Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Wednesday Wonderings & Wayward Wits

*The Clearwater Threshers fell to 5-20, worst in the minors this season, after losing last night to the Brevard County Manatees (Braves) 20-0.

*Roberto Hernandez's start is being skipped this time through the rotation, and he appeared in relief last night.

*Cole Hamels chokes against the Mets, now 7-14 lifetime against them.  After losing last night, he remains in search of his 100th career win.

* Ryan Howard has a higher batting average (.258) against lefties this season than righties (.254).  Here's to hoping he continues the decent work against southpaws and starts crushing the right-handed pitchers.  He'll have a monster season if so.  On the other hand, his defense is currently ranked last in MLB for first basemen (-0.8 DWAR).

*Domonic Brown has 4 extra base hits so far (3 doubles, 1 homerun).  This is not acceptable. Eat your Wheaties!

*What if the Phillies had at least average production from 3rd base and a bullpen that didn't suck?

*Chase Utley has the NL's 4th highest batting average (.355), 7th ranked OPS (.978), 3rd best WAR (1.5), and his 11 doubles are tied for 1st.

*After crapping the bed in Texas, Jonathan Papelbon has settled in nicely (10 consecutive scoreless appearances and 8 saves).

*Cody Asche or Freddy Galvis have the two lowest WARs of any third basemen in baseball, a collective -1.5 wins below replacement player.

*Ben Revere is ranked 3rd in MLB with 10 stolen bases.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Let's Get It On- Mets Series Preview

New York Mets (14-11) @ Philadelphia Phillies (13-12)

Pitching Match-Ups:
Tuesday - Jon Niese vs. Cole Hamels
Wednesday - Bartolo Colon vs. KK
*7:05 start for both games

Mets Bats:
R - 100 (20th)
AVG - .218 (29th)
OPS - .614 (29th)

The Mets have a winning record and are exceeding expectations, but due no thanks to their offense.  Only one regular, Lucas Duda/1B, has an OPS above .700, with sluggers like Curtis Granderson/RF and David Wright/3B off to slow starts.  They do have a secret weapon in the form of Bobby Abreu though, so watch out Phils bullpen.  One way of stopping them from scoring runs is to make sure Eric Young Jr./LF, stays off the base paths (12 SB, 20 R).

Mets Ams:
ERA - 3.67 (13th)
WHIP - 1.30 (18th)

Niese comes into tonight's contest with a 2.45 ERA, so here's hoping to seeing that rise.  Colon is rocking a 4.50 ERA and a big ol' gut (5'11", 283 lb.).  Respect to the 40 year old!  In the bullpen, Dice-K, Kyle Farnsworth, and Carlos Torres are off to strong starts.

Prediction:
Pheeling the Phillies phever and go with a nice and tidy 2 game sweep of the Mutts.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

One for Thirty

Freddy Galvis 2014
1-30 
.033 AVG
.124 OPS
-0.7 WAR

Friday, April 25, 2014

Let's Get It On- Diamondback Series Preview

Philadelphia Phillies (11-11) @ Arizona Diamondback (7-18)


Pitching Match-Ups:
Friday, 9:40 - Roberto Hernandez vs. Josh Collmenter
Saturday, 8:10 - Cliff Lee vs. Bronson Arroyo
Sunday, 4:10 - Sports Hernia Burnett vs. Bradon McCarthy

D-Bags Bats:
R - 93 (13th tied)
AVG - .241 (22nd)
OPS - .658 (25th)

Paul Goldschmidt/1B (.330/.896) is a beast and Mark Trumbo/LF (7 HR/19 RBI) drops bombs. Miguel Montero/C (.276/.791) is a having a bounce back season, but other than that the lineup is under performing.

D-Bags Arms:
ERA - 5.39 (30th)
WHIP - 1.45 (28th)

Total crapfest going on here, and it has manager Kirk Gibson in hot water.  Every starting pitcher has an ERA north of 4.50, so you know shit is hitting the fan.  Relievers Joe Thatcher and Brad Ziegler are doing well at least, so they got that going for them, which is nice.  They only pitch an inning here or there though, so no real silver lining.

Prediction:
Something is wrong in Arizona, and I'm hoping the Phillies exploit it.  I say they take 2 outta 3 with the only loss being hung on Hernandez.

Of Note:
Freddy Galvis is now batting .040 (1-25).  Yet, Sandberg keeps plugging him into the lineup. 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Riddle Me This- Playing Time for Freddy Galvis

Ryne Sandberg has gone on record as to wanting to keep his bench bats fresh.  Not sure why when the bench consists of perennial duds like Jayson Nix, Freddy Galvis, and John Mayberry. But hey, I'm not a MLB manager.  The one that baffles me the most is Galvis, who is batting a robust .056 (1-18).  Through parts of 3 seasons he's a career .223/.624 hitter with atrocious on base skills.  His only value lies within his glove work and versatility.

