Friday, May 31, 2013

Breaking News- Durbin Released!

The second tour of duty for Chad Durbin with the Phillies has come to an end.  Amaro finally played genie, turning the fans wish for his release into his command.  Signed to a $1.1M contract this offseason, he was to provide valuable veteran tutorship to the young bullpen dwellers and work the middle innings.  He was horrible!  16 G, 9.00 ERA, 2.13 WHIP.  He made bad games worse.  He was a member of the World F'n Champions of 2008, but he should have never been a member of this lousy squad of 2013.  Good bye and good riddance.  See you in an Astros or Marlins uniform soon.

Joe Savery was recalled from Lehigh Valley to replace Durbin on the roster/bullpen.

Series Preview- Brew Crew

Milwaukee Brewers (19-33) @ Philadelphia Phillies (26-28)

Pitching Match-Ups:
Friday, 7:05 - Yovani Gallardo vs. C'mon Hamels
Saturday, 4:05 - Mike Fiers vs. Tyler Cloyd
Sunday, 1:35 - Wily Peralta vs Cliff Lee

Beer Makers Bats:
R - 208 (22nd)
AVG - .256 (13th)
OPS - .719 (17th)

The Brewers have 5 players that are rocking this year- Jean Segura/SS leads the NL in batting average (.358), Ryan Braun/LF continues to kill it (.304/.928), Aramis Ramirez/3B is holding steady (.305/.889), Norichika Aoki/RF is a solid leadoff hitter (.369 OBP), and Carlos Gomez/CF is having a breakout season (.326/.957, 10 HR, 10 SB).  First base, second base, and catcher have are their weaknesses.  Make no mistake, this is a potent offense primed for an explosion at any time.

Beer Makers Arms:
ERA - 4.55 (27th)
WHIP - 1.38 (26th)

Horrible starting pitching and an inconsistent bullpen are the reasons this club isn't higher in the standings.  Francisco Rodriguez is currently the closer after John Axelrod lost the distinction earlier in the season and Jim Henderson came up lame with a hamstring issue.  The three guys starting the games this series have been lackluster- Gallardo (4.79/1.48), Fiers (5.66/1.26), and Peralta (6.35/1.73).

Prediction:
Brewers take 2 outta 3 and win games by a large margin.  A Hamels meltdown is a good possibility. 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Celebrate Good Times, C'mon...It's a Celebration!

Ryan Howard committed The Howard last night.  It was the Phillies first of the season and of course it ended with the good guys winning.  Since the stat's creation prior to the 2009 season, the Phillies have committed 20 Howards, and are 17-3 in those games (.850 winning percentage).  A homerun, error, and strikeout never felt so good!


Stuff:
*Michael Young has been placed on the bereavement list and Cesar Hernandez has been called up in his absence.  He went 0-2 in his MLB debut last night, but was hitting .305/.810 for the Iron Pigs before his promotion.  He's a second baseman by trade and is a .291/.736 hitter spanning 7 minor league seasons.  He's 23 years old and his biggest asset is his speed (129 SB in 521 G).

*Dom Brown, or as a commenter called him in yesterday's post "Domain Brown", is the driving force of the Phils offense.  He now has a club leading 13 HR and 32 RBI.

*Turkey sausage boy, Erik Kratz, is proving to be a quality backup catcher.  He plays solid defense and has good pop.  In 86 games with the Phillies over parts of the last 3 seasons, he's hit .244/.772 with 15 HR and 40 RBI while throwing out 38% of would be base thieves.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Series Preview- BoSox in Philly

Boston Red Sox (32-21) @ Philadelphia Phillies (25-27)

Pitching Match-Ups:
Wednesday - John Lackey vs. Get Back on Track KK
Thursday - Jon Lester vs. Petite Bone
*Both games start at 7:05

Boston will attempt to Dear John the Phillies and sweep the 2 game series to finish MLB's stupid idea of a home-and-home interleague mash-up.  The Red Sox offense is good and the Phils offense is bad.  Both have middle of the pack pitching.  I predict a team with red on their uniform to win.

