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Keep The Change: Wrapping Up The Nats Series

Posted by Nick "Beerman" Staskin, Thu, April 15, 2010 10:58 PM | Comments: 51
Keep The Change, Posts

Well the series with the Nationals is over, and as I sit here resting up after a busy couple of days at the ballpark a few more thoughts popped into my head. Without further adieu…

•Am I the only one who is a little upset that we are only 4-2 against the Nationals this year? Granted if we win every series, it will be the most successful season in Phillies history, but against the Nationals I feel as if one of these two series should have ended in a sweep. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit concerned about the upcoming 12 games against Marlins, Braves, D-Backs and Giants. Anything less than 7-5 is a disappointment, but I think 8-4 is what the majority of the fans will be looking for. However, with the April struggles that have plagued this team over the years, a 7-2 record, no matter the opponents is nothing to scoff at.

•I know I said that I think Cole Hamels deserves some time before the boo birds swarm, however all starting pitchers not named Roy Halladay will need to improve if this team is going to keep up its current pace. Jamie Moyer is the only starter to finish the sixth inning in any game this season besides Halladay, and he wasn’t exactly stellar in his start.

JA Happ’s 8 BB in 10.1 IP have got to scare you. Last season, he was notorious for pitching out of jams, which led a lot of baseball experts to say the rookie was lucky. In two starts this season, he is still yet to give up an unearned run. I’m just not exactly sure that he can continue to pitch out of trouble unscathed. High pitch counts have limited both of his starts this year, causing Charlie Manuel to go to the pen earlier than he would like. It is no secret, the less the starters pitch, the more the bullpen will get hit. We all know the best bullpen is a well-rested bullpen, as evidenced by today’s loss. Before today, the bullpen had been excellent, so I don’t think we need to jump off a bridge after one bad performance. But some food for thought: all starters not named Roy Halladay have a combined ERA of 7.51 (inflated by Kendrick, but evened out with Happ’s 0.00) and a combined WHIP of 1.87.

•It is hard to judge the team after only nine games; however the offense is off to a start that has videogame like projections in mind, look at these full season projections:

-Placido Polanco: .475 234 R 18 HR 198 RBI 18K

-Ryan Howard: .385 126 R 54 HR 234 RBI .734 SLG

-Chase Utley .343 216 R 90 HR 198 RBI 162 BB 1.421 OPS

-Carlos Ruiz .273 137 R 183 BB .467 OPS out of the 8 hole!

-Jimmy Rollins .391 184 R 161 BB 46 SB .516 OBP this was of course before the calf injury.

Of course these are ridiculous projections, but no reason not to have a little fun. One can dream right?

•The one part of the offense that is not clicking is, in my opinion, the most overrated Phillie on the team. Raul Ibanez was free from the boos last year after living off of a scorching hot April and May. After his injury last season, Ibanez never seemed to recover. His spring was one to be forgotten, and aside from last Friday’s game against Houston, Ibanez has almost no-showed the other eight games so far. With all the runs being scored by this team, it seems hard to believe that Ibanez has only driven in runs in three games this season. Nine games is only nine games, so it’s still way too early to go off the deep end, but if you carry over June-September of last year, spring training this year, and the first week and a half of the 2010 it can definitely set off an alarm of worry.

If you exclude his game against Houston last Friday, Ibanez is 4-27 with one extra-base hit to go along with 2 RBIs. Right now, his teammates are picking up the slack by putting up absurd numbers; hopefully he takes this time to figure out what is wrong. If not, it won’t be long until the fans turn on him as quickly as they did on Pat Burrell and we hear the name Domenic Brown a lot more.

Hope everyone enjoys this year’s first weekend at The Bank, aside from a few scattered storms tomorrow night for the home debut of Roy Halladay the weather doesn’t look too bad, just a bit chilly. See you in left field.

Avatar of Kieran-Carobine

About Nick "Beerman" Staskin

Nick Staskin has written 36 articles on Phillies Nation.

 
 
  • Posts: 0 Manny

    Beerman, it will all even out… just like Howard and Polanco are hitting around .400 and Ibanez .200, you can’t expect any of them to keep up with those numbers! And you totally skipped Raul’s good numbers in the playoffs, especially in the NLDS and WS… so those don’t count? But his 2010 Spring training does??

