Thursday, June 30, 2011

Phillies Youth Brigade


Last night's pitching performance was brought to you by the Phillies youth brigade. Vance Worley, Michael Stutes, and Antonio Bastardo have a combined age of less that Raul Ibanez and are doing wonderfully for the best team in baseball this season. Go youth, go Phils!

Attempting to make the BoSox weep with a sweep is "old man" Cole Hamels, all of 27 years.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Nifty 50, Shutouts Galore, Deserving Reader Comment & Undeserving Polly

Nifty 50:
The first team to reach 40 wins this season was also the fastest to 50...go figure. The Phils moved to 20 games above .500 last night with their 50th victory of the season. Pretty damn impressive, especially considering the amount of injuries they've endured.

Shutouts Galore:
So this Cliff Lee guy is alright after all. 3 straight complete game shutouts is pretty good. I've seen better though. My boy Corey once went an entire Little League season without surrendering an earned run. Of course tons of runs were scored on errors, but that's neither here nor there. Lee is amazing and has put any early seasons concerns behind him. Far behind him.

Deserving Reader Comment:
The following is from yesterday's comment section in which loyal reader Preserve Jon laid out the following...

After Victorino's homerun, I made a conscious decision to relax and enjoy the rest of the season. At 50-30, the Phils are 20 games above .500 before the midway point in the season. They're on their way to 100 wins and possibly the best record in franchise history.

Sure, the bullpen is up and down and shows signs of leaking some oil with all the injuries. Sure, Oswalt has a balky back and will be out until August. And Blanton? Who knows, but he'll make a solid 4th or 5th starter on this team upon his return. Sure, they could use a power-hitting right-handed bat. But you know what? I'm not going to gloss over the minor problems this team has, but in 2011 every team has problems.

I've said it before, but over the past several years, this team has produced better in the second half. So I fully expect a team of the Phils' caliber, with the Phils' experience to play even better. The pitching is everything we hoped it would be in the offseason. Halladay, Lee and Hamels have the three best records in all of baseball and are right up there in ERA as well.

I may complain here and there, but I've decided to just sit back, watch some great baseball, and enjoy this great, great baseball team. Not to get too sentimental, but in the future I think a lot of us agree that we'll be telling our children about watching this team, much the same way my parents and grandparents told me about the teams of the 50s - early 80s*.

I'm so happy to be a Phillies fan right now. I wouldn't have it any other way.


*SirAlden later noted that should include mid 70's through early 80's.

Undeserving Polly:
Last night the always brilliant Sarge commented on Placido Polanco's leading of the NL All-Star vote for 3rd basemen. He said that Polly is the best because no other guys are really doing any better. Really? Might want to check out some quick reference stats there genius!

AVG/OPS
Placido Polanco/PHI - .289/.707
Chase Headley/SDP - .303/.808
Aramis Ramirez/CHC - .291/.790
Ryan Roberts/ARI - .254/.779
Chipper Jones/ATL - .252/.754

It is true that the usual suspects (David Wright and Ryan Zimmerman) have been dinged up and unable to produce All-Star quality seasons, but Polly isn't the best that the NL has to offer at 3rd. Then again it's all a popularity contest anyway for an exhibition game, so who really gives a shit.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Series Preview - Boston Red Sox

Pitching Matchups:
Tuesday, 7:05 - Cliff Lee v. Josh Beckett
Wednesday, 7:05 - Vance Worley v. John Lackey
Thursday, 1:05 - Cole Hamels v. Jon Lester

Beaneaters Batting:
Runs - 409 (1st)
AVG - .277 (1st)
OBP - .352 (1st)
SLG - .447 (2nd)

Holy crap. Just look at those rankings. Adrian Gonzalez is hitting .361. He and Big Papi have combined for 33 home runs and 119 RBI. Then there's the usual suspects: Youkilis, Pedroia and Ellsbury. At least Carl Crawford is on the DL.

Beaneaters Pitching:
ERA - 3.97 (17th)
WHIP - 1.28 (8th)
BAA - .238 (5th)

Josh Beckett and Jon Lester are really good. The Phils likely won't get more than 2 runs in either game. The interesting pitcher for the Sox this week is John Lackey.

John Lackey is getting paid a bunch of money (~$15 million) to be real, real bad. In eleven starts this season, Lackey is 5-6 with a 7.36 ERA. He's giving up 10+ hits per nine innings and has a K/BB ratio of 1.46. Lackey's stats have progressively gotten worse since his terrific 2007 season. Unfortunately for the Red Sox, they still owe him 3 1/2 years and over $50 million.

In the bullpen, setup man Daniel Bard is probably their best pitcher and possibly the future closer. But right now Jon Papelbon still gets the nod in the ninth inning. His fastball is slower and he gets hit a lot more as shown in his 3.90 ERA. With the Phillies closer situation up in the air due to Madson's numb hand, it could get interesting in the ninth inning for both teams in what should be a few close games.

Their Michael Martinez:
Darnell McDonald - The 32 year old has bounced around to multiple organizations since being drafted in the first round by the Orioles in 1997. Despite only 2 Major League homeruns prior to 2010, McDonald hit 9 with the Red Sox last season while hitting a respectable .270 and filling in at all three outfield positions. This season, things aren't going so well. In 46 games, he's hitting .109 with 1 homer and 3 RBI. His .330 OPS is more than 100 points lower than Michael Martinez. Ouch.

Honorable Mention - JD Drew and his .232 average.

What We're Drinking:
Corey - Troegs Sunshine Pils - My favorite summer session beer, after Miller Lite of course, is the Sunshine Pils. It's light and crisp like you would expect but with the kicked-up hops you get citrus notes and a faint bitterness not found in most German style pilsners. However, the hops are far from overpowering (which I'm sure is a disappointment to the hop heads...) and as a result this becomes a beer that can be enjoyed for many hours on long hot summer night.


Carson - Boulevard Unfiltered Wheat. Father-in-law picked me up a 12-pack of this delicious brew when he was in Missouri last month. It's a great summer beer with a citrus aroma and flavor, that refreshes the palate rather than sit heavy on it. Also, the bestselling craft beer in the Midwest.