Bucco Shoutout:
The Pirates are in 3rd place in the NL Central.  Doesn't sound too impressive, because you could also say the Phillies are in 3rd place in the NL East.  The Buccos have a record of 32-20 and might actually be able to snap their streak of 20 consecutive losing seasons.  Pittsburgh has a good bullpen, solid outfield, and a passable rotation.  They really need Pedro Alvarez/3B to start hitting above the Mendoza Line and a shortstop other than Clint Barmes.  Perhaps J-Roll could help them out starting in July.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Zagurski a Phucco

Last night Mike Zagurski became the latest Phucco, pitching a scoreless inning for the Pirates. This is a cause for celebration on this blog, because the Phillies sure as hell aren't giving us anything to work with.  For those of you that can't remember, Zig-Zags was a hefty lefty that pitched with the Phils from 2007-2011.  He   became known as "Fat Mike" Zagurski around these parts, lovingly named after NOFX's lead singer.  Hopefully he helps the Buccos bullpen in their quest for their first winning season in 20 years.


Sadness:
Michael Young is in a tailspin.  He's hitless in his last 21 at bats and is batting .171/.540 in May.  His renaissance was short lived.  Amaro's band-aids aren't working, as the other Young (Delmon) is hitting .213/.669.

Amaro's other offseason acquisition isn't performing as hoped either- Mike Adams is sitting on a 1.53 WHIP  and has already hit the DL once, with another trip or two likely to come this season.

Phillies Offense:
R - 178 (26th)
AVG - .246 (21st)
OBP - .303 (25th)
SLG - .382 (22nd)
OPS - .685 (26th)
HR - 44 (22nd)
DBL - 81 (21st)
BB - 129 (25th)

Monday, May 27, 2013

Series Preview- BoSox

Philadelphia Phillies (24-26) @ Boston Red Sox (31-20)


Pitching Match-Ups:
Monday - Tyler Cloyd vs. Alfredo Aceves
Tuesday - Cliff Lee vs. Ryan Dempster
*7:10 start time for both games

Beaneaters Bats:
R - 252 (3rd)
AVG - .262 (9th)
OPS - .772 (5th)

David Ortiz/DH (.341/1.019 with 34 RBI in 32 G), Dustin Pedroia/2B (.333/.858), Daniel Nava/OF (.299/.884), Mike Napoli/1B (.257/.808 with 37 RBI), and Jarrod Saltalamacchia/C (.252/.792) are doing quite well.  Shane Victorino recently hit the DL.

Beateaters Arms:
ERA - 3.85 (14th)
WHIP - 1.32 (17th)

Dempster and Aceves aren't the Red Sox best starters, but against the Phillies offense will likely seem so.  Closer has been a merry-go-round this season (Bailey, Uehara, Hanrahan), but the bullpen in general holds leads.

Slumping:
Michael Young hit .341/.829 in April, but has slumped in May hitting .182/.573 and has hit into a MLB leading 12 double plays.

Cole Hamels leads the Majors with 8 losses and the Phillies are only 1-10 in games started by the "ace".

Prediciton:
Red Sox make fools of the Phillies and sweep them in this 2 game series.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Phillies Memorial Day Garb


Perhaps the special uniforms will help them stop sucking. But don't bet on it.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Series Preview- Gnats

Philadelphia Phillies (23-24) @ Washington Nationals (24-23)

Pitching Match-Ups:
Friday, 7:05 - KK vs. Jordan Zimmermann
Saturday, 7:15 - Petite Bone vs. Dan Haren
Sunday, 1:35 - C'mon Hamels vs. Stephen Strasburg

Gnats Bats:
R - 159 (28th)
AVG - .225 (29th)
OPS - .653 (29th)

For as much flack as the Phils get for their offense, the Nationals is actually worse.  Bryce Harper/RF, Ryan Zimmerman/3B, and Ian Desmond/SS are the only hitters doing well.  Adam LaRoche/1B has been a disappointment and Danny Espinosa/2B has been Least Valuable Player of MLB worthy (.487 OPS).  Jayson Werth is hurt...again.

Gnats Arms:
ERA - 3.53 (7th)
WHIP - 1.25 (9th)

Good news and bad news.  Bad news first- Zimmermann and Strasburg are high quality and back end of the bullpen is solid with Clippard and Soriano.  Good news- Haren continues his downward spiral and the bullpen lacks a reliable lefty (Zach Duke does not count).