     
  • Posts: 0 WFC010

    I definitely feel that we have 1 more loss than we should right now, and I also still feel like we have a lot of unaswered questions regarding how well the Bullpen is going to hold up for the year, and if we can get our starters to average 7 or so innings per start.

    Offense should obviously be the least of our concerns, although naturally we can’t expect our numbers to be as huge against some of the good teams like the Marlins,Braves,Giants, and so on.

    We are going to run into some games against very tough pitchers when it will be difficult to score a lot, and those are the games that I feel will be the biggest test for us.

    Halladay can’t pitch every game, so we need to see how the rest of the rotation will settle in for the rest of the season.

     
  • Posts: 0 Nunzio Scholeri

    I would love it if Chase hit 90 homers this year.

    Ibanez, to me, is in a similar boat as Jamie Moyer: proven, consistent producers who inexplicably get no slack from the fans whatsoever. Guys like Cole Hamels can scuffle and struggle and everyone will be shouting “He’ll be fine! Just give him some time!” But every mistake or bad game from Ibanez or Moyer is the end of the world and the final piece of evidence proving that they are the worst athletes to ever play the sport of baseball.

    Come on, people. Be reasonable. At least try to be consistent in your support and criticism of the guys on this team. These are the Phillies we’re talking about! They’ve all been heroes at one point or another, and let’s not forget that.

     
  • Posts: 0 derekcarstairs

    Hamels’ next scheduled start is the day game in the upcoming Marlins series. Throughout his career, Hamels has been a stud at night, but just pedestrian in the daytime. His ERA in day games is about 1.5 runs higher than at night, while the peripherals in day games are noticeably worse.

    I expect Hamels to have a good year, but I won’t be surprised if his next start is only mediocre. Fortunately, 70% of Cole’s starts are at night, and by mid-season, his numbers should be good.

     
  • Posts: 0 Brian Sr. of CO

    I think Nunzio Scholeri hit the nail on the head. Be consistant with all of them. I wouldn’t exactly say Hamels has been a “stud at night” but he is definately better at night. He has been VERY outspoken about how much he dislikes pitching during the day, and that may affect his day starts. He is a VERY emotional/mental (thats an understandment) pitcher, and can get rattled very easily. If he goes out and can get through the first couple of innings without and XBH’s or runs, he has a great possibility of giving up 3 or less runs, and maybe even lasting 7-9 innings (Last years first start IN LA) but if he gives up an XBH, or a few runs early, it seems VERY hard for him to settle down, and he seems to lose it. Similiarly, he always says he doesnt like day starts. To the same affect, you have to wonder, that he just keeps telling himself he doesnt like it, he doesnt pitch as well. Not far fetched at all. He has ZERO confidence when pitching days. It could be as easy as one or two REALLY good outings that he will finally break through. The question is, will he get those outings. As for the question is anyone else annoyed about going 4-2. Well I completely understand you cant win them all, HOWEVER, our pitching has not been the best overall honestly. We can NOT expect our offense to keep scoring on a ridiculous pace to win all the games. Some of the reason we scored all those runs is because the Nats pitching is HORRIBLE. Today’s loss pissed me off honestly. if you go into the 7th inning with a 4-1 lead, you should be able to win that. Baez giving up 2 homers (3 runs) in one inning is not good at all. I have greatly enjoyed watching this team score all these runs against bad pitchers, but will happen when we face good pitchers with other teams? remains to be seen. Considering we have average 7+ runs a game, and yet not exactly blown out any game (will 14-7 was a blowout) has me mildly wondering the Pitching for the year. Overall, the Phillies are fine, and will get better as they work it out, and Big Joe comes back. I hope Baez just had a bad night, but he has played in 4 games so far (I could be off on that)? He had a rough outing his first time out also. What are we really getting from Baez overall? Contreras probably should have stayed in there a little longer, but then, maybe he wouldnt have walked and the game would have been completely different anyway. The approach at the plate seemed to be VERY different today (patience appeared to be have gone bye bye). But it was only 1 game. Anyone raising a flag of “major” concern is just clueless, especially considering the last few seasons the Phillies had a losing record in April, we are in a GREAT position. I just hope Lidge is better than last year. Mad Dog is just not a good closer. I dont recall the splits (I did them last season) but his ERA as a set-up man is dramatically better if I recall correctly then his numbers as a closer. As for booing Raul. Well I cant say no one is booing Raul. I do recall hearing some people booing him while others were yelling RRRRAAAAAAAUUUUUUUUULLLLLLLLLLL! They blend, and unless you are there, you really can tell the difference. I would agree most are still yelling RRAAUULL rather than Boo’s, but thats another story. I was glad to see Vic hit another homer in the bottom of the ninth.

