I think the Phillies need to keep Michael Martinez when Victorino comes back. I do not wanna ship him back to the Nationals, he is a good player off the bench. I also do not wanna have to see John Mayberry Jr. have to get sent down to Lehigh Valley. I think Ross Gload should be sent down to Lehigh Valley in the corresponding move when Victorino comes back and keep Martinez and Mayberry Jr. with the Major League team."
I'm not even sure how to attack this statement. First, Ross Gload is one of the best pinch hitters in baseball. For his career he is batting .280/.734 in that capacity (274 plate appearances). Second, Michale Martinez is awful. He plays a multitude of positions, but his bat is weak and he lacks on base skills. He is 28 years old and has never performed above average in the minors, so it's not like he's a young prospect still learning that game with potential upside. He does not belong on a MLB roster, especially that of a playoff bound contender. His presence on this team angers me more and more with every passing day. The Phillies already have their everywhere man in the form of Wilson Valdez. Martinez is redundant trash. His Rule 5 status is what is protecting him from demotion, because he'd have to be offered back to the Nationals before being sent to the Phillies minors. Thing is, he wouldn't be missed if the Nats claimed him back...which they might not anyway. It's time Amaro admit his mistake of keeping Martinez when camp broke in late March. Mayberry and Gload are obviously better bench options, so correct the error and rid this team of Michael Martinez. Third, I agree Mayberry needs to stay, because when he's not exposed to playing regularly he performs well in limited action. See David, I didn't totally tear everything you said apart.