Philadelphia Phillies (34-22) @ Pittsburgh Pirates (26-29)
Friday, 7:05, Cole Hamels vs. Jeff Karstens
Saturday, 7:05, Ah Crap, Not Him vs. Charlie Morton
Sunday, 1:35, Roy Halladay vs. James McDonald
AVG - .239 (26th)
OBP - .314 (21st)
SLG - .358 (26th)
R - 216 (23rd)
It is amazing this team is hovering around .500 considering their young offensive talent isn't producing up to snuff. Superstar Andrew McCutchen/CF is only hitting .260, but does carry an OPS of .810 with 9 HR and 11 SB. Pedro Alvarez/3B is on the DL, and wasn't hitting worth crap before his injury (.208/.587). Neil Walker/2B (.273/.767) and Chris Snyder/C (.291/.822) attempt to buoy the team offensively, but they alone with McCutchen are not enough. Jose Tabata/RF, Lyle Overbay/1B, Garrett Jones/RF, Matt Diaz/OF, and Ronny Cedeno/SS are sinking them.
ERA - 3.54 (9th)
WHIP - 1.32 (18th)
BAA - .253 (18th)
It's funny how things work out. Heading into the season the Pirates were supposed to have this young up-and-coming offense that would keep them in ball games and bring the team back to respectability, but that hasn't been the case. The pitching is the story of this team through the first 2 months, which was supposed to be their Achilles heel. Tonight's starter, Karstens, is holding his own in the rotation and has a tidy 3.58 ERA. Saturday's starter, Morton, has reinvented himself by a taking cue from Roy Halladay, and is performing the turn around of the century ('10: 2-10, 7.57/1.73, '11: 5-2, 2.51/1.37). The only starting pitcher having a tough go of it this year is Sunday's McDonald (4.85), but even he has the stuff to shut down a team when he's on.
The bullpen is a hodge-podge of castoffs, but is serving the Buccos well. Heading the relief group is Joel Hanrahan (1.46 ERA, 14 SV). Daniel Moskos, Daniel McCutchen, Jose Veras, and Chris Resop are all pulling their weight too.
Phillies in Debt?
According to a report released by the Los Angeles Times, the Phillies are 1 of 9 MLB franchises that are out of compliance regarding the MLB's debt regulations. I'm thoroughly confused, because they sell out every game and have been doing well for 5 years now in terms of media, merchandise, and attendance. However, I'm not an economics major, nor do I pretend to have firm grasp on this, so I'll just take the Times word on it. I just pray this doesn't turn into a Mets/Dodgers-esque making payroll needing bailout fiasco.
*Combined post by Corey & Carson