Prediction:
The Phils haven't done well against the Red Sox recently. Two of three for the bad guys.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Halladay is the Best Pitcher in Baseball

"Best pitcher in baseball" is a phrase that is bandied about more than shuttlecock at a badminton tournament. Remember when Johan Santana was the best? What happened to him anyway? Remember when Ubaldo Jimenez was the best? Flamed out near the end of 2010 and is having a rocky 2011. Remember when Zack Greinke was the best? Hasn't come close to his 2009 dominance. Remember when Felix Hernandez was the best? Not quite as dominate this year. Remember when Josh Johnson was the best? Can't stay healthy enough to deserve that tag. Remember when Tim Lincecum was the best? He's come back down to earth (possibly because he's not as high). Remember when Jered Weaver was the best? We'll see how long this lasts. Remember when Justin Verlander was the best? Great stuff, but still no Roy Halladay. The list goes on, and there will likely be new names to add to it before season's end.


Other pitchers are fads or flavors of the week. They do not stand up to the test of time like Roy Halladay does. Other pitchers have great months, half seasons, and sometimes even entire years, but they still pale in comparison to Doc. This isn't opinion, it's fact. I'm not suggesting these other pitchers are slouches (far from it), rather I'm merely stating Roy Halladay is the best pitcher in baseball.

Run the date back to the start of the 2008 season (oh, what a mighty fine year that was) and there is clearly no better pitcher in baseball over that span than Roy Halladay. He has strung together 3.5 seasons of dominate baseball: 68-34, 115 GS, 863 IP, 120:756 BB:K ratio, 32 CG, 10 SHO, 2.63 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 25.8 WAR.

Pitchers with 20+ WAR since 2008:
1. Roy Halladay - 25.8
2. Cliff Lee - 24.2
3. Tim Lincecum - 23.4
4. CC Sabathia - 22.5
5. Justin Verlander - 21.6
6. Zack Greinke - 21.4
7. Dan Haren - 20.2

Halladay's wins, innings, ERA, WHIP, complete games, and BB:K ratio are also tops in baseball since the beginning of 2008.

*Stats provided by FanGraphs

2011 Philadelphia Phillies Rankings

Record:
49-30, .620 winning %, best in baseball

Offense:
R - 320 (16th)
AVG - .246 (21st)
OBP - .320 (15th)
SLG - .373 (22nd)
OPS - .693 (20th)
DBL - 115 (27th)
TRPL - 17 (5th tied)
HR - 64 (17th)
SB - 48 (19th)
BB - 266 (6th)
K - 486 (25th)

Overall, a punchless offense that has scored 3 runs or less in 43 of their 79 games . They put the ball in play plenty, but mostly as lazy fly balls, pop-ups, or soft grounders. Power is missing from this team, and that doesn't stand to improve unless Utley recaptures his stroke and Dom Brown starts justifying the hype.

Pitching:
ERA - 3.05 (1st)
WHIP - 1.19 (3rd)
BAA - .243 (6th)
BB:K - 207:610 (1st)
QS - 53 (1st)
CG - 9 (1st)
SHO - 11 (1st)
SV% - 92% (1st)

We are witnessing one of the best pitching staffs (rotation and bullpen collectively) to perform for the Phillies. This could be historic.

Fielding:
E - 34 (1st)
% - .989 (1st)
CS - 27% (17th)

A sure-handed team that makes the routine, albeit not spectacular plays. It has recently been written that they lack range (can't find article), but hey, at least they're not the Oakland E's (61 errors).

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Damn You Offense!

The Phillies have scored 3 runs or less in 54% of their games (42 times in 78 games). Damn you offense!

And your NL All-Star at 3rd base is...Placido Polanco, who has hit .225/.559 in May and June since his torrid Ted Williams-esque April of .398/.971. Damn you Polly!

$11.5M fossilized LF Raul Ibanez is batting .197/.516 in the month of June and hasn't had a hit in a week. Damn you Rrraaauuulll!

Super-duper "prospect" Domonic Brown is batting a disgusting .159/.585 in June. He is not the "Domonator" as some have suggested, rather he's being "domonated". Damn you Dom!

Remember when Ben Francisco was thought to be one of the best 4th outfielders in baseball? Well, he has only 6 hits and 2 RBI in June. Damn you Benny Fran!

Leadoff batter extraordinaire Jimmy Rollins has a .221 average and paltry .302 OBP going on in June. Damn you J-Roll!
________________________________________________

Other Stuff:
*Roy Oswalt is out until at least August. For now, Kyle Kendrick takes his spot in the rotation. 4 Aces my ass!

*Alright, enough of this stuck on 9 wins crap. Hamels couldn't seal the deal twice (Damn you offense!), and today Halladay gets his second chance. After only going 6 innings and 97 pitches in his last start, Doc is probably good for 11-12 innings today should the offense need that much time to score a friggin' run.

*The Pittsburgh Pirates are 2 games above .500 (39-37), and this is without the offensive boost Pedro Alvarez was supposed to give. They've done it largely on pitching. Go Buccos!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Hamels Goes For #10, Roster Update, Oswalt Nearing End, The Future & The Phanatic Goes Down

10 Spot:
Cole Hamels and Roy Halladay have each had the opportunity to be the first in the Majors this season to reach 10 wins, but were unable to do so (offense's fault, not theirs). Hamels has another chance at it today, and as long as the bats back him (not likely), then hopefully he'll gain this distinction.

Roster Moves:
*Jose Contreras to the DL with old age, Juan Perez called up. Perez is now officially a Phucco.

*Brian Schneider activated from the DL, Dane Sardinha outrighted to Lehigh Valley.

*JC Romero released.

*Roy Oswalt to the DL with a cranky back and defeatist attitude, Scott Mathieson called up.

Is This The End?
“You throw as long as you can and when you can’t throw anymore you don’t. Hopefully it’s not to the point where I can’t throw anymore. If it’s at that point, you just have to accept it.”
~Roy Oswalt

Mere speculation here, but this sounds like a man who is defeated and finished. Oswalt has been talking about retiring at the end of his contract for the past couple years, and now with the contract nearing its end, it appears he too is nearing his end. He's a devout family man that has suffered through tornado scares over the past 2 years, and that has taken a toll on him mentally. His body is also giving way due to continuing back problems. The Phillies hold a $16M option for him next season, but it's doubtful they pick it up, nor does Roy likely want them to at this point. Baseball-Reference lists his career earnings at $75,950,000, so it's safe to say he's done alright for himself financially. I hope this isn't the end for him, as it would be great to see him return and help pitch the Phils to a World Series title. If it is the end of the road though, well, then he's had one helluva career and I hope he enjoys retirement.