     
  • Posts: 0 MikeB.

    Having an offensive breakout and scoring a bunch of runs in one game has not been a good omen for the Phils. How many times have we seen this happen with them during the last three years or so only for the team to come back the next game and lose with most of the losses being close affairs and with the offense generally having difficulty generating runs? The offense fireworks are great with all the runs but many times they have trouble scratching out runs in the next game played.

     
  • Posts: 0 WFC010

    I wish we had one of our top pitching prospects in the minors ready to pitch in the majors this year…somebody like May or Aumont, but both of them are at least another season or two away from even getting a cup of coffee.

    With all the current uncertainties, it’d be nice to have a promising starter in the minors waiting in the wings, should we happen to need somebody else.

    Any way that Ruben can con some GM into trading some nearly Majors ready pitchers, for some position guys that we have a surplus of like Gose or somebody like that?

     
  • Posts: 0 Brooks

    Before last nights game, how many of us really thought the bull pen was as good as the first 8 games?
    We were surprised and uplifted – the starting pitching has been mediocre (for everyone not named Roy), the offense stellar and the relief terrific up to last night.
    Last night, there were opportunities even in the bottom of the 9th to even the score. Vic homers, Poly singles – Chase, Howard and Werth go in order and there’s the game. It happens, I just hope not too frequently this year.
    The Phils, and this has happened in the past, sputtered after a huge offensive display the night before. It will be interesting to see if they can quickly rebound and take 2 of 3 from the Fish (at least) then 5 or 6
    out of the 9 on the road. If the Phils come out of April with less than 15 wins, how do we rate the month?

     
  • Posts: 0 WFC010

    I think(and hope) we’ll take 2 of 3 from the fish, and then 1-2 from the Braves after that.

    But let’s take it one game at a time, and tonight the Marlins are SCREWED because Roy’s going to be pitching. Assuming that he can give us 7-8 innings tonight, and we can get some runs on the board, the Bullpen should be able to close the door.

     
  • Posts: 0 Brooks

    If the game is played! Hearsay we’ll be fighting rain in the early evening.
    Good news, we don’t have to see that Johnson pitch.
    Marlins are playing hot lately, scoring runs with timely hits.
    Roy, Moyer then Hamels on Sunday.
    Does anyone know if there was an official release as to why Roy is pitching ahead of Moyer?

     
  • Posts: 0 WFC010

    No clue why Moyer was moved back a day, especially since he’s always been very effective against the Marlins.

    Seems kinda like a waste to have Roy start today, especially considering that he’s not going to be up against Johnson or anything.

     
  • Posts: 0 Ed R.

    WFC…I honestly believe Aumont could be ready in September.

    Can we all vote on Brian of Co. for the novel of the year award? j/k

     
  • Posts: 0 Ed R.

    I agree WFC…I don’t understand the move either. Especially given that Roy just pitched a CG. I guess Manuel is trying to squeeze in as many starts for Roy as possible but it still seems early to pull that. Especially given Moyer’s dominance of the Fish(though he was not nearly as good last year vs them)

     
  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    I think the reason for making the switch has more to do with potentially giving some members of the bullpen an extra day of rest. Not sure, just a thought. Either way, Hamels is still on Sunday with FULL, five day rest.

    It’s fine with me….I have tix for tonight and was originally bummed that I would see Moyer for like the 151st time. I would imagine that the place will be buzzing tonight with Doc’s first official game before the home crowd.