Amaro is F'n Stupid:
As I reported before the Phillies even reported, Chase Utley has been placed on the DL.  Kevin Frandsen and Freddy Galvis are capable backups, so Utley's roster spot is wide open...for Michael Martinez.  I can't believe this shit. Amaro is dumb and getting dumber.  Mini-Mart sucked in 2 seasons with the Phils (.188/.512) and sucked this year down at Triple-A (.239/.590).  He been a terrible hitter his entire career, both minors and MLB.  Amaro and Manuel's man-crush on him is inexcusable.  This is proof that Rube shouldn't be a GM.  His insistence on keeping Martinez around should have him publicly flogged.  Good thing the Phils aren't at home tonight, or I'd start a campaign for eggs, rotten fruit and vegetables to be hurled onto the field in protest of this move.  I'd call it Campaign Chagrin.  What are the alternatives? Cesar Hernandez, Darin Ruf, Josh Fields, a 3-legged dog, the corpse of Bea Arthur, John Kruk's uni-ball...anything but Michael f'n Martinez!

Prediction:
I'm chugging the happy juice and going with Phils taking 2 outta 3.  This will put them at .500 and on even ground with the Nationals for 2nd place behind the Braves in the NL East.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Breaking News- Chase Utley DL Bound

The Phillies haven't announced the roster move yet, but I have it on good authority that Chase Utley is heading to the disabled list.  By "good authority", I mean hunch, and by "hunch", I mean that I'm just making this shit up.  Instead of heading to Washington with the team for the series against the Nationals, Utley is going to Philly to have an MRI on his rib cage for his effed up oblique.
"It definitely scared me a little bit. My first swing I took in BP, I felt something. My second swing, I felt it again. My third swing, I felt it again. After the fourth swing, I realized something wasn't right. That's when I told Charlie I have some pain in my side. He told me to go see Scott [head trainer]. He took me out of the game. I think it was a smart thing to do. You want to be careful with these things, because they could linger and get worse if you try to play through it. I think we caught it early enough, but it's hard to know until we have some imaging on it."~Chase Utley
In other words, minimal 15-day DL stint.  2013 is so much fun!!!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Be Ashamed, Very Ashamed

Mike Adams - DL.
Carlos Ruiz - DL.
Ryan Howard - day-to-day, meaning he's DL bound.
Roy Halladay - out indefinitely. 
Ben Revere's OPS - .569
Runs Scored - 157 (27th)
OPS - .682 (26th)
ERA - 4.26 (22nd)
Bullpen ERA - 4.63 (27th)


From the Beat:
*via Twitter

Ryan Lawerence - ... and they are 1-9 in games started by Cole Hamels.

Todd Zolecki - Marlins on pace to finish 46-116. If this 5-1 lead holds, four of their 13 wins will have come against the Phillies.

Matt Gelb - The Phillies have scored two or fewer runs in 40 percent of their games. Think about that.

Me - It is time to blow up this team, because they ain't winning with this cast of clowns.  Of course, trusting Amaro to trade for young, cheap talent is like trusting a politician to follow through with campaign promises.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Series Preview - Florida Fishies

Philadelphia Phillies (21-23) @ Miami Marlins (12-32)

Pitching Match-Ups:
Monday - C'mon Hamels vs. Alex Sanabia
Tuesday - Tyler Cloyd vs. Jose Fernandez
Wednesday - Cliff Lee vs. Kevin Slowey
*All games 7:10 start time

Fishies Offense:
R - 117 (dead last by 25 runs)
AVG - .220 (dead last by .010)
OPS - .599 (dead last by .065)

The Marlins offense is potentially one of the worst in the history of the game.  They truly are playing with a minor league-esque lineup.  Rookie Marcel Ozuna/OF is the only real threat in the lineup (.299/.801).  Other than that, Justin Ruggiano/OF might run into a homerun now and then (7 HR), but his .206 batting average is bad.  Former Phillies Placido Polanco/3B, Greg Dobbs/1B, and Juan Pierre/OF all receive regular playing time with an OPS in the .552-.569 range.  If Cole Hamels doesn't shutdown this offense, then he should be kicked squarely in his nether regions.