The Future:
Both Jarred Cosart/SP and Sebastian Valle/C of the Clearwater Thresher has been chosen to play in the XM Futures Game, that is held over the All-Star break to showcase prospects. Valle (.353/.859) will be donning the World team uniform, while Cosart (6-4, 3.16 ERA) goes for the USA. Current Phillies that have been featured in the game are Ryan Howard, Joe Blanton, Chase Utley, and Domonic Brown.

And in case you haven't seen it, here's the Phanatic getting hit by a foul ball...

Friday, June 24, 2011

Series Preview - Athletics

Pitching Matchups:
Friday 7:05 - Vance Worley v. Guillermo Moscoso
Saturday 7:05 - Cole Hamels v. Trevor Cahill
Sunday 1:35 - Roy Halladay v. Josh Outman

Balancing Elephants Batting:
Runs - 275 (26th)
BA - .237 (27th)
OBP - .306 (25th)
Slg - .343 (28th)

For a breakdown of their "offense," see the "Michael Martinez" section below.

Balancing Elephants Pitching:
ERA - 3.22 (3rd)
WHIP - 1.29 (9th)
BAA - .248 (8th)

Moscoso is a 27 year old righty who I know absolutely nothing about above and beyond his stats on baseball-reference.com. He's thrown 30 innings this year and has only 12 Ks so that looks promising for the Phils...

If only the Phils would have seen Trevor Cahill a few starts ago. The Oakland ace had a rough couple of weeks, giving up four or more runs in four straight starts at the beginning of this month. He rebounded in his last appearance against the Giants, going 8 innings and only giving up a single run.

Former Phillie farmhand Josh Outman goes in the third game. Outman and Adrian Cardenas* were traded to Oakland three years ago for Joe Blanton. Outman underwent Tommy John surgery in 2009 and didn't pitch at all last season. But here's all you need to know - the Phils will win the first two and then lay an egg against Outman in game three because they are allergic to sweeps.

[*Former shortstop Cardenas was moved to second base. Then he was moved to third base. Now he's a corner outfielder for AAA Sacramento. He's hitting for average (.321 this season, minor league career average of .302) but he's has only slightly above Michael Martniez power. He has eleven homer in the last two and a half seasons. His best bet now is to end up a Ross Gload type because nobody is playing a powerless corner infielder on a regular basis)

He's Their Michael Martinez:
The whole damn team. Seriously, Billy Beane, you really put together a real shitty team.

The Opening Day third baseman (Kevin Kouzmanoff) hit .221 and is now in AAA. The Opening Day first baseman (Daric Barton) is hitting .212 with zero homers and a .267 slugging percentage and might be in AAA soon. [Note: Could you imagine the epic rants on this website if our starting first baseman had a .268 slugging percentage?] The Opening Day second baseman (Mark Ellis) is on the DL but was hitting only .211 before getting injured.

Those guys are really struggling but if you look at the rest of the lineup, it doesn't get much better. Josh Willingham leads the team with 10 homers, but is hitting only .231. Hideki Matsui is at .221. David DeJesus is at .230. Coco Crisp and Cliff Pennington are hitting in the .250's and look like All-Stars compared to the rest of these clowns.

The team has Scott Sizemore and Jemile Weeks starting now and in their brief time, they've hit the ball fairly well. Still, this team shouldn't score more than 5 runs this series.

What We Are Drinking This Series:
Corey - Corralejo Reposado tequila - When it's "hitting season" (you know, warm outside) for the Phillies, it's "tequila season" for me. Corralejo Reposado is a very smooth, medium bodied tequila that is so tasty all it needs is an ice cube or two. If you're a traditionalist and prefer it neat, it goes down nice and easy. Just don't use it to make a margarita. Don't mask that delicious tequila flavor with a sugary, sour mix! However, if you add just a splash of triple sec and lime juice and top with club soda you've got a great, low calorie, tequila prominent margarita-like beverage.

Carson - Dogfish Head's Bitches Brew. I've been holding onto this rare release for a few months now, but I can't wait any longer. This beer was brewed in honor of the 40th anniversary of Miles Davis' album titled Bitches Brew. At 9% this stout should please the palate and senses.

Tale of the Tape:
During our “Tale of the Tape” series of 2010 I never got to do Oakland. So, here's an abbreviated version.

Who Plays Your GM?
Oakland – Brad Pitt plays GM Billy Beane in the upcoming flop movie “Moneyball.”
Philly – If they made a movie about the Phillies front office, I would give the role to great thespian Lou Diamond Phillips.
Advantage – Push. The greatness of “LaBamba” earns LDP a draw.

Bad Fan
Oakland – Shawn Batie. Shawn was arrested in northern California under the influence of methamphetamine while wearing an Oakland Raiders jacket, a G-string and a hair scrunchie around his genitals. How embarrassing, a Raiders jacket!?!?
Philly – Matthew Clemens. He’s that puking guy.
Advantage – Oakland. There’s no excuse for vomiting on a child. But a hair scrunchie wrapped around your junk? Bravo!

Where Our Ladies Like To Brawl
Oakland – Outside of a Burger King.
Philly – Inside an H&M.
Advantage – Philly. Our fashionable combatants fight with with pieces of mannequins inside a Swedish clothier. I can see that happening. But that Oakland debacle is straight trash. Pregnant brawlers, octogenarian attackers, toking and coughing bystanders, a man on woman beat down, a flying high-chair. Stay classy, Oakland.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Confidence Meters - June 2011

*Confidence Meters do not account for last night's game.


Hallday, Hamels and Lee. Wow. When one of these guys has the ball the needle is pinned all the way to the right on the ol' Confidence Meter. However, Roy Oswalt has been, for a lack of a better interjection, "eh." You know, not that great, but not Omar Daal either. Also, the jury is still out on the 5th starter spot. Can Vance Worley continue to pitch well (for the most part) while Joe Blanton is out? How long will Joe Blanton be out? Do we have to watch Kendrick start any more games? So, there's too much uncertainty between the 5th spot and Oswalt's back to venture too far into the "Carlton" zone, but it's close.

Starter Stock - Getting close to max value.



See Carson's bullpen article just below this post. I got nothing else to add to that.

Bullpen stock - Low risk and steady (except for Baez).


While Carson's confidence is probably close to mine for the Starters and the Bullpen, I know he's not as high on the offense as me. How am I so sure of this? Because he said as much in an email yesterday. And I quote - "Abraham Nunez (bottom). A team full of Bobby Abreu talent with Abraham Nunez like production. Inexcusable."

I guess I'm just in a better mood, because I see an offense that has been sputtering all season but recently has put together a string of games scoring 4+ runs and winning. Their output in the last 11 games is 7,7,4,9,8,5,3,2,5,0 and 10 while winning nine of those games. Are things perfect? No. Is Michael Martinez still here? Yes. But I consider them at least a mediocre offense at this point.

