Jul 30, 2009
Slice of a Season: Part 11 of 18 and the trade
The trade deadline has loomed large, almost larger than the sizzling team performance through this month of July.
Slice of a Season: 2009, Slice 11
Slice Record: 6-3
Cumulative Record: 58-41
Standing at Slice's End: 6.0 games ahead of the Marlins
Opponents that hurt the Phillies: NONE
Opponents that helped the Phillies: Diamondpacks, Padres, Cardinals
Wins to Remember: Beating St. Louis 14-6 on July 25th (the full awakening of Rollins), beating Arizona 4-3 on July 28th (wearing down the ace)
Loss to spill milk over: losing 10-5 vs. the Cubs on July 22 (the end of the winning streak,nothing lasts forever
Bats do help in general: When facing Yusmeiro Petit
New Nemesis Alert:Matt Holliday, he must like the NL and Mark Reynolds
Sent back to DL heaven: Chad Durbin, JC Romero, Clay Condrey: all relief pitchers, it's a good thing they've added depth.
I'm worth more than Roy Halladay if salaries and age are included: the combined worth of JA Happ, Kyle Drabek, and Dominic Brown
There's no place like outside Philly: Still 31-15 on the road
Hitting Heroes: Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino, Chase Utley
Need Adjustments: Carlos Ruiz, Eric Bruntlett,
Fire Starters on the Mound: Brad Lidge, JA Happ
Holding the Fort Down: Cole Hamels,Joe Blanton
The Phillies continued their winning ways without a day off during this time period, finishing off the Cubs, Cardinals, and Diamondbacks with series wins. The good thing about their setbacks is that there were no heartbreaking losses. They deserved the three losses they got. And their most impressive offensive performance (though it wasn't reflected in the number of runs) was limiting Dan Haren to 5 innings with 117 pitches, tying his season low appearance length.
The big news, of course, is the TRADE. Roy Halladay slipped through their grasp, but they did pick up the reigning 2008 Cy Young award winner. Let's break it down.
Coming to the Phillies:
Cliff Lee (LHP, formerly of the Indians): An above average pitcher from 2005-2006, he fell apart in 2007, earning a trip to the minor leagues. This is the risk the Phillies are taking with Lee. Hopefully, this 2007 version of Lee doesn't make an appearance for the rest of this year or 2010. On the plus side, they're paying him no more than they paid Adam Eaton during his horrific stint in Philly.
Since his return, Lee has turned into one of five best pitchers in baseball. In 2008, he led the AL in wins, ERA+ (175, 75% better than league average),HR/9 (0.5), and BB/9 (1.4). In 2009, though his record (7-9)has been a victim of the Indian's poor run support for him, he still has sported a 143 ERA+.
He has 4 pitches he controls: fastball, cutter, curve, and change all with varying speeds and movements. I expect he will succeed in Philly, with a slightly elevated HR rate and better won-loss record.
Ben Francisco: OF (formerly of the Indians): Francisco is a versatile outfielder who can play CF or the corners. His bat translates well, especially as a fill-in/4th outfielder role he will be having with the Phillies. He will replace John Mayberry, Jr in this role, representing an upgrade. Francisco is a league-average hitter (96 OPS+ this year) with plus power and speed, capable of hitting 15+ HRs and having 15+ SBs with regular at-bats. None of his skills are extraordinary, but a right-handed bat off the bench who can make strong contact is welcome.
More on the prospects the Phillies gave up later.