Fishies Pitching:
ERA - 4.08 (18th)
WHIP - 1.35 (22nd)

The pitching is why the Marlins will be competitive against the Phillies this series.  While the Phils offense isn't as bad as the Marlins, it is still ranked 27th.  Meaning the Phils offense is easily shutdown as well.  Expect low scoring (aka- boring) games.

Prediction:
If the Phils swept the series, they would leave Miami with a winning record.  Unfortunately, don't expect that to happen.  Phils take 2 outta 3 and remain a losing ball club.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Durbin's Track Record & System Updates

Amaro recognizes middle relief is a weakness on the 2013 Phillies.  However, he doesn't seem in a hurry to fix it.  He demoted Raul Valdes and called up possibly a worse pitcher and BJ Rosenberg.  He continues to beat the drum for offseason free agent signing, Chad Durbin.  Claiming his track record determines he should remain for the time being.   Thing is, Durbin's track record to which Amaro refers isn't good at all.

Facts:
1) 35 years old
2) 14 MLB seasons
3) Career 5.00 ERA
4) Career 1.50 WHIP
5) Career WAR -0.3
6) Since 2007 he's flip-flopped between bad/good seasons, and 2013 puts him in line for a bad one.  Season/ERA (2007/4.72, 2008/2.87, 2009/4.39, 2010/3.80, 2011/5.53, 2012/3.10, 2013/8.10).
7) Career splits- versus RHB (.264/.794), vs. LHB (.286/.811), as starting pitcher (5.83/1.57), as a reliever (4.23/1.45), at home (4.26/1.43), away (5.88/1.60), 1st half (5.28/1.51), and 2nd half (4.64/1.50).  Essentially the only time you can hope for a mediocre performance out of him is at home, during the 2nd half of the season, facing a right-handed batter during a relief appearance in a year that ends with an even number.  Even then, it's nowhere close to being good. 

System Updates:
Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs - Cesar Hernandez is making his presence felt, batting .327/.848 with 12 stolen bases.  He's about to turn 23 years old and plays 2nd base.  He has a future with the Phillies in some capacity.  Prospects Cody Asche/3B (.278/.757) and Darin Ruf/LF/1B (.267/.796) are the only other batters worth mentioning on an otherwise disappointing team.  The pitching has been atrocious outside of Justin DeFratus, who is now with the Phillies.

Reading Fightin' Phils - this team is in a horrible funk during the month of May with a 3-15 record.  On the offensive side of things, Jim Murphy/1B is belting the ball (.311/.966, 9 HR, 30 RBI).  Starting pitcher Jesse Biddle and reliever Mauricio Robles are striking out more than a batter per inning with ERAs below 3 and WHIPs below 1.15.

Clearwater Threshers - the only team in the system with a winning record. It's also the only rung along the ladder that has a good offense.  Cameron Perkins/OF, Carlos Alonso/2B, Maikel Franco/3B, Jose Mojica/SS, Kelly Dugan/OF, and Aaron Altherr/OF have a batting average of .292 or better.  Starting pitchers Perci Garner, Gabriel Arias, and Nick Hernandez have been solid.

Lakewood BlueClaws - this team doesn't have any decent bats, aside from Art Charles/1B, Chace Numata/C, and Zach Taylor/OF.  It's a relatively uninspiring group on the pitching staff too.

Friday, May 17, 2013

DeFratus is a Winner

It took to the middle of May for the Phillies to realize they needed Justin DeFratus in their bullpen, and thank goodness they did.  In 3 appearances he's notched 2 wins, a hold, and allowed nary a base runner in 1 and 1/3 innings pitched.  He's quickly earned Manuel's trust and he's making fans take notice.

Series Preview- Cincinnati Reds

Cincinnati Reds (25-16) @ Philadelphia Phillies (19-22)

Pitching Match-Ups:
Friday, 7:05 - Tony Cingrani vs. Cliff Lee
Saturday, 4:05 - Bronson Arroyo vs. Respect the KK
Sunday, 1:35 - Homer Bailey vs. Petite Bone

Red Stockings Bats:
R - 195 (6th)
AVG - .251 (17th)
OPS - .728 (11th)

Joey Votto/1B (.456 OBP) and Shin-Soo Choo/CF (.468 OPS) are on base nearly half the time.  Then comes Brandon Phillips/2B (36 RBI) in the lineup knocking them in with regularity.  Not to be forgotten, Jay Bruce/RF has 14 doubles and Todd Frazier/3B has 6 HR and 25 RBI.  There are some holes in this lineup C, SS, and LF, but the others are more than capable of swinging the game in favor of the Reds.