Offense Stock - Rising. Of course, I would say "upwardly mobile," while Carson would say "nowhere to go but up." It's all about perspective, you see...

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Power of the Pen (Bull that is)

Through game 74 of the Philadelphia Phillies 2011 season their bullpen has tossed 198 innings, while collecting 12 wins, 22 saves, and 23 holds with a 2.82 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, and a 94:157 BB:K ratio. We all know the starting rotation is awesome, and that was to be expected, but the relief corps have been solid too. Here's some of the individual performances...

Antonio Bastardo has been one of the best set-up men in baseball this year (31 G, 28 IP, 0.96 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, 3 W, 2 SV, 7 HLD, 13:33 BB:K). His sparkling ERA is 2nd to only the Atlanta Braves' Jonny Venters in that category among relief pitchers. He has not be scored upon since May 25th (nearly a month ago), and has reeled off 12 consecutive scoreless appearances (9 IP, 1 H, 4 BB, 7 K).

David Herndon was demoted to Lehigh Valley in the beginning of May, much to the pleasure of Phils fans everywhere. He's been promoted, demoted, and promoted again since then and has done remarkably well upon his returns (9 G, 13 IP, 9 H, 1 BB, 10 K, 0.00 ERA). This is a big improvement, considering his ERA was residing near 10 (9.28 on April 29th) when he was banished to the Iron Pigs.

Michael Stutes is a rookie being thrust into the fire of late inning relief and has been up to the challenge thus far. In 24 games, he has racked up 22.2 IP, with a 2.38 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 2 W, 4 HLD, and a 14:22 BB:K ratio. The one thing he could stand to improve is his control, but Amaro & Co. have to be pleased with his performance to date. If you wanna follow homeboy on Twitter, check him out @mikestutes.


Ryan Madson has been an elite set-up man for years, but has faltered every extended opportunity he's had to close games. Not the case this season. Madson has lost the deer-in-headlights look and become fierce on the mound in 2011, racking up 15 saves in 17 chances. He's got a tidy 2.03 ERA and 1.19 WHIP to go along with those saves, as well as 3 wins, 2 holds, and a 11:34 BB:K ratio in 31 games and innings pitched.

Others:
This pitching staff is so good that they were able to release a man with a 3.86 ERA (JC Romero) with no qualms. Even Danys Baez hasn't completely sucked (3.98 ERA, 1.39 WHIP in 31.2 IP). Jose Contreras began the year brilliantly, but has struggled since returning from the DL (overall- 3.86 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, 5 SV, 4 HLD in 17 G). Also, Kyle Kendrick has done decent work out of the bullpen (13 G, 20.1 IP, 2.21 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, 2 W). Let's not forget the scoreless work that Scott Mathieson and Wilson Valdez also turned in earlier this season. Ha!

Where are they now? (From 2010 Phillies)

The 2011 version of the Philadelphia Phillies is a lot like the 2010 version in terms of roster occupants, but there are some players missing from this year's team that played for them last season. Where are they now?

Greg Dobbs/FLA - .317/.774, 22 R, 12 DBL, 2 HR, and 21 RBI. Mr. Sideburns signed with Florida on a minor league contract and has become the Marlins starting 3B by continuing to collect hits (albeit mostly singles). Where the hell was this type of production the past 2 years in Philly?

Jayson Werth/WSH - .233/.743, 35 R, 13 DBL, 10 HR, 27 RBI, and 9 SB. The Nationals are not getting what they paid for, but nobody really expected them to get $126M out of J-Dub either. He's currently batting leadoff in Washington and is being outperformed by the previously mentioned Dobbs. Sad.

Juan Castro/LAD - .286/.619 in 7 games. He's back with the Dodgers for the 77th time in his career (actually only his 3rd). Currently on the 7-day DL with the club's Triple-A team in Albuquerque.

Cody Ransom/ARI - .313/.999, 58 R, 20 DBL, 18 HR, and 60 RBI with the Diamondbacks AAA squad in Reno.

Paul Hoover - signed a minor league deal with Boston over the winter, but it appears he's no longer with the franchise and quite possibly is out of baseball

Mike Sweeney - retired, but still loves the bro-hug.

Jamie Moyer - rehabbing from arm surgery and getting face time on ESPN's Baseball Tonight. I'm hoping he makes a comeback and signs with Seattle to pitch until he's 50.

JA Happ/HOU - 15 GS, 3-9, 82.2 IP, 40:69 BB:K, 5.33 ERA, and a 1.49 WHIP. He leads the NL in losses and has been a train wreck this season, just like about everything else in Houston.

Nelson Figueroa/HOU - 8 G, 5 GS, 0-3, 29 IP, 16:17 BB:K, 8.69 ERA, and a 2.10 WHIP. Figgy finally made his first MLB Opening Day roster in his 9 year career, but even he sucked too much to stick around in Houston. He's currently toiling with the Astros Triple-A affiliate in Oklahoma City.

Chad Durbin/CLE - 28 G, 2-1, 31 IP, 12:28 BB:K, 6.68 ERA and a 1.77 WHIP. The Durbinator flip-flopped back-and-forth all offseason about possibly returning to the Phils, but finally settled in with the Indians at the last second. Looks like the Phils were smart in letting him walk.

Nate Robertson/SEA - Currently with the Mariners AAA team in Tacoma, but not sure why. And yes, he was a Phillie, even if you want to permanently erase his memory from your brain.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Series Preview - Cardinals

Pitching Matchups:
Tuesday 8:15 - Roy Halladay v. Kyle McClellan
Wednesday 8:15 - Cliff Lee v. Kyle Lohse
Thursday 8:15 - Roy Oswalt v. Chris Carpenter

Cardinals Batting:
Runs - 348 (4th)
BA - .272 (2nd)
OBP - .344 (3rd)
Slg - .416 (6th)

Hey, hey, hey, there's nooooooooo Albert!



I'm not happy Albert Pujols got hurt. I like watching him crush homers and I hope he breaks the homerun record some day. He would make a great homerun champion. However, I am happy he's not playing this week against the Phils. Now, if only Big Puma would stub a toe and Matt Holliday would catch the flu...

Cardinals Pitching:
ERA - 3.94 (14th)
WHIP - 1.31 (16th)
BAA - .260 (24th)

Kyle McClellan and Kyle Lohse throw the first two games. McClellan has given up 12 runs in his last two starts. Lohse has given up 4 runs in each of his last three starts. I'm okay with those trends continuing.

