Monday, October 19, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
- To be honest, I am feeling very confident about these match ups. While Wolf and Padilla certainly are not the pitchers they were in the red pinstripes, they will never seem any different to me because of how terrible they were on our rosters.
- Cole Hamels is an interesting player...he has struggled this year and in Game 2 of the NLDS. The one team Cole did not struggle against was LA where he pitched his best game of the season against them on June 4th pitching a complete game shut out.
- Like I said earlier, I feel Happ's struggles were mostly because of the weather and should have no problem in LA if he gets the call in Game 2. While the Dodgers hit lefties much better than the Rockies, the fact that Happ has actually started recently makes me think he is a better choice then using Blanton or finally bringing Pedro into a game.
- Lee, I am comfortable against anyone - Vicente Padilla, Roger Clemens, Babe Ruth, Cy Young...I don't care at this point. What Cliff has done for us this year/post season has blown me away.
- Chad Billingsley could be slipped in somewhere in the first three games since he did not pitch in the NLDS and was very successful earlier this year against the Phils.
James Loney - Against the Phils this year Loney has hit .393 BA, 11H, 2HR, 6RBI. These numbers are certainly up from his averages and up comparable to other teams this season.
Andre Ethier - Ethier's numbers have been ridiculous so far this post season.... .500BA, 5R, 2 2B, 2HR, 1.333 SLG, 1.905 OBP. Along with the NLDS series that Either had, he has performed very well against the Phillies this year including the June 6th game when he had 2 home runs, 1 being a walk-off in the 12th inning.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Thursday, October 8, 2009
- We can steal all day on Torrealba - as we did (tried..RH) all game yesterday. When your starting pitcher steals bags you know there is a weak link. First post-season steal for a Phillies pitcher in the history of the team. Chris Iannetta will have to get time if we continue to steal as successfully as yesterday.
- Each of the 9 batters had at least 1 hit. This is incredibly encouraging especially with who was pitching yesterday and how our offense has been performing lately. As I wrote in the NLDS preview, if our offense is on, as it was yesterday, there is no stopping this team. I don't know if the rest the last few days helped or what, but all of the players were hitting the ball in good spots and hard.
- I watched the game on the MLB Corner feature online - this thing is cool! I had four views going - behind home plate with an awesome view of the strike zone, in center field, in the Phillies dugout which is hilarious to watch and along the 3rd baseline. I thought this thing would be stupid, but it was actually pretty cool if you're really into baseball....or at work, like I was!
- If the wind was not at 25mph there would have been at least 2 home runs in the game. Werth's would have been more left center and definitely way out and Howard's most likely would have been a bomb to left. Instead, we ended up with an RBI scoring triple and double off the wall - not complaining!
- We did not have to use the bullpen at all (thanks Cliff) which allowed the group another day of rest. We did see Happ up in the bullpen in the 9th which makes you think that Martinez will be starting game 4 and that Happ may have become the late reliever/closer - I don't know how I feel about this.
- Do Not Doubt Cholly! He decided to use Cliff Lee in Game 1, despite his recent struggles, and wow was he right! Now Hamels is coming into today's game with a nice 1-0 lead in the series and the chance to just about end the series. We can only hope he pitches like last post-season...
- Cliff Lee.
- Clifford Lee.
- C. L. - Whatever you want to call him, the man pitched amazing yesterday. He retired 16 in a row at one point. Allowed just 6 hits and 1 earned run in a complete game. Sounds awfully familiar (cough cough..last post!) to his first home start vs. the Rockies. Lee was one strike away from a complete game shutout but allowed an RBI double. No big deal. I have to say for this being his first playoff game, for a team and city he has been with for a few months, this outing was very very impressive. Yesterday's pitching by Lee is exactly what we hoped for the day that Ruben traded for him. I cannot wait to see him pitch again!
Cole Hamels (10-11, 4.32 era) will take the mound this afternoon versus Aaron Cook (11-6, 4.16). We all know what Cole is capable of doing in the post-season. Last year, Hamels was 4-0 with a 1.80 era in the playoffs - he shoud have been 5-0 but that 2 day delay messed it all up. Aaron Cook, on the other hand, has pitched his last 13 innings while allowing only 1 run. He was on the DL in August with shoulder problems. The last time the Phillies faced Cook was August 6th - Cook pitched 5.0 innings, allowed 7 hits and 3 earned runs. Cook left the game with a hyper-extended big toe. Cook was an All-Star in '08.
The weather forecast for today's game is 67 degrees, sunny, 9mph wind. Today's game will not be changed by anything other than the will of the players. It will be a beautiful October afternoon to kick the Rockies' ass.
Hamels was quoted yesterday as saying that he truly believes the playoffs are a time to "start over". I am so excited to hear him say that. If Hamels can pitch anything like last year, or Lee yesterday, then this game will be another breeze. The Rockies will be swinging today - their team is too good to have two silent days offensively. Today's game should be closer than yesterday's simply because the Rockies know they have there backs against the wall...already. If they lose today they have an incredibly small chance of pulling this series out. They will be swinging and aggressive on the base paths when they have the opportunities. With this in mind, Carlos Ruiz can be a huge part of today's success. He needs to be able to keep the ball in front and call pitches in running counts where he knows he will have a good angle to still throw down to 2nd or 3rd.
I think the crowd will be even crazier today then it was yesterday. I was really mad when I heard that the Phils had the two early games, but after seeing yesterday's record setting crowd it is truly obvious that this town does not quit on their teams...even when they're supposed to be working...I mean seriously, what recession?
