Jun 11, 2009

Slice of a Season: Part 6 of 18

Since the baseball season is long (a marathon, not a sprint they always say). Let's keep track of the Phillies 2009 season in digestible bites. A weekly wrap-up doesn't give justice to the ups and downs that a team goes through because it's so uneven.Therefore, I've decided to summarize the season in 9 game swaths, the equivalent of 3 series, barring rainouts and schedule unevenness. Plus, 9*18=162...I like even numbers.

Slice of a Season: 2009, Slice 6
Slice Record: 7-2
Cumulative Record: 32-22
Standing at Slice's End: 3 games ahead of the Mets
Opponents that hurt the Phillies: Dodgers
Opponents that helped the Phillies: Nationals and Padres
Wins to Remember: Defeating the Nationals 4-2 on May 31st, Moyer lives! Winning 10-5 agains the Padres on June 2nd, Bastardo debuts with a 96 mph fastball!
Loss to spill milk over: Brad Lidge blowing the 9th inning against the Dodgers on June 5th, losing 5-4.
Interesting stat: Jamie Moyer has a higher OBP than Rollins, Howard,or Victorino
Bats do help in general: When facing Hiroki Kuroda
Nemesis Alert: Andre Ethier
9 innings in the same game? Do pitchers still do that?:Cole Hamels throwing a complete game shutout against the Dodgers
A right knee can get injured: To Brad Lidge

Maybe it's better if I don't pitch to contact: Joe Blanton

Welcome to the big leagues: Antonio Bastardo
Hitting Heroes: Raul Ibanez, Carlos Ruiz, Ryan Howard, Chase Utley
Need Adjustments: Jayson Werth, Jimmy Rollins, Greg Dobbs and other benchmates
Fire Starters on the Mound: Brad Lidge, Chad Durbin, Brad Lidge...again
Holding the Fort Down: Ryan Madson, J.A. Happ, Jamie Moyer, Antonio Bastardo, Joe Blanton

This was definitely a feel-good part of the season. With a season-high 7 wins in a row, dispatching of the Nationals and Padres with a flick of the bats and flashing of the leather, the Phillies are starting to come into their own. All pistons aren't working together yet to drive this engine, but at least the season is moving forward and not backward.

The hitters we know about. There is only so many superlatives to be given to a lineup with a greater than .800 OPS after 1/3 of the season has passed. Raul Ibanez (again!) has continued to be incredible, he's probably been the 2nd most valuable player in the NL thus far. Carlos Ruiz has a .410 OBP and everyone has an OPS above 100 except Jimmy Rollins. He must not hit lead off until he learns not to pop up the first pitch,

The pitching has a new face and it is a 23 year old lefty by the name of Antonio Bastardo, the newest addition to the "Lefty Court"
Cole Hamels: The King
Jaime Moyer: The Wise Counselor
JA Happ: The Jousting Knight
Antonio Bastardo: The Heir
Scott Eyre: The Master of Coin
Jack Tashner: The Forgotten Lord
JC Romero: The Prodigal Prince

Brad Lidge still has a 7.27 ERA and went to the DL after his last appearance, but Joe Blanton is now averaging 8.1 K/9,the same as Hamels. That's some swinging and missing. The team ERA has finally edged below 5.

Let's continue on the positive side by getting the split with the Dodgers (which has already happened as of this writing), facing down the Mets, and then heading to the dark side (the American League) for most of the rest of the month.

1 comment:

Jim said...

A third of the season already? Hard to believe . . .

I like the Lefty Court names. The Forgotten Lord has looked solid his last few outings, which is a good thing since it appears as if Scott Eyre is DL-bound.