Since activating Galvis from the DL on April 11th, Sandberg has plugged him into the game one way or another 7 times in 11 games.  WHY?!?!?!?!?!?!  Maybe Sandberg thinks he has upside.  After all, Freddy is still young (24), but he's never shown the ability to hit in the minors either (.245/.616 in 591 games).  Perhaps it's because Cody Asche is also struggling (.196/.579).  All I know is that Freddy Galvis sucks at hitting and I cringe every time he's at the plate.

Onto happier news...Cole Hamels makes his 2014 debut tonight in Los Angeles.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Let's Get It On- Dodgers Series Preview

Philadelphia Phillies (8-10) @ Los Angeles Dodgers (12-7)
Pitching Match-Ups:
Monday - Cliff Lee vs. Paul Maholm
Tuesday - Sports Hernia Burnett vs. Hyun-Jin Ryu
Wednesday - Cole Hamels vs. Zack Greinke
Thursday - KK vs. Dan Haren
*All games at 10:10 (Eff the West Coast)

Billionaires Bats:
R - 81 (9th tied)
AVG - .240 (19th)
OPS - .711 (14th)

Dee Gordon/2B runs as fast as his dad (Tom "Flash" Gordon) used to pitch, having already stolen 10 bases all while batting .367/.892.  Adrian Gonzalez/1B and Juan Uribe/3B are the only other two bats currently making noise (each batting .300+/.900+).  Showboaters Hanley Ramirez/SS and Yasiel Puig/RF haven't struck their matches yet, but wouldn't be surprised to see them do so in this series.

Billionaires Arms: 
ERA - 2.85 (5th)
WHIP - 1.21 (7th)

This is a great pitching staff, even without the services of the best pitcher in the Majors (Clayton Kershaw on DL).  Every starting pitcher in this series is doing well so far this season with the exception of Maholm (4.97/1.50). The other 3 all boast ERAs of 2.42 or below.  In the bullpen is a bevy of arms ready to clamp down leads (Chris Winthrow, JP Howell, Chris Perez, Paco Rodriguez, and Kenley Jansen).

What I'm Drinking:
Sierra Nevada's - Ovila.  I'm not sure why, but I've been on a saison kick lately, and this one is fantastic.  It's a Belgian style Abbey saison, done in collaboration with monks, and has Mandarin orange and peppercorn added to it. This unique farmhouse ale is incredibly complex with notes of lemon, pepper, straw and herbs balanced by the tang of Mandarin oranges and a spicy kick of pepper. The Mandarin oranges used to make this beer were locally grown, including a portion grown on the grounds of the Abbey of New Clairvaux and picked by hand by the community of monks living there.  Serve in a tulip glass, 7.5% ABV, 94 on RateBeer.com.

Prediction:
Four games sweeps are difficult, so I'll go with the Phils sneaking one win away from the Dodgers out in LA.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Phillies Offense- So Very Bad

Ready for some disheartening stats?  Of course you are, that's why you're a WSBGMs reader.

Past 4 Games:
R - 3
AVG - .151
OPS - .302
XBH - 0
BB - 3
K - 21

Minus Chase Utley and his .417/1.153, the Phillies offense is complete shit.  Dom Brown's power stroke hasn't resurfaced, Ryan Howard has his typical low average with high strikeouts and diminished power, Marlon Byrd is old and is not going to come close to repeating his career year of 2013, Cody Asche seems over matched, Carlos Ruiz has been nonexistent, and Ben Revere might as well go to the plate with a feather in his hand.  Jimmy Rollins is doing okay, but 1 good player, plus 1 great player, plus 6 below average players is going to equal losing. Harsh reality people.

Sorry.  Happy Easter.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Let's Get It On- Rockies Series Preview

Philadelphia Phillies (7-8) @ Colorado Rockies (8-9)
Pitching Match-Ups:
Friday, 8:40 - Johnny Pettibone vs. Tyler Chatwood
Saturday, 8:10 - KK vs. Jordan Lyles
Sunday, 4:10 - Roberto Hernandez vs. Juan Nicasio

Purple Mountains Bats:
R - 82 (4th)
AVG - .286 (1st)
OPS - .780 (2nd)

Four members of their lineup are batting over .300, but everyone is producing 1 through 8.  Charlie Blackmon/CF is tearing it up (.411/1.023) with Troy Tulowitski/SS, Justin Morneau/1B, Michael Cuddyer/RF, and Carlos Gonzalez/LF all boasting .900+ OPS.