Chris Carpenter starts game three and is 1-7 with a 4.47 ERA. So what's wrong with this perennial Cy Young contender? Possibly nothing. His xFIP is a nice 3.33. And his BB/9 and K/9 numbers are consistent with previous years. Actually, he's striking out more batters per nine now than anytime since his Tommy John surgery in 2007. Maybe he's just unlucky. A relative high .327 BAPIP would support that. However, his line drive percentage (LD%) is six points higher than last season and his ground ball percentage (GB%) is the lowest (45%) of any season he's had with the Cardinals. The verdict? Probably a good pitcher on the down-side of his career who's been a little unlucky. Basically, he's due for a few wins. Let's just hope one of them isn't this week.

Good news in the Cardinals bullpen. Eduardo Sanchez hit the DL and won't be available. And Ryan Franklin is still there! The Cardinals are 4-15 in games that Franklin comes in toting his can of gasoline. Let's all hope for a few Franklin appearances.

He's Their Michael Martinez:
This is a new feature on the "Series Preview" where we look at the "worst" player on the other team [I say "worst" because I'm mainly looking at batting stats and disregarding other factors that may show the player's true value.] For St. Louis, their Michael Martinez has to be Tyler Greene. Sure, that no-hitter was great, but what has he done lately. In over 100 at-bats this season Greene is batting a crisp .198. For his career Greene has logged over 300 plate appearances over three seasons and has only managed .214-5-26. Still, he's better than Michael Martinez.

What We Are Drinking This Series:
Another new feature of the "Series Preview," Carson and I will take this space to comment on some sort of beverage. It has nothing to do with baseball, but that's okay sometimes...

Corey - European Orange Fanta - I'm sure you all know that soda manufacturers change the formula of their drinks for other countries. So Coke in America doesn't taste anything like Coke in Bangladesh. The Orange Fanta in England is awesome. It tastes like carbonated freshly squeezed orange juice. There's no syrupy- sweetness artificial orange flavor that ruins the American version. There just so happens to be a German market near me that sells European Fanta. I'll be cracking a few cans after mowing the lawn and settling down in front of the TV for this series.

Carson - a home-brewed strong brown ale with molasses, honey, maple syrup, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Big Bad Brown Brew or affectionately referred to as Quad-B is dark, sweet, and delicious. This beer will sneak up on you with its near 9% alcohol content and is a great way to unwind at the end of the day or go comfortably numb watching the Phils squander scoring opportunities.

Previous Meeting:
The Phils and Cards played a quick two game set in Philly in mid-May. The Cardinals won both games (3-1, 2-1) with Lee and Baez taking the losses. The offense managed only 10 hits in the two games.

Start Times:
These 8:15 start times are bullshit. Every game, no matter where the location, should start at 7:05 Eastern Standard Time. Maybe 7:35 on special occasions. The east coast is the only part of this country that matters and it's about time sports leagues recognize this and change their schedules accordingly.

Prediction:
Two of three for the good guys.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Stat O' The Day

Worley - .250
Lee - .242
Hamels - .242
Blanton - .200
Martinez - .194
Oswalt - .111
Halladay - .094

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Magic Number Watch



Stat O' The Day
The six division leaders have the following leads: 1.5, 1, 1.5, 0.5, 1, and 6. Can you guess which lead is the Phils'?

Today
Ol' Girl Parts (9-2, 2.49) v. Jason Vargas (4-4, 4.13)
4:10, TV: WB17

T-Mac, while previewing today's game on the air last night, mentioned that Fuqua may sit some lefties against Vargas. Wheels took the opportunity to show off his great research skills by saying, and I paraphrase, "Yeah, but Vargas is tougher on righties than lefties."

I questioned this sentence immediately, so I did my own research. In 2011, here are Vargas' BAA slits: LH - .287, RH - .233. Wheels' appears... correct?! But only for a second, because in almost every other year the splits are reversed. For his career in the majors, lefties hit .238 compared to .270 for right handed batters. His career BABIP, WHIP and OPS numbers all favor righties, also.

Nice try, Wheels.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Tagg, You're It

Tagg Bozied, born Robert Tanios Taggert Bozied, was once a highly valued prospect in the San Diego Padres organization. The 31 year old is now with the Phillies Triple-A affiliate Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs, where he's currently batting .252/1.004 in 27 games with 17 R, 8 DBL, 6 HR, and 19 RBI while playing 3B, 1B, and LF. This is his second year in Philadelphia's minors, as he killed with Reading last year batting .315/1.033 with 29 DBL, 27 HR, and 92 RBI.

Tagg was an All-American at the University of San Francisco and was drafted by the Minnesota Twins twice (50th round in '97, 2nd round in '00) and by the Padres in the 3rd round in '01. He didn't sign with San Diego, because he didn't like the contract offered and opted to play in the Independent League. Tagg finally settled on terms with the Friars in 2002 and began his ascent through the minors. In 2004 he was nearing a call-up to the Majors when he hit a walk-off grand slam and ruptured his patella tendon in his left knee during the celebration and missed the remained for the season. He rehabbed his way back and played 26 games in 2005, but the Padres parted ways with him after that.

Since then he's been with the Mets, Cardinals, Marlins, Pirates, and Phillies organization toiling away in the minors. In 11 seasons he's hit .284/.871 with 517 R, 220 DBL, 11 TRPL, 161 HR, and 576 RBI in 891 games. He's played 1B, 3B, LF, and RF. Tagg bats and throws right, standing 6'3" weighing 225 lbs.

Do you think it's time to give this man a chance in the Bigs? I do.
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In Other News...
The Phils lost to the Mariners last night, Oswalt did not pitch well, Manuel started Utley in the field despite the opportunity to "rest" him at DH, and Domonic Brown continues to struggle.

King Felix vs. The Vanimal tonight.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Series Preview - Mariners

Philadelphia Phillies (44-26) @ Seattle Mariners (35-34)

Pitching Match-Ups:
Friday, 10:10, Roy Oswalt vs. Michael Pineda
Saturday, 10:10, Vance Worley vs. Felix Hernandez
Sunday, 4:10, Cole Hamels vs. Jason Vargas

M's Bats:
AVG - .228 (30th)
OBP - .298 (30th)
SLG - .342 (29th)
R - 247 (28th)

The Mariners home field of Safeco Park is ginormous and neutralizes power potential of even mammoth sluggers. It's amazing they have a winning record with as awful as the offense has been. They look like a lineup full of Wilson Valdez's. Even the wizard of the wand has fallen on hard times, as Ichiro is only batting .269, and he's their leader of that statistic. Justin Smoak/1B has 12 homeruns and Miguel Olivo/C has 10, but outside of those two there are no threats in the lineup. Poor Chone Figgins signed on there and instantly discontinued getting figgy with it (.198/.514).

