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Forget about ERA for a moment. Phils pitching has given up 34 runs in 108 2/3 innings, an average of 0.314 runs per inning and 2.83 runs per game. Regrettably, the offense has provided only 35 runs over the 12 game span, including 15 runs over 2 of the games, an average of 2.91 runs over the first 12 games. “The Doc” Roy Halladay is undefeated at 3-0 (1.17 ERA) , while Cliff Lee is 0-1 in 3 starts (1.96 ERA) and both Cole Hamels (3.65 ERA) and Joe Blanton are 1-1 (4.16 ERA) in 2 starting outings. Second year starter Vance Worley is 0-1 (3.75 ERA) in 2 starts. And, oh yeah, newly acquired closer Jon Papelbon is fine so far, notching 3 saves while giving up 1 run in five innings of work over his 5 appearances. That was RyanWho???
One can follow pitching stats through the season by clicking here.
That the Phils’ record is 5-7 over their first 12 games this season, while going 9-3 in their 12 in 2011, is primarily due to an offense soo flat that it could have been unleavened, 18 minute matzah. When one looks at the Phils’ offensive leaders and productivity, the offensive short-circuits become clear. They’ve hit but 5 homers in the 12 game span, 2 of them by rightfielder Hunter Pence who leads the club with a .326 BA, and with 7 RBIs. In 2011, over the same 12 gams span, 1st baseman Ryan Howard (still on the DL) lead the club with 3 homers, 13 RBIs and a .308 BA. When one gets past catcher Carlos Ruiz who’s hitting .306 with a homer and 3 RBIs and centerfielder Shane Victorino hitting .277 with 5 stolen bases, the rest over the offense is abysmal. When one sees things like shortstop Jimmy Rollins striking out 10 times in 12 games, outfielder John Mayberry Jr. with 9 K’s in 12 games, rookie infielder Freddie Galvis with a homer and 5 RBIs and a .237 BA and 3rd baseman Placido Polanco batting .179, it dawns on fans that the Phils badly need Howard and 2nd baseman Chase Utley back playing regularly and injury-free.
This blog previously reported on Halladay’s brilliant opening day shut-out. Below are box scores and recaps of the Phils’ subsequent 11 games:
The first 2 Bucs up in the first inning singled off of Halladay before the All Star and two-time Cy Young Award winner retired the next 21 of 23 hitters he faced in a masterful performance on Opening Day. After the first, the only runners to reach on “The Doc” were centerfielder Andrew McCutchen with 1 out in the fourth and shortstop Clint Barmes with 2 out in the eighth, both of the hit batsmen.
Old former Phillies’ catcher and nemesis Rod Barajas took an 0-3 collar and was one of Halladay’s 5 strikeout victims.
Pirates’ Opening Day starter lefthander Eric Bedard lived up to the Bucs’ hopes for potential matching Halladay’s 0’s through six innings while giving up 4 hits and walking 1. But, in the seventh, rightfielder Hunter Pence, batting in the clean-up spot with 1st baseman Ryan Howard still on the DL, led off by lining out to shallow centerfield. Ty Wigginton, playing 1st base, touched Bedard for a single to centerfield.
Leftfielder John Mayberry Jr. followed by doubling to rightfield, with Wigginton taking 3rd base. Ruiz, perfect in 3 of his 4 plate appearances, hit a sacrifice fly to shallow right plating Wigginton and making Bedard the losing pitcher. 2nd baseman Freddie Galvis, batting eighth in the order and subbing for DL 2nd baseman Chase Utley, ended the inning by grounding out to shortstop.
“The Doc” was not only masterful on the mound, but singled to open the eighth, but was stranded along with 3rd baseman Placido Polanco who was walked with 1 out.
Closer Jon Papelbon came on in the ninth and did what closers are supposed to do: go clean on the Pirates on 10 pitches, 9 of them for strikes while striking out 1 for his first save as a Phil.
For all of Thursday’s scores in both leagues, click here.
On Sunday, the 2011 rookie of the year candidate and 2nd year hurler Vance Worley and James McDonald are scheduled to oppose each other in the rubber game of the series.
Please Note: a wrap-up of the Phillies’ spring exhibition games will follow shortly and we will discuss the 25 man Season Opening roster, Ryan Madson’s going down with a “Tommy John” elbow injury in Cincinnati and more.
As the Phillies approach the halfway mark in the exhibition schedule, Vance Worley has been impressive in the spring of his sophmore season in MLB giving up but 2 runs in ten innings of work over a 3 game span. He’s been particularly brilliant over the last eight innings striking out 11 while giving up 4 hits. Reliever Antonio Bastardo has also been impressive in four innings of relief over 4 games, giving up just 1 hit and no runs. Kyle Kendrick has been great as well, giving up 4 hits over 8 1/3 innings while striking out 9 and holding opponents scoreless in 2 relief efforts and 1 start. Closer Jon Papelbon has given up 6 hits, but only 1 run thus far this spring, while walking 2 and striking out 4 in five innings of work.
Ace starters Roy Halladay and lefthander Cliff Lee have been dinged a few times in the exhibition season while working to iron out some rough edges. Neither Halladay nor Lee seem concerned, although some reporters have expressed alarm. The other ace, lefthander Cole Hamels also may be struggling a bit this spring, although he’s only been scored on twice in 10 2/3 innings over 3 games. He’s given up 11 hits over that span while striking out 7. Hamels has only walked 1 this spring, while Halladay has issued 1 free pass and Lee 2. Joe Blanton, competing with Kendrick and Worley for either the 4th or fifth starter spot, tossed scoreless ball in his first 2 starts before giving up a 3 runs, including a homer in five innings in his most recent start which the Phils utlimately won over Atlanta last Thursday by a 6-4 score.
Offensively, the Phils have neither looked impressive nor consistent having scored 84 runs over 17 games through Saturday for about an even 5.0 average per game. But then again, they are without two of their biggest cogs in 1st baseman Ryan Howard and 2nd baseman Chase Utley, and their other horses; shortstop Jimmy Rollins, rightfielder Hunter Pence and centerfielder Shane Victorino have yet to find offensive consistency. 3rd baseman Placido Polanco seemed to be finding his hitting eye before reportedly going down with a sprained finger. Utley might make it for opening day, but don’t look for Howard before May. Therefore, the Phils hope for consistency from Rollins, Pence, Victorino, and hopefully Polanco while trying to patch together some offensive punch until they are back at full strength.
Reports note that Utley should debut in exhibition games next week. Dontrelle Willis’ attempt at being a lefthanded arm in the bullpen failed, despite his clean inning Thursday vs the Braves, as the Phils released him on Friday.
Offensively, the Phils have scored 57 runs in 11 games (5.18 run average per game) while hitting 10 homers without the presence of Chase Utley and Ryan Howard, both rehabbing after surgery, in the lineup. Rightfielder Hunter Pence leads the team with 2 homers having hit one in each of the first 2 games of exhibition while picking up 6 hits in 21 at-bats in his 9 exhibition appearances. 3rd baseman Placido Polanco got into 2 games getting a hit in each of them in a total of 5 at-bats. Shortstop Jimmy Rollins (5 for 17 with a homer in 8 games) and centerfielder Shane Victorino (5 for 21 with a homer) are collectively hitting below .250 BA.
These notes are only bits and pieces as it is too early to see indications of team performance or how the opening day roster will shake out at several positions.
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