Purple Mountains Arms:
ERA - 4.47 (27th)
WHIP - 1.31 (17th)

Old man LaTroy Hawkins is holding down 9th inning duties and set-up man Adam Ottavino is becoming one of the best in the business.  The starting pitchers going in the series aren't anything special, but they're completely capable of shutting down the Phillies offense.  Of course, the love child of Jose Mesa and Adam Eaton could probably shutdown the Phils offense too.

Prediction:
One team will score at least one run more than the other team in all three contents.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Bunch of Baseball Stuff

This post has no theme, and if it did, it would be "randomness".


*Giancarlo Stanton has 21 RBI so far and is on pace for 227.  I think that would be a record or something.

*Dan Uggla and Evan Gattis love the Phillies pitching.  In a combined 150 games, they have 36 HR and 98 RBI.  Not to mention, Uggla is a horrible defender, yet pulls Web Gems out his arse against the Phils.

*There's no denying some of the young arms in the Phillies bullpen have good to great stuff, but that doesn't translate into consistency or positive results.  DeFratus, Rosenberg, and Diekman all have potential.  Potential to be good or potential to be bad.  The Phillies bullpen is currently ranked 29th in MLB with a 5.53 ERA.  I applaud you Amaro.  Dumbass.

*Mike Leake, of the Cincinnati Reds, is the first pitcher of 2014 to collect a Howard. Through the first two weeks of the season (roughly 14 games), there has been 14 Howards committed around MLB.  Record breaking year?

*Mike Adams has been activated from the DL and Luis Garcia has been optioned down.  Garcia didn't even appear in a game.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Let's Get It On- Braves Series Preview

Atlanta Braves (8-4) @ Philadelphia Phillies (6-6)


Pitching Match-Ups:
Monday, 7:00 - Ervin Santana vs. Roberto Hernandez
Tuesday, 7:05 - David Hale vs. Cliff Lee
Wednesday, 7:05 - Julio Teheran vs. AJ Burnett
Thursday, 1:05 - Alex Wood vs. Jonathan Pettibone

Braves Bats:
R - 46 (21st tied)
AVG - .246 (16th)
OPS - .711 (14th)

They have Freddie Freeman/1B (.442/1.333) and Justin Upton/LF (.386/1.175) in the middle of the lineup, but the rest of the crew isn't anything spectacular.  The group of Jayson Heyward/RF, BJ Upton/CF, and Dan Uggla/2B are off to slow starts (all batting below .200).

Braves Arms:
ERA - 2.44 (3rd)
WHIP - 1.18 (5th)

Pitching has been Atlanta's bread and butter for the past 3 decades, and continues to be the team's strength.  Someone gets injured and they just plug someone in from the minors and never seem to skip a beat.  Every starting pitcher going in this series has an ERA of 2.89 or less.  Runs might be difficult to come by for the Phightins.

Prediction:
Tuesday's game will be washed out, turning it into a 3 game series rather than 4.  As far as wins go, I have no clue.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Howard with a Howard, Oh Yeah!


You know it's a good day when Ryan Howard notches a Howard.  That's right, the stat's namesake earned himself his first strikeout, error, homerun game of the season and naturally the Phillies won.  Not only did the Phillies win, they swept the series from the Marlins and are now 6-6 on the year.

What else is good?
*Chase Utley is batting .500, word.
*Wil Nieves had more hits (3) in today's win then I thought he might get all season.
*Speaking of 3 hits, Tony Gwynn Jr. did the same today.
*Papelbon didn't blow a save this weekend.
*BJ Rosenberg hasn't allowed an earned run yet.
*Dom Brown has yet to hit a homerun, but is still hitting (.302).

Friday, April 11, 2014

Let's Get It On- Marlins Series Preview

Miami Marlins (5-5) @ Philadelphia Phillies (3-6)

Pitching Match-Ups:
Friday, 7:05 - Jose Fernandez vs. AJ Burnett
Saturday, 7:05 - Nate Eovaldi vs. Jonathan Pettibone
Sunday, 1:35 - Henderson Alvarez vs. KK

Fish Bats:
R - 50 (5th)
AVG - .269 (6th)
OPS - .742 (7th)

Giancarlo Stanton/RF drops bombs, Marcel Ozuna/LF is a Vlad Guerrero-esque free swinger, and young Cuban shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria may have finally discovered how to hit (.350 in 2014, .227 in 2013).

Fish Arms:
ERA - 3.72 (15th)
WHIP - 1.31 (18th)

Fernandez is Boy Wonder, Eovaldi brings it at 100 MPH, and so is basically Alvarez is the Phils only chance.  Their bullpen is well stocked too, with AJ Ramos, Dan Jennings, and Steve Cishek.