Red Stockings Arms:
ERA - 3.43 (4th)
WHIP - 1.19 (1st)

Tonight's starting pitcher, rookie southpaw, Cingrani, is striking out 11.89 batters per 9 innings to go along with a 2.89 ERA/0.96 WHIP.  Tomorrow's starter, Arroyo, continues to churn out quality outings (3.76 ERA/1.14 WHIP).  The Phils don't get a break on Sunday either with Bailey's 3.51 ERA/1.15 WHIP.  Their rotation has been great, and that's with staff ace Johnny Cueto on the DL.  Also, once the ball has been handed over to the bullpen, a trio of talent is there to hold the fort down (Aroldis Chapman, Sam Lecure, and Sean Marshall).

Prediction:
The Reds are good at both scoring runs and preventing them.  The Phillies are bad at both scoring runs and preventing them.  Therefore, Cincinnati takes 2 outta 3.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Big Z & The Terrible Trio

With Lannan and Halladay on the DL and the Phillies in need of starting pitching, Amaro inked Carlos Zambrano to a minor league deal, that includes and opt-out clause of July 1st. Big Z's temperament has been well documented, whether it be fighting with teammates, coaching staff, or umpires, he's a hothead. It's a low risk, high reward signing, that doesn't bother me as long as he doesn't come to fisticuffs with Utley by the 3rd inning of his first start. It may be hard to believe, but he's still only 31 years old and has been a good pitcher for most of his career. Zambrano owns a lifetime 132-91 record over 1959 innings with 3.66 ERA and 1.33 WHIP with the Cubs and Marlins. He's a helluva hitting pitcher too- .238/.636 with 75 R, 24 HR, and 71 RBI.

Terrible Trio:
This cannot be overstated- Raul Valdes, Jeremy Horst, and Chard Durbin suck.  That is not mean, that is a fact.  When they come into a game, the losing score only becomes worse.  It's Charlie Manuel's version of the white flag.  As soon as he motions to the bullpen for any of the terrible trio, you know it's game over...for the Phillies.

2013 Stats:
Valdes - 7.65 ERA, 1.55 WHIP, 5 HR
Horst - 5.29 ERA, 1.65 WHIP, 2 HR
Durbin -7.30 ERA, 1.86 WHIP, 3 HR
Collectively - 49 IP, 10 HR, 6.80 ERA, 1.67 WHIP.

Amaro, do something!  Please!

With the way the Phillies have suffered through injures over the past few seasons, they might want to invest in some Better Braces for the 25 man roster.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Ya Gotta Believe?

The 2013 season has been gloom and doom here on We Should Be GMs. Perhaps there is one more run left in this group. Maybe we should believe. The following are reasons to think this team might still have a shot at glory.

Rookie Starting Pitcher Magic:
Cole Hamels (2006), Kyle Kendrick (2007), JA Happ (2008/2009),Vance Worley (2010/2011), and now possibly Jonathan Pettibone were successful rookies that made major contributions towards the Phillies winning ways.  Hamels and KK remain integral parts of the rotation, while Happ and the Vanimal have been shipped out.  Pettibone has been great through 5 starts: 3-0 with a 3.41 ERA and 1.28 WHIP over 29 IP.  His turn every 5th day is secure for the time being while Halladay is out.  Another rookie, Tyler Cloyd, has an opportunity to step up and impress as well with John Lannan on the DL.

Bullpen Improvement:
Jonathan Papelbon remains a premier closer, despite his infrequent save chances this season.  Mike Adams is dealing with a backache, but he's a top-notch setup man when available.  Antonio Bastardo is thriving this year as the go-to guy in the 7th inning.  Justin DeFratus has already earned Manuel's trust in just 2 appearances and has the potential to be a late inning reliever.  Phillippe Aumont has upside, but his control is his stumbling block (10 BB in 11 IP, 1.91 WHIP).  That leaves Jeremy Horst, Raul Valdes, and Chad Durbin as the only detractors.