I don't like doing this for playoff games, but I'm really excited about this one. Hamels should go about 7 strong, 7 hits, 2 earned runs, 6 left on base. The Phils will win the way they know best and get two big home runs, 1 from the Big Guy Ryan Howard and 1 from Chase Utley. Phillies win 5-3.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Monday, October 5, 2009
Phillies - 93-69
Rockies - 92-70
Probable Pitcher Matchups: (Based on Phillies.com)
Hamels (10-11, 4.32 era) vs. Jimenez (15-12, 3.47 era)
Lee (14-13, 3.22 era) vs. Cook (11-6, 4.16 era)
Blanton (12-8, 4.05 era) vs. Hammel (10-8, 4.33 era)
Martinez (5-1, 3.62 era)/Happ (12-4, 2.93 era) vs. De La Rosa (16-9, 4.38 era)
-Obviously, these are complete season totals in both records and ERA. I would say that the most important pitching stats for playoff predictions are numbers in the second half of the season and the last 7-8 games. Therefore, I compiled the stats for these pitchers over their last 7 games to be a better judge of how they may pitch in this series.
Last 7 Games:
Hamels (3-3, 3.78 era) vs. Jimenez (3-3, 3.95 era)
Lee (2-4, 6.20 era) vs. Cook (2-3, 4.86 era)
Blanton (4-2, 4.92 era) vs. Hammel (2-1, 3.67 era)
Martinez (4-1, 3.48 era) /Happ (3-2, 3.88 era) vs. De La Rosa (4-0, 2.99 era)
Observations - With the exception of De La Rosa (much better numbers the last 7), the Rockies pitching has been consistent throughout the season. I would think that this will benefit the Phillies because you would rather know exactly what you are getting, instead of trying to plan for a streaky or hot pitching staff. The Phillies will most likely get what they saw from the Rockies during the season, where the Phillies won 4/6 games. For the Phillies, the numbers over the past 7 games for each pitcher are close to the same for the season except for Cliff Lee. His numbers have been much worse over the last 7 games. This is a concern because Lee is struggling, especially with leaving the ball up in the zone, and is unfamiliar to pitching in the postseason. The home field advantage may play a huge part in the success of the Phillies in the NLDS because the pitching match ups, especially lately, are surprisingly similar.
Offensive Comparisons: (top 3, Total Team)
Hits: Phillies - Victorino (182), Howard (172), Rollins (168), Total -1439
Colorado - Helton (177), Tulowitzki (161), Hawpe (143), Total - 1408
RBI: Phillies - Howard (141), Werth (99), Utley/Ibanez (93), Total - 788
Colorado - Tulowitzki (92), Helton/Hawpe (86), Barmes (76), Total - 760
HR: Phillies - Howard (45), Werth (36), Ibanez (34), Total - 224
Colorado - Tulowitzki (32), Stewart (25), Hawpe (23), Total - 190
R: Phillies - Utley (112), Howard (105), Victorino (102), Total - 820
Colorado - Tulowitzki (102), Hawpe (82), Helton (79), Total - 804
2B: Phillies - Rollins (43), Victorino (39), Howard (37), Total - 312
Colorado - Hawpe (42), Helton (38), Barnes (32), Total - 300
3B: Phillies - Victorino (13), Rollins (50, Utley/Howard (4), Total - 35
Colorado - Fowler (10), Tulowitzki (9), Gonzalez (7), Total - 50
Hmm...this is encouraging! As shown above, the Phillies lead offensive categories over the Rockies in everything except triples. This may come as no surprise - anyone who watches baseball knows the potent offense that the Phillies have. With the make up of both fields (Coors & CBP) the offense has the potential to become a huge advantage (look back 2 years when the Phillies offense disappeared in the NLDS vs. Colorado). Worth noting is that the Phillies offense has been struggling over the last few weeks - we'll see if this rest helps them come out of their funk.
Bullpen: Listed All Pitchers
Bastardo (2-3, 6.46 era)
Condrey (6-2, 3.00 era)
Durbin (2-2, 4.39)
Escalona (1-0, 4.61 era)
Eyre (2-1, 1.50 era)
Kendrick (3-1, 3.42 era)
Lidge (0-8, 7.21 era)
Madson (5-5, 3.26 era)
Myers (4-3, 4.84 era)
Park (3-3, 4.43 era)
Romero (0-0, 2.70 era)
Taschner (1-1, 4.91 era)
Walker (2-1, 3.06 era)
Total - (30-30, 4.14 era)
Beimel (1-6, 3.58 era)
Belisle (3-1, 5.52 era)
Betancourt (4-3, 2.73 era)
Chacin (0-1, 4.91 era)
Daley (1-1, 4.24 era)
Flores (0-1, 5.25 era)
Flogg (0-2, 3.74 era)
Herges (3-1, 3.38 era)
Morales (3-2, 4.50 era)
Peralta (0-3, 6.20 era)
Rincon (4-2, 6.87 era)
Street (4-1, 3.06 era)
Total - (23-24, 4.50 era)
Statistically both teams have about the same numbers representing their bullpen - they win just about as many games as they lose and have around a 4.25 era. With this in mind, I have to say that the Rockies have a considerably higher advantage in their bullpen simply because the Phillies do not have a true closer. The Rockies have Huston Street who has only blown 2 saves all year. This makes me incredibly scared and shows how important our offense will become.
The Phillies are a better team than the Rockies and have a lot to live up to from last year. This is an interesting match up because statistically, aside from offensive stats, the teams match up very well. Additionally, these two teams have been the NL representative in the World Series the last two years - experience is not a factor for either team. I see this series really hinging on the offense that is produced....as I have said over and over again above. If the Phils play to their offensive potential this could be a quick sweep...if they are not firing on offense we will have to rely on our bullpen and the "closer" which is something that will not favor the Phillies. The offense must produce.
Prediction: Phillies win in 4.