M's Pitching:
ERA - 3.42 (6th)
WHIP - 1.21 (3rd)
BAA - .241 (5th)

Pitching is how this team gets by, and this weekend the Phils face two of their best starting pitchers. Tonight goes rookie sensation Pineda and he is dominating with a 2.72 ERA and nearly a strikeout per inning (80 K, 82.2 IP). Saturday Worley gets the unlucky task of squaring off against King Felix (3.30 ERA, 103 K in 106.1 IP). Sunday Seattle's "worst" man in the rotation, Vargas (4.13 ERA), finishes off the series.

In the bullpen is the astonishing David Pauley (4-0, 39.1 IP, 1.14 ERA) and Aaron Laffey (1.27 ERA). Closer Brandon League has 19 saves and journeyman Jamey Wright has 11 holds.

Prediction:
Legion of Broom, Phillies sweep. Why? Because they're on some kinda hot streak/winning streak that is destined to reach double digits (currently at 7).

An aside- screw Interleague play and screw the West Coast.
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Adios Romero:
Free JC! Ruben Amaro did just that. Yesterday, Juan Carlos Romero was designated for assignment and the Vanimal (Worley) took his roster spot. Romero did a lot of good for the Phils early in his tenure (2007-2008), but was suspended, wild, injured, and ineffective during the latter portion (2009-2011). Phillies fans should hold no animosity towards him, and just be happy with the fond memories and WFC he helped produce. Career with Philly- 237 G, 165 IP, 6-6 record, 64 HLD, 4 SV, 2.73 ERA, 1.41 WHIP, 117:133 BB:K. Peace out homey.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Quick Hits

I've got to be quick this morning because I think the next game is starting soon...

Star Of Day
Obviously, it's Michael Martinez. He batted 1.000 on the day (1-1) and scored the game tying run in the second game. That is productivity.

Congrats to Kruk
John Kruk will be the next member of the Phillies Wall of Fame. His induction will take place before the August 12th game against the Gnats.

How many current Phillies will eventually be on the Wall? Rollins, Utley and Howard are already there. And probably Hamels too. Halladay and Lee could make it if they continues pitching like this for a few more years and they make some playoff noise. Victorino? Cooch? Sure he doesn't have great numbers but we all know how valuable he's been to this team. And what about a guy like Lidge? Certainly he hasn't had a great Phillies career but he had one year that might not be able to be topped by another Phils reliever.

Put This Away For Later
The next time somebody starts that old, tired argument about how bad Philadelphia fans are ["You guys threw snowballs at Santa, blah, blah, blah"] and you want to entertain their ignorance, you can always bring up the Vancouver behavior last night. Attacking riot police. Burning police cars. And they didn't even win!?!? This wasn't the result of excessive jubilation and celebration. This was a city-wide temper tantrum. Not only are they horrible people, they're bad losers.

F-ing Boston
With the Bruins win last night, all four major sports teams in Boston have won a title in the last seven years. C'mon Eagles, Sixers and Flyers. Are you even trying?

Today
The Phils go for the four game sweep at 1:05. Cliff Lee goes against Javier Vazquez and his 7+ ERA. Ordinarily I would call the sweep, but there is a chance that Sardinha, Valdez and Martinez will all start, and that's never a recipe for victory.

Magic Number

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

My Boyfriend's Back- Phillies Remix

The Offense's Back:
They went away and you come around
And bother me every night
When I wanted nothing to do with you
You said things that weren't very nice

The offense's back and you're gonna be in trouble
Hey la, hey la the offense's back
If you see them come, better hope for just a double
Hey la, hey la the offense's back
They'd been spreadin' runs thin making the pitchers very blue
Hey la, hey la the offense's back
Look out now cause they're comin' after you
Hey la, hey la the offense's back

They've been gone for such a long time
Hey la, hey la the offense's back
Now they're back and things will be fine
Hey la, hey la the offense's back
You're gonna be sorry you were ever born
Hey la, hey la the offense's back
Cause they're kinda big and they're aweful strong
Hey la, hey la the offense's back

Hey they're hittin' without cheatin'
Now you're gonna get beatin'
What made you think they'd be the team's demise
You're a big man now
But he'll cut you down a size
Wait and see

The offense's back they're gonna save their reputation
Hey la, hey la the offense's back
If I were you I'd take a permanent vacation
Hey la, hey la the offense's back

Yeah the offense's back
So look out now
Yeah the offense's back
I can see they're coming now you better start a'runnin'
Look out now...

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Series Preview - Marlins

Miami Marlins
32-33, 3rd in NL East
17-11 on the road
1-9 in last 10 games

Pitching Matchups:
Tuesday, 7:05, Cole Hamels (8-2) v. Chris Volstad (2-6)
Wednesday, (DH) 1:05 & 7:05 Kyle Kendrick (3-4)/Roy Hallady (9-3) v. Dontrelle Willis (0-0)/Anibal Sanchez (6-1)
Thursday, 1:05, Cliff Lee (6-5) v. Javier Vazquez (3-6)

(I have no idea who is throwing for the Fish on Wednesday. And I know Dontrelle Willis isn't even in the organization anymore. I just miss the ol' bastard...)

Marlins Batting:
Runs - 264 (19th)
Avg - .252 (17th)
OBP - .321 (15th)
SLG - .394 (15th)

This team is in quite a funk. Sunday, the Marlins were 0-12 with RISP and had left 92 men on base in the last 10 games (not counting last night's game that was in progress at "press time".) Of course, shouldn't a team that has it's best player on the DL and starts Wes Helms expect to be pitiful on offense? I guess not, because last Wednesday the Fish fired hitting coach John Mallee and hired ESPN analyst Eduardo Perez.

Tuesday we should see the return of All-Star shortstop Hanley Ramirez, who is returning from the DL due to a back injury. Ramirez is expected to be slotting into the leadoff spot. After 180 at-bats this season, Ramirez has put up a paltry line of .210-4-17. Let's hope he doesn't break out of that this week.

The other offensive star for Florida is OF Mike Stanton. After Stanton's first 160 games he has 38 home runs. Only eight players have hit more homers in their first 160 games, including our very own Ryan Howard (43).

