Sunday, April 22, 2018

Sunday Nuggets

*The Phillies are sporting a sparkling 3.09 ERA as a team, which ranks 5th in MLB and 2nd in NL. Starters - 3.02 ERA and Relievers - 3.34. Matching their 5th place ranking for ERA is their WHIP coming in at 1.15. They've also allowed the least amount of homeruns in baseball (11, tied with the BoSox).
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*As fantastic as the pitching staff has been, the 1st inning is proving difficult, as opponents have scored 13 runs in the 20 1st innings and are batting .321/.909.

*As disastrous as the 1st inning has been, the 7th is a polar opposite. They've allowed merely 1 7th inning run all season. Damn!

*Mr. Computer (aka - Kapler) seems to be settling in with his bullpen usage. He been allowing the starting pitchers to actually pitch when they're doing well and has been mixing and matching relievers effectively. As a first year manager, he is learning. It does seems he is actually learning, which was what I was afraid he wouldn't do.

*Mixing and matching with the bullpen isn't the only task at hand for Kapler, as he needs to find playing time for 2 extra players. Thus far, I feel he's adequately given Williams, Altherr, Kingery, Crawford, and Franco time. None of that group are lighting the world on fire, pressing Kapler's hand to play them more, so the time share plan is working.

*The Phillies 108 runs ranks them 8th in MLB. That's good. The Phillies 93 walks has them ranked 2nd. Also good. The Phillies .231 batting average is tied for 20th...not good. Their OPS of .701 ranks them 19th. They need to start getting more hits. Too many low batting averages. The main culprits being - Williams, Crawford, Knapp, Alfaro, Santana, and Altherr. That group is batting .172 (51-297).

*Something that might help the batting averages is putting the ball in play more often. The Phillies have struck out 199 times, ranking 7th worst in baseball. They average 10 strikeouts per game.

*Once Santana's hard contact finally starts falling for some hits, the top 4 of the lineup are fearsome (Cesar, Santana, Odubel & Hoskins).

*The National League's batting average leader, Ryan Flaherty (.362), was cut at the end of Spring Training by the Phillies.