    Showers possible, but David Murphy at Channel 6 said a bit ago that he thinks the game will be played.

     
  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    Roy is pitching on normal rest since the Phils had a day off this week after Roy’s last start.

    The Dipsy

     
  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Normal rest for him….4 full days. Hamels “normal” rest is 5 full days. Thing is, Roy WAS originally listed for Sat….as late as 2 days ago. So, with that thinking, the Phillies had him down for 5 days rest.

    Four days. Five days. I think Doc will be fine.

     
  • Posts: 0 George

    Why such worries?

    Washington has some offense, and are going to win a few games, even against a powerhouse team. The BP has had really only one bad day so far, Madson has been 2 for 2 in saves (many closers don’t do well in non-save situations), and although the starters have struggled, it’s still early in the year. If the BP seems overworked early, remember there are TWO key relievers who will be returning shortly.

    I, too, would like to see longer outings from the starters, but it’s just too early too start sounding the alarms.

    Last night’s game was a bit of an anomaly, anyway. Had the strike zone been reasonable, Happ would not have had six walks, and probably would have gone seven innings.

     
  • Posts: 0 teejvee

    Why such worries, George?

    I , for one, don’t think Lidge and Romero will ever be effective again.
    So the bullpen reamains a huge question mark.

    As Nick stated, the rotation has been sub-standard to say the least.

    The ” Ibanez problem” will fester for months, because we al lknow how Charllie sticks with guys.

    Remember the Phillies just played 9 games against the 2 worst teams in baseball and faced some really horrendous pitching, so all offensive stats must be judged accordingly.

     
  • Posts: 0 Ed R.

    In fairness, Olsen is not awful. He has his good days and his bad days. Yesterday was one of his better days. As much as the Pen let us down yesterday, Happ didn’t help the case by walking half the roster in 5 innings.

    I agree with teejvee, I have serious concerns about Lidge and Romero and expect next to nothing from either of them if and when they come back.

     
  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Maybe Ryan Howard and Chase Utley will have slumps that will “fester for months” too. And Roy Halladay walks 7 in one of his next games.

    Guess we should start getting ready for 2011.

     
  • Posts: 0 Brooks

    You’re making me ill to my stomach Chuck!

    Et tu, Ed?

    There is no reason to worry –
    Ryan’s mechanics have changed, you can see it.
    Jimmy’s approach has changed – and Chase, barring injury – well, I’d hate to put the kaybash on it but, is there a serious run for the MVP?
    Just sayin!

     
  • Posts: 0 Manny

    Unrelated, but where is GEORGIE? I miss her posts.

     
  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Brooks…

    In case you didn’t know…..I was being a sarcastic with my remarks.

    It was in response to all this negativity on here, specifically teejvee.

     
  • Posts: 0 WFC010

    I don’t care WHO we were scoring runs against in the first 9 games, but almost every Phillies regular seems to have improved offensively, and all this from a team that’s never lacked in offense in the past few seasons either. With this lineup and hopefully at least serviceable rotation, we should be able to make it to the post-season again, and hopefully more.

    Don’t be surprised to see Ruben bring in some more starters or relievers if we struggle too badly either. He’s not dumb, and he’s had a pretty good track record with deals so far.

     
  • Posts: 0 The Original Chuck P

    Wondering if teejvee is Geoff’s new handle (for some reason, I feel like I’m going to regret mentioning that name).

    I mean, really? We’re 7-2… tied for best in the bigs (with San Francisco). I know that we haven’t played top notch opponents BUT you’re not supposed to sweep series’ in baseball, especially within your division… it’s just really tough to do. Every team is comprised of professional baseball players… even the Nats. The Astros beat the Cardinals last night with Bud Norrris on the mound… the 1998 Yankees started out 1-4 (before winning 22 of their next 24 games, on their way to 114 wins). They had 12 series sweeps that year (3 games or more)… only 4 were against divisional opponents.

     
  • Posts: 0 teejvee

    if you want to get a barometer of the ioffensive mprovement of the players, include the Oswalt game in that sample.

    You saw the SOS.

    Werth , Howard- dead meat.