Depth:
Freddy Galvis, Kevin Frandsen, Laynce Nix, and John Mayberry provide Manuel with options.  Galvis is a wizard with the glove and has produced at the plate so far.  Frandsen continues to hit in a Phils uniform and can play 3B/2B/1B.  Laynce Nix has been clutch pinch hitting- .350/1.050 in 20 at bats.  Mayberry can play position in the outfield and rips lefties (lifetime against LHP- .283/.870).

Return to Form:
1) Cole Hamels is a better pitcher than what he's shown in 2013.  Expect him to return to ace status soon.  2) Carlos Ruiz is a better hitter than this- .209/.509, expect a rebound to an OPS in the .750 range as soon as he gets his groove back. 3) Ben Revere is not this bad- .237/.548.  Although he'll never hit for power, he is only 25 years old and hit .281 with 74 stolen bases over the last 2 seasons in Minnesota. 4) Jimmy Rollins will never be a prototypical leadoff hitter, but he's better than his current .674 OPS.  Once he gets rolling, 15 HR/25 SB with an OPS near .725 seems reasonable.

Domonic Brown has Arrived:
For years Phillies fans have hoped the hype was real, but to their dismay it hadn't been.  However, Dom is showing life in his bat and his defense is improving.  Can it be that he's finally figured it out?  I tend to think so.  At 25 years old, he's still young and developing as a MLB player.  He's currently batting .257/.747 with 15 R, 7 HR, and 19 RBI.  He seems capable of a .270/.780, 20 HR, 75 RBI campaign.

They're Alive:
Chase Utley (.289.858) and Michael Young (.303/.773) have been producing like their old selves.  Saint Utley has reclaimed his status as an elite second baseman while Young has been steady with the bat and makes the routine plays at third, despite his poor range.

Does all this add up to a winning formula?  Ya gotta believe?   

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Series Preview- the Slugging Indians

Cleveland Indians (21-16) @ Philaelphia Phillies (18-21)

Pitching Match-Ups:
Tuesday, 7:05 - Scott Kazmir vs. Petite Bone
Wednesday, 1:05 - Corey Kluber vs. Cole Hamels

Indians Offense:
R - 179 (6th)
AVG - .264 (7th)
OPS - .787 (1st)

Unlike last series, Michael Bourn and Nick Swisher will give a boost to the lineup.  That's scary considering the Indians outscored the Phillies 20-2 over a 2 game set.  Michael Brantley, Carlos Santana, Mark Reynolds, and Ryan Rayburn will be there to help out too.

Indians Pitching:
ERA - 3.88 (15th)
WHIP - 1.28 (16th)

Kluber and Kazmir are a notch below mediocre, as far as starting pitchers go.  Though, they very well could twirl quality starts against the lifeless Phils offense.  The bullpen remains Cleveland's strength, with Chris Perez, Joe Smith, Bryan Shaw, Cody Allen, and Rich Hill all rocking ERAs south of 3.25.

Drugs Matter:
Carlos Ruiz is batting .200/.481 through his first 12 games coming off suspension for a banned substance.  Keep in mind, this was Chooch's 2nd time failing the piss test.  I wonder how his stats pan out now that he's "clean".  Hopefully it's just a slow start for him and he's back to his old ways sooner rather than later.  If not, perhaps a visit to a pharmacist is in order.

Prediction:
Phils have the upper hand with the pitching match-ups, but Hamels has found a way to continually disappoint this season, so I say Cleveland sweeps the short series.

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Series Preview- Dbacks

Philadelphia Phillies (16-19) @ Arizona Diamondbacks (19-15)
 

Pitching Match-Ups:
Thursday, 9:40 - Cole Hamels vs. Patrick Corbin
Friday, 9:40 - Tyler Cloyd vs. Ian Kennedy
Saturday, 8:10 - Cliff Lee vs. Trevor Cahill
Sunday, 4:10 - KK vs. Brandon McCarthy

Snakes' Bats:
R - 153 (9th)
AVG - .252 (15th)
OPS - .726 (12th)

Paul Goldschmidt/1B is a beast (.320/1.005, 9 HR, 30 RBI) and he has a talented quartet of outfielders helping him guide the offense (Cody Ross, Gerardo Parra, Jason Kubel, and AJ Pollack).  Player to watch- Didi Gregorius/SS, who has lit the world on fire in 11 games this season (.405/1.159, 10 R, 4 DBL, and 3 HR). Oldie, but a goodie, Eric Chavez is holding steady at 3rd too (.275/.849).