Marlins Pitching:
ERA - 3.83 (15th)
WHIP - 1.28 (9th)
BAA - .245 (6th)

No Josh Johnson. The big righty won't be back before July.

The Phils have to face Sanchez (3.01 ERA) but Volstad and Vazquez have been putrid.

Closer Leo Nunez should be back for this series, also. He hasn't pitched since June 5 but nobody noticed because they Fish aren't winning any games.

Look for a few Randy Choate v. Utley/Howard match-ups. Choate has appeared in 26 games but has only pitched 10 innings. Ultimate LOOGY numbers...

Did I mention there's no Josh Johnson?

Prediction:
Phils take 3 of 4 at home.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Magic Number Watch



Stata O' The Day:
The Phillies are 27-3 when scoring four runs or more.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Phils 'bout to Throw Down 40


39 wins and counting. With Roy Oswalt on the mound today against the floundering Cubs, it's time for him to pick up his first W since April 21st (nearly 2 months ago). For the Phillies, they would rack up their 40th victory of the season, which will make them the 1st team to do so in 2011. Let's throw back a 40!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Because We Should Be GMs...

At 38-26 the Phillies have the best record in Major League Baseball. Happy? Yes. Satisfied? No. Never be complacent. There's almost always room for improvement. And room for improvement there is in this current cast of Phillies. So, because we should be GMs...

Release JC Romero. Whether it be no more special vitamin blend, injuries, age, or some combination of that, he's simply not getting the job done and hasn't for quite some time. He's wild and very hittable. Don't let his ERA of 3.81 over the past 2 seasons fool you, his WHIP and BB:K ratio are much more telling (1.67, 41:38).

This leaves the bullpen with one lefty in the form of Antonio Bastardo. He's much more than just a lefty specialist, he's probably the team's best option for set-up man at this stage of the season. Do the Phillies really need a lefty specialist though? Maybe, and if that's the case give Juan Perez a call-up (2.42/1.38, 32 K in 26 IP). If they can forgo the standard Loogy, then Drew Carpenter is getting the call (1.93/1.07, 40 K in 37.1 IP). He can go multiple innings and is likely better than David Herndon. Which leads me to my second move.

David Herndon is optioned back to Lehigh Valley, and Michael Schwimer (1.57/1.11, 47 K in 34.1 IP) is summoned for his MLB debut. Schwimer is definitely part of the future of this club, and quite possibly the present. Stutes is proving his worth, now it's time to allow Schwimer the same opportunity.

After Wednesday double header on Wednesday, Kyle Kendrick goes back to the bullpen and Vance Worley, who will start the other game of the DH, will remain in the rotation. Worley has upside and is probably the better option in the rotation. KK is nothing special. He's not bad, he has value, but having him pitch long relief is where he holds more value and can do less damage.

Oh, I'm not done moving and shaking yet. Ross Gload needs to be DL'd. John Mayberry or Jeff Larish (12 HR) replace him. Also, we can't forget the eyesore that is Michael Martinez. Be gone with him and bring up Josh Barfield (.278, 28 R, 26 RBI, 4 HR, 7 SB) or Carlos Rivero (.267/.768, 35 R, 6 HR, 25 RBI) from Reading, who happens to be on the 40-man roster (each can play multiple infield positions).

Summary:
1. Release Romero, call-up Juan Perez or Drew Carpenter.
2. Option Herndon, call-up Michael Schwimer.
3. KK back to bullpen after DH, Worley to rotation.
4. DL Gload, call-up Mayberry or Jeff Larish.
5. Rid team of Martinez (Screw Michael Martinez!), call-up Josh Barfield or Carlos Rivero.

*Hat tip to loyal reader Bob-D for thinking like a GM in yesterday's comment section.

*I also want to throw out the possibility of picking up Miguel Tejada once the Giants waive him when Pablo Sandoval returns. Let him clear waivers, then sign him. He's a better option than Orr and Martinez.

Friday, June 10, 2011

About Last Night...

For the love of Kevin Sefcik, what a shit-show that was last night. I don't even know where to begin, but I'll start here - I'm getting tired of the Charlie Manuel-Ruben Amaro "brain trust" completely mismanaging this team. Amaro hasn't optimized the roster and Charlie isn't using what he has to the best of their ability. Last night was the perfect example of this. Consider:

- The team doesn't have a long reliever. That should be Kyle Kendrick but because of the injury to Joe Blanton and the complete mismanagement of Vance Worley, Kendrick has to start. Was his spot on the bullpen filled? No. They added another 1-inning arm instead of somebody who could throw five or six innings after something like, oh I don't know, a RAIN DELAY.

- Despite the bullpen not having a long man and even though Kyle Kendrick was willing, able and prepared to continue pitching after the delay, Manuel took him out. From that moment, the Phils were likely to run out of pitching.

- Despite the team being very close to running out of pitching in a close game, Manuel took out Antonio Bastardo with one out and nobody on in the 8th inning. Total innings pitched for Bastardo - 0.2.

- Despite the team being very close to running out of pitching in a close game, Manuel took out Jose Contreras to start the ninth. Total innings pitched for Contreras - 0.2.

- Despite the team being very close to running out of pitching in a close game, Madson was taken out after the ninth without the need for the pinch hitter. Total innings pitched for Madson - 1.

- Despite the team being very close to running out of pitching in a close game, Manuel pinch-hit for JC Romero in the sixth with two outs and nobody on base with Michael Martinez. Total innings pitched for Romero - 0.1. Chance that this move would result in a run in the sixth inning - 0.0000000000000001%.

- Michael Martinez was used at the second pinch hitter. Apparently, he's their best left handed option off of the bench. Save us Jeebus.

The result of all of this was David Herndon batting with the bases loaded in the 10th inning because the Phils were out of pitchers. Sure, bad Phillies fielding in the 11th lead more directly to this loss, but it was set up waaaaay before that by the decisions of Amaro and Manuel. Of course, in game decision making by the manager rarely effects the outcome of the game, right?

