Sunday, April 27, 2014

4/27 - Good Road Record

Phillies ended their west coast road trip with a 6-4 record (1-2 vs. Rockies; 3-1 vs. Dodgers; and 2-1 vs. D'backs) to bring their overall road record to 9-7. They are now 13-12 this season - 4th in NL East (4.5 games behind Braves) and one game back of the 2nd Wild Card - and fully healthy after activating Hamels on Wed. the 23rd. Things are looking up, but they definitely showed inconsistencies this year in all facets of the game: offense, pitching & defense... although pitching & defense have improved since the 15th. They have a day off tomorrow and then play the Mets in a two-game set at home. A day off precedes three games vs. the Nats and a four-game home-and-home series with the Blue Jays. A sweep of the Mets will be key here as they are 2nd in the NL east & represent the 2nd wild card.

Other notes:
  • The Phillies play 28 games from 5/2 to 6/1; 27 games 6/3 to 6/29; and 13 games from 7/1 to the All-Star Break
  • The All-Star & HR Derby ballots are now available
  • Injury update: Ethan Martin (shoulder) pitched to Darin Ruf (oblique) the other day.
  • Ryan Howard did not hit for the cycle as Joe Torre did not approve the Phillies' request to have the 1B & E9 overturned.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

4/15/14: Two Weeks In

NL East Standings:
  • Atlanta Braves (9-4)
  • Wash. Nationals (8-5, 1.0 GB)
  • Phila. Phillies & NY Mets (6-7, 3.0 GB)
  • Miami Marlins (5-9, 4.5 GB)
Phillies Injury Updates:
  • P A.J. Burnett (hernia) - will undergo off-season surgery
  • OF Ben Revere (sore ribs) - available to play
  • IF-OF Freddy Galvis (15-Day DL, MRSA) - activated Friday
  • P Mike Adams (15-Day DL, shoulder) - activated Today
  • P Cole Hamels (15-Day DL, shoulder) - set to return c. 4/22 or 4/27
  • OF-1B Darin Ruf (15-Day DL, oblique) - to begin baseball activities this week
  • P Jon Pettibone (shoulder trouble in S.T.) - made spot start on Saturday
  • P Miguel Gonzalez (60-Day DL, shoulder) - rehabbing in minors
  • P Ethan Martin (15-Day DL, shoulder) - no update
Games Recap:

Defense has been horrible this year. They are tied for last in majors in fielding pctg (.972) & errors (14), and have given up 12 unearned runs in 13 games. The team was ok in spring training, so it stands to reason that the law of averages will kick in as the season goes on and as the team gets more chances. Concern: 8/10

The offense has been tremendous in areas in which the team has done poorly in past seasons. They are putting runners on at a tremendous clip yet are struggling (a bit) to score them. Stats:
  • .351 OBP (1st in NL, 2nd in MLB)
  • .273 AVG (3rd in NL, 5th in MLB)
  • .420 SLG (6th in NL, 9th in MLB)
  • .771 OPS (4th in NL, 5th in MLB)
  • 2000 pitches seen (7th-most in majors & 4th-most in NL) 
  • 153.8 pitches per game (140.7 last year)
  • 3.88 pitches per PA (3.79 in 2013)
  • 39.7 plate appearances (PA) per game (37.1 last year)
  • .279 AVG w/ RISP (.252 last year)
  • 4.77 RPG (3.77 in 2013)
Utley and Ruiz are a big part of the team's offensive success and Howard's slow start is probably the biggest contribution to the team's small-yet-noticeable RISP issues, but I'm not concerned about Howard given his history of terrible Aprils, especially after hitting two HRs in the past two games. As for the team... as long as they continue to get chances by putting runners on and taking pitches, they'll score runs. Concern: 4/10

The starting pitching has been troublesome (6 Quality Starts, 4.05 ERA, 1.61 WHIP, 7.51 K/9, 3.69 BB/9), but the bullpen has been even worst (5.53 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 7.91 K/9, 4.28 BB/9, 1.85 K/BB, 3 BS). With bounce-back outings from a few of its guys, Adams activated and Hamels on the way, the Phillies look to improve in this area soon. Until then, it looks like high-scoring games resulting in more losses than wins will be the norm this season. Concern: 7/10

Schedule (April): 3 vs. Braves; West Coast Trip: 3 @ Rockies, 4 @ Dodgers, 3 @ D'Backs; Off on 28th; then, 2 vs. Mets at home.

Proposed April Record: 16-12 or better -AND/ OR- less than 3.0 games back. They split the Braves series (2-2), go 6-4 out west, and sweep the Mets.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Recap: Opening Day

Wow... what a slug-fest for both teams! Opening Day certainly seems to favor the offense against a team's ace, probably because managers put the "everyday line-up" out there to perform. Well, it looks like both offenses were successful, but the Phillies came out on top 14-10. Every Phillie had reached base safely and each was responsible for at least one run (either an RBI or a R scored). Here's the box score:
  • Revere: 3-6, 2 R, 3 RBI, SB, K
  • Rollins: 1-6, GS HR (200th career HR), 4 RBI, R, K
    • 14th consecutive O.D. start at SS for same team (NL record; ties MLB record - Ripken, Jr.)
  • Utley: 3-6, 2B, RBI
  • Howard: 2-5, BB, R, 3 K
  • Byrd: 2-6, HR, RBI, R, K
  • Brown: 1-5, SB, R, K
  • Ruiz: 1-3, 2 BB, 3 R
  • Asche: 3-4, BB, 2B, HR, 2 RBI, 4 R
  • Gwynn, Jr.: 0-1, BB, R, K
  • Mayberry, Jr.: 1-2, 2 RBI, 2B
Totals: 17 H, 6 BB, 8 K, 44 AB, 50 PA, 13 RBI, 14 R, 6 XBH (3 2B, 3 HR), 2 SB
Team LOB: 9
Team AVG: .386 (.412 w/ RISP)
Team OBP: .460
Team SLG: .659
Team OPS: 1.119
  • Lee: W, 5 IP, 11 H, 8 R (all earned, ties career high), BB, K, HR
  • Diekman: 1+ IP, H, 2 R (all earned), BB, 2 K
  • Rosenberg: 0.2 IP, 2 H, BB
  • Bastardo: Hold, 1.1 IP, BB
  • Papelbon: 1 IP, K (not a save situation)
Totals: 40 ABA, 44 PAA, 9 IP, 10 R (all earned), 14 H, 4 BB, 4 K, HR

So, what does this mean for the rest of the season? Well, I hate to go on one game, but opening day is said to foreshadow the rest of the season (or something along those lines). So, this means that if these guys are healthy and produce, the Phillies will CERTAINLY contend throughout the year.

Next Up: Today @ 8:05 PM EDT (7:05 PM CDT) - Burnett @ Perez