Snakes' Arms:
ERA - 3.57 (8th)
WHIP - 1.27 (12th)

Corbin (1.80 ERA) and Cahill (2.80 ERA) have been fantastic this year, but Kennedy (5.19 ERA) and McCarthy (6.75 ERA) have disappointed.  In the bullpen they have the un-scored upon Matt Reynolds pitching setup and Heath Bell taking over at closer for injured JJ Putz.  The Dbacks entire bullpen is decent.

Robbed of The Howard:
Last night umpires screwed the Oakland Athletics out of a potential victory and their shortstop, Adam Rosales, out of the Howard.  Rosales belted a "homerun" to only have it ruled a double, even after video review clearly showed it should have been a 4-bagger.  It's hard to believe people get paid for doing their jobs so poorly, but here we are with umps still pulling in a regular paycheck. *Rosales previously struck out and committed an error in the game.

What We're Drinking:
If variety is the spice of life and beer is the nectar of the gods, than I recommend picking up a variety pack of Appalachian Brewing Company brews.  Included in the case is ABC's flagship Water Gap Wheat Ale, their delicious malty Jolly Scot Scottish Ale, refreshing Mountain Lager, and hoppy Purist Pale Ale.  Not only does ABC have great beers, but they also have 5 brew pub locations where you can get your grub on (Harrisburg, Gettysburg, Lititz, Collegville, and Camp Hill).

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Mystery Solved- The Origin of Jonathan Pettibone

*Is Jonathan Pettibone the lovechild of Andy Pettitte and Ricky Bones?


*KK continues to be the staff ace.  Since the beginning of July 2012, Kendrick has tossed 133 innings to the tune of a 2.57 ERA/1.05 WHIP and a record of 13-5.  Believe that! 

*In the spirit of giving credit where credit is due- Ryan Howard has been hitting much better.  Currently batting  .282/.833 with 6 HR and 20 RBI.  Not great, but certainly improving.  With warm weather quickly approaching, a Howard power surge might be too.

*Halladay was sent to the DL with a bum shoulder and Joe Savery has been recalled from Lehigh Valley.  Given the crappiness of fellow lefties, Horst and Valdes, he could stick around if he pitches better than crap.  Let's hope he does.

*Tyler Cloyd will get the start on Friday, with a corresponding roster move needing to be made.  I vote for releasing Chad Durbin or demoting Valdes or Horst.

*This team is confusing.  They looked like one of the worst teams in baseball against the lowly Marlins on Saturday and Sunday, but then look like one of the best teams in baseball facing the World Champion Giants the past two nights.

Monday, May 06, 2013

Series Preview - World Champion Giants

Philadelphia Phillies (14-18) @ San Francisco Giants (19-12)

Pitching Match-Ups:
Monday, 10:15 - Cliff Lee vs. Madison Bumgarner
Tuesday, 10:15 - KK vs. The Freak
Wednesday 3:45 - Petite Bone vs. Barry Zito

Giants Offense:
R - 140 (9th)
AVG - .264 (7th)
OPS - .716 (13th)

Tubby Panda (aka- Pablo Sandoval/3B) can flat out hit.  Buster Posey/C, Brandon Crawford/SS, and Hunter Pence/RF have been holding it donw too.  They don't have one regular with an OPS under .641.

Giants Pitching:
ERA - 3.76 (11th)
WHIP - 1.28 (13th)

Bumgarner, Zito, and Lincecum have been the Giants best starting pitchers this season.  Sergio Romo is lockdown in the 9th, and his setup man Santiago Casilla is pretty damn good too.  In other words- Phils ain't hittin' this series.

Prediction:
Phils suck, who cares.

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Phillies & Losing- It's an Organizational Thing

Last night, the Phillies were shutout for the 5th time in 18 games.  This isn't 2008, the players they're counting on are 5 years older now.  Many of them 5 years past their primes.  Their record of 14-17 is buoyed by their 9-3 mark against the Marlins and Mets.  Take those game out of the equation and they're 5-14 against everyone else.  This isn't a playoff caliber team.  This isn't a good team.  This isn't a mediocre team.  This is a losing team.
 