Here's what needs to happen today - 1)Kendrick goes back to the pen as the long reliever, 2)Worley come back into the rotation and 3)Michael Martinez goes away.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Series Preview - Cubs

Chicago Cubs (24-36) vs. Philadelphia Phillies (37-25)

Pitching Match-Ups:
Thursday, 7:05, Randy Wells vs. Kyle Kendrick
Friday, 7:05, Carlos Zambrano vs. Roy Halladay
Saturday, 4:10, Matt Garza vs. Cliff Lee
Sunday, 1:35, Doug Davis vs. Roy Oswalt

Cubbies Bats:
AVG - .269 (3rd)
OBP - .323 (11th)
SLG - .392 (14th)
R - 245 (18th)

This offense is confusing because they have a bunch of guys with high batting averages, yet they score less runs than the Phillies. Kosuke Fukudome/RF (.309), Marlon Byrd/CF (.308), Darwin Barney/2B (.304), Starlin Castro/SS (.301), and Aramis Ramirez/3B (.286) have only 10 homeruns collectively, so that probably has a lot to do with it. Their biggest bopper, Alfonso Soriano (12 HR), is on the DL, as is super utility player Jeff Baker (.368/.865).

Expect a lot of base hits, but few runs scored. Sorta like the Phils offense without the hits.

Cubbies Pitching:
ERA - 4.80 (30th)
WHIP - 1.48 (30th)
BAA - .269 (29th)

The worst pitching staff in baseball couldn't be arriving at Citizens Bank Park at a better time. A 4-game set against this hapless bunch should remedy the Phils offensive woes, and if it doesn't then it's going to be a long summer. Earlier this week Zambrano called out his club for playing like a Triple-A team. He was mostly pissed off at closer Carlos Marmol for blowing a save that would have been a credited win to Big Z. Zambrano (3.98 ERA) is Friday's starter, and is the best the Cubs have to offer. Going tonight for Chicago is Wells (5.74 ERA), who is still attempting to get his feet under him this season after being recently activated from the DL. On Saturday Garza gets the ball and has been a strikeout machine (71 K in 59.2 IP with a 4.07 ERA). Then in the series finale on Sunday Davis (6.38 ERA) wraps things up. Not a good rotation, rather bad.

In the bullpen the Cubs are better, with Sean Marshall (1.03 ERA, 12 HLD), Kerry Wood (2.25 ERA, 9 HLD), and Carlos Marmol (3.21 ERA, 11 SV, 37 K in 28 IP).

Prediction:
I'm going big and picking Phils for 3 outta 4. If they happen to eek out a victory tonight with KK on the mound, then sweep. Also, Zambrano takes Doc deep on Friday for the Cubs lone run.

Almost forgot...
Screw Michael Martinez!

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

You Gotta Love...

You gotta love...

...a firstbasemen making $20M with a sub .800 OPS that refuses to take a ball 4, who would rather swing and miss at balls out of the strike zone for the K. He swung at a ball that hit him in the ankle the other day. Yeah Ryan Howard!

...a secondbasemen with the "yips", that can't make a throw to any base without it being a minimum of 3-5 feet off target. Yeah Chase Utley!

...a starting pitcher that attempts to pick-off a runner on 1st base without a firstbaseman holding the runner on, that subsequently allows the runner from 2nd base to score and the runner that was on 1st base ends up on 3rd. Yeah Roy Oswalt!

...an offense that scores 3 or less runs with more regularity than a toddler drinking apple juice. Last night marked the 34th time this season the Phillies accomplished that feat. Yeah offense!

...a team that can't hit homeruns. The Phillies have yet to hit a homerun in June, despite the change in weather to the higher side of the thermometer which Charlie Manuel lovingly refers to as "hitting season". Yeah weaklings!

...a team that remains in 1st place despite all these inadequacies. Yeah Phillies!

Screw Michael Martinez!

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

WSBGMs Official Phillies Seals


Bad Ass - Roy Halladay of course. Since joining the Phillies he's started 46 games and has a 29-13 record, 316 K in 349 IP, with 13 CG, 4 SHO, and a CY Young award. Don't forget the perfect game or the playoff no-hitter. Man is a beast, total bad ass.

The Wise One - Charlie Manuel. Was Yoda truly wise, or did he just seem that way with all that backwards jabbering he did? Wish you knew, you did. Enlightened and easy-going Fuqua is.


Screw You - Michael Martinez. Nuff said.

Head-Up-Ass - Ruben Amaro. See above.
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Valdez a Satyr?

Monday, June 06, 2011

Series Preview - Dodgers

Los Angeles Dodgers (28-32) @ Philadelphia Phillies (35-24)


Pitching Match-Ups:
Monday, Ted Lilly vs. Cliff Lee
Tuesday, Rubby De La Rosa vs. Roy Oswalt
Wednesday, Hiroki Kuroda vs. Cole Hamels
*All games are 7:05 starts

Dodgers Bats:
AVG - .251 (15th)
OBP - .316 (20th)
SLG - .367 (24th)
R - 223 (25th)

This offense is Andre Ethier (.325/.870, 28 R, 14 DBL, 5 HR, 28 RBI), Matt Kemp (.323/.996, 38 R, 11 DBL, 16 HR, 48 RBI, 14 SB), and Jamey Carroll (.300/.728, 32 R); the rest do nothing worth mentioning. Of course, there's always Phillie-killer Rod Barajas lurking near the bottom of the lineup, who is batting .329/1.099 with 18 R, 5 DBL, 9 HR, and 21 RBI in 27 games lifetime against the Phils. Bean him!

Dodgers Pitching:
ERA - 3.95 (19th)
WHIP - 1.35 (22nd)
BAA - .260 (23rd)

Let's be honest, any starting pitcher facing the Phillies nowadays is likely to be considered for the Cy Young award following the outing. Tonight's starter, Lilly, has never figured the Phillies out, and has struggled against them lifetime (1-4 with a 5.91 ERA in 6 starts). Tuesday they face a man making his first MLB start, De La Rosa, but he's had 3 quality relief outings so far with the Dodgers and an impressive minor league resume...Phils are screwed! Finishing off the series is Phils nemesis Kuroda, who is 2-0 with a 0.68 ERA and even smaller WHIP of 0.53 in 4 starts in his career against Philly.

The bullpen is where this team can be beat. Guess we'll see if beating them is what the Phils plan on executing.

Oh, I can't forget...

Screw Michael Martinez!
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Drunk Dane:
Everybody's favorite drunk backup catcher Dane Sardinha was photographed face down on a bar this weekend in Pittsburgh. Let us not be too quick to forget Sardinha's DUI in February of 2010. More tattoos, more tattoos!


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Plaxico Burress Fashion Statement:
Plaxico Burress is free from jail and he may already be showing his hopeful future destination. In the picture below you will see him rocking an old school Phillies maroon hat, and rumors have already linked him to the Eagles. Burress figures they've already signed and rehabilitated one former thug convict Pro-Bowler in the form of Michael Vick, why not another?