Prediction:
Phillies continue to add to their losing streak, upping it to 6 before finally winning the series finale on Sunday.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Let's Get It On- Brewers Series Preview

Milwaukee Brewers (4-2) @ Philadelphia Phillies (3-3)

Pitching Match-Ups:
Tuesday, 4:05 - Kyle vs. Kyle, Lohse vs. Kendrick, KL vs. KK
Wednesday, 7:05 - Matt Garza vs. Roberto Hernandez
Thursday, 7:05 - Marco Estrada vs. Cliff Lee

Beer Makers Bats:
R - 21 (23rd)
AVG - .263 (8th)
OPS - .695 (16th)

Aramis Ramirez/3B, Kris Davis/LF, Jonathan Lucroy/C, and Carlos Gomez/CF are all off to solid starts, batting .320+/.870+.  That lying sack of feces, Ryan Braun, is struggling and also has a banged up thumb.  No sympathy here.

Beer Makers Arms:
ERA - 1.45 (1st)
WHIP - 0.93 (2nd)

The Brewers are fresh off a sweep of the Red Sox and it was mostly due to their pitching staff.  The highest ERA of the entire group belong to Lohse and Zach Duke, a whopping 3.86.  Francisco Rodriguez holds down the 9th inning.

What I'm Drinking:
Evil Twin- Ryan & the Beaster Bunny.  This brew comes way of Denmark and is a saison style beer.  Fruity esters, soft carbonation, lil' bit of funk, yeasty goodness.  This is also known as a farmhouse ale.  Scores a 96 on RateBeer.com and weighs in at 7% ABV.

Prediction:
Phils manage to sneak a win in against the Brew Crew with a 9th inning meltdown from K-Rod.  Other than that, this series belongs to Milwaukee.

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Phillies Only Unbeaten Team in NL...Or Should Be

The Phillies could be looking at a 5-0 record right now, with the opportunity to complete their second sweep of the season with a victory today over the Cubs.  Of course, due to bullpen woes, that is not the case and instead sit at 3-2.  Papelbon is going to blow saves every once in awhile, even Mariano Rivera did that from time to time.  However, the way he went about his meltdown in the 9th inning in Texas and lack of responsibility for the loss is what has the ire of Phans (including me).  It's early in the season yet, so lets cut him a break and hope that another blown save doesn't happen until further down the line.

Early Positives:
*Saint Utley- still one of the best 2nd basemen in baseball.
*Chooch knows how to get on base.
*Howard is striking out, but he's getting base knocks too.
*Ben Revere is fast.
*Starting pitching, outside of Lee's Opening Day dud, has been solid.

Early Negatives:
*Have relied too much on Jayson Nix.
*Bullpen is not good.  A healthy Mike Adams will help that.
*Not sure Cody Asche is an everyday player.
*Ben Revere has less power than a dead 9-volt.

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Next time you head to the Brick Cit House, or any other MLB venue, make sure to check out Kurt Smith's Ballpark E-Guides.

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Let's Get It On- Cub Series Preview (Lil' Late)

Philadelphia Phillies (2-2) @ Chicago Cubs (1-3)

Pitching Match-Ups:
Friday, 2:20 Phillies won, 7-2
Saturday, 2:20 Cliff Lee vs. Jeff suh-MAR-jah
Sunday, 2:20 AJ Burnett vs. Carlos Villanueva

The Curse of the Goat's Bats:
Emilio Bonerface (.579/1.303) is off to a hot start, but honestly this team is void of any real offensive threat.

The Curse of the Goat's Arms:
They have some decent pitchers on their staff, but nothing star worthy.  Today's start, Samardzija is the best they have to offer, but he may not even make it through the entire season with the Cubs (likely trade bait come July).  Pedro Strop is good when he's good, but is bad when he's bad, much like Phils closer Papelbomb.

What I'm Drinking:
Today I'll be partaking in a bottle share of a plethora of craft beer styles (IPA, blondes, sours, Imperial stouts, etc.).  Personally, I'm proud for one of my contributions to be Appalachian Brewing Co.'s Broad Street Barley Wine.

Prediction:
Given that the Phils already won the first game, I'm going to take a risk here and future forecast 1 win for the Phightins.  Seriously though, sweep for the good guys!

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

First Howard of the Season


You might think that we here at WSBGMs would be celebrating the Phillies first win of the season.  We are.  But, more importantly, we are celebrating the first Howard of the 2014.  Congratulations to the San Francisco Giants' Brandon Belt on belting a homerun, striking out, and committing an error all in the same game.  Doubtful he remains on top all season long, but for now he is king of the mountain. *Standings listed on the right sidebar of the blog.

Meanwhile, Ryne Sandberg is trying some new ideas out this year, batting Ryan Howard 5th against lefties and starting Jayson Nix at 3rd in place of Cody Asche.