Losing is the theme throughout the Phillies organization.  Not one of the affiliates owns a winning record.  The Phillies, Iron Pigs, Fightin' Phils, Threshers, and BlueClaws collective record is 60-82.

Bob Ford of the Philadelphia Inquirer sums it up nicely...
"The Phillies were built on the precarious hope that their aging veteran starters would pitch well and that their aging everyday players would regain their productivity. Around that central theme, the front office sprinkled journeymen and prospects who might be good enough if everything else went right."

Except, everything is going tragically wrong.

Friday, May 03, 2013

Where's Ricky Otero When You Need Him?

from loyal reader 'Preserve Jon:'

I'm really surprised how bad he is. It seems that Charlie is inventing a few nicks and scrapes to keep him on the bench.

I was hoping for a younger version of Juan Pierre: pesky slap hitter who annoys pitchers with his speed and penchant to swipe a bag whenever he can.

What I did not expect was Ricky Otero.


 If only we did have Ricky Otero. Check out little Ricky's stats from his two season with the Phils.

1996 - .273 avg, .330 OBP, 2 HR, 32 RBI, 54 runs
1997 - .252 avg, .339 OBP, 0 HR, 3 RBI,. 20 runs

As of Friday morning, Revere was hitting .204 with a .245 OBP.

Unfortunately Jon, Ben Revere is making Ricky Otero look like Rickey Henderson...

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Breaking News...

...the Phillies won!

No, seriously, they beat the Miami Marlins.

Alright, go back to your regularly scheduled lives.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Stats That Will Piss You Off

*Roy Halladay has pitched pitched 13.7% of the amount of innings he did in 2011, but has already allowed 39.3% of the amount of runs during that season (2013 IP/R - 32/24, 2011 IP/R - 233.2/61).  He has pitched 12.8% of the amount of innings he did in 2010, but has already issued 43.3% of the amount walks he did during that season (2013 IP/BB - 32/13, 2010 IP/BB - 250.2/30).  Doc is dead.

*Phillippe Aumont, Jeremy Horst, Raul Valdes, and Chad Durbin have combined to pitch 41.2 innings, while allowing 73 base runners via walk or hit, and 30 earned runs.  That equals a 6.48 ERA and 1.75 WHIP. 

*The Phillies are currently on pace to win 72 games.  That will get you to the playoffs in the NHL and NBA, but not MLB.

*Amaro's answer to the center field problem, Ben Revere, has the 187th worst OPS out of 189 qualified batters.  Good job, Rube!  Pitcher, Tim Hudson, had more extra base hits yesterday (2), than Revere has all season (1).

*The Phillies are ranked 23rd in runs scored (100), 24th in OPS (.688), 26th in ERA (4.47), and tied for 3rd in homeruns allowed (33). 

*The Phillies 2013 payroll is $158M, ranked 3rd in all of baseball.  We have every right to expect better and be pissed off.

Reasons for the Increasing Success of Sports Betting

Unlike so many other forms of entertainment – including the once all-powerful music industry – there is no doubt that sports betting has really benefited from the emergence of digital media. Where once bookmakers’ shops were a regular feature of every high street in the UK, now many of the big names in this industry are providing this service online – with ever increasing success in most cases. So what is the reason why sports betting is thriving when so many other traditional pastimes have suffered in the internet era?

Well for one thing the far greater convenience of being able to do everything from finding tips and information about odds, to actually placing bets, online has surely played a major role in this increased success. After all, although people who have been dedicated sports betting fans for years may not mind having to go out to a land-based bookmakers to place a bet, younger people with a potential interest in this activity are likely to find being able to do it using a computer – or a mobile device – a far more appealing option. This notion is further supported by the rise in interest in casino gambling in the digital era, with the emergence of online casino sites.

It is possible that the atmosphere at the land-based versions of these establishments could make them slightly intimidating to those who do not have that much experience of gambling, which could be another reason why being able to bet online increases the attractiveness to a wider range of customers. It is likely that there is also some crossover between the success of sports betting sites and online casino ones. Online casinos offer reviews of sports themed games to make sure you find the best Canadian online slots games at LuckyNuggetCasino.com/online-slots, that serve as an introduction to betting on sports for those who have never followed them before.