     
  • Posts: 0 Don M

    REGULAR rest for every pitcher is 4 days off . . . and you pitch on the next day

    #1 Halladay … then 2, then 3, then 4, then 5.. THen #1 again after those 4 off days

    The want to maximize the number of starts Halladay gets (especially when its on NORMAL rest) .. by throwing him on schedule here, he’ll also get to face the Braves (and we all know that Division games count twice in the standings, the ability to get a win for you, and a loss for your rival)

    Moyer will go on extra rest, which isn’t a bad thing for him, and should help to keep him fresh

     
  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Moyer on extra rest

    +

    his dominance of the Marlins (he’s something like 13-2 lifetime against them)

    =

    a good chance for a Phillies win

     
  • Posts: 0 The Original Chuck P

    Let me ask you this, tjv…

    The three upcoming pitchers are Anibal Sanchez (RHP), Ricky Nolasco (RHP) and Nate Robertson (LHP)… you really think Howard/Werth are dead meat? You really think those guys are worried about those names? Give me a break…

     
  • Posts: 0 Don M

    Sanchez and Nolasco are both filthy, when healthy.. but we should def win 2-of-3 vs the Florida Feesh

     
  • Posts: 0 WFC010

    I think we’ll take 2 of 3 from the Marlins, but we MAY only be able to take 1 from the Braves during the first series.

    Guess it will really depend on how everything works out, and what pitchers the Braves will throw against us.

     
  • Posts: 0 Brooks

    I know Chuck ; )

     
  • Posts: 0 bfo_33

    Was at the game yesterday – a perfect day (except for the outcome) – probably because I was there (I have that kind of power).
    While Baez deserves a share of the blame for the loss, the bigger factor was Kendrick’s lousy start the day before. Beerman hit it right on the head – a good bullpen is one that is used sparingly. Yesterday was a typical outing for Happ – maybe an inning short, a few extra walks, but he’s only going through a line-up 3 xs. Not sure how many more chances Kendrick will get, but he and Happ have to be split up, or it will decimate the bullpen.
    I think Kendrick deserves the rest of April to work it out, and think he can get back to 6 innings with 3 runs – servicable. It’s going to hurt the pen, and Happ, if he doesn’t get there soon.
    Ibanez deserves more time to work out of the slump, but he looks lost right now. May make more sense to move him to 7 for a bit.

     
  • Posts: 0 Don M

    Kendrick is bumped from the rotation as soon as Blanton returns.. and they’ll probably skip Kendrick whenever possible with the off-days coming up

    they will try to throw Halladay and Hamels on “regular rest” every chance they get

     
  • Posts: 0 BurrGundy

    In a nutshell, our bullpen is NOT good enough. We need a steady closer and I HOPE and PRAY that Lidge regains form, and we need
    consistency. As the year wears on, we might see improvement as the weather gets warmer. I’ll keep my fingers crossed

     
  • Posts: 0 BurrGundy

    Moreover, considering Blanton’s injury and the time he will need to get back into form, considering Kendrick’s total futility so far (he deserves a couple more starts), and Moyers geriatrics……we just might want to have a discussion with Pedro or Smoltz….just might want to do that.

     
  • Posts: 0 WFC010

    Wait a minute, I didn’t think Hamels DID starts on “regular rest” unless it was the post-season, since I seem to remember him or somebody else who stated he likes full rest.

    At any rate he’s still working through his problems, and trying to rush his starts probably wouldn’t be very helpful to him right now.

    Halladay can do fine on “regular rest” because he’s used to it, something that Hamels really isn’t used to yet.

     
  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    “our bullpen is NOT good enough.”

    Yet here are the facts:

    Durbin – 0.00 ERA
    Figueroa – 3.38
    Herndon – 0.00
    Contreras – 0.00
    Bastardo – 2.45
    Baez – 7.71 (of the 6 games he’s been in 2 were stinkers, otherwise ok)
    Madson – 6.23 (But he has converted 2 for 2 in saves)

    Yes, we need a healthy Lidge and Romero. But, besides that fact, this is a pretty good start.

     
  • Posts: 0 Hot dogs

    Nobody is mentioning Madson in yesterdays loss. If he keeps it to a 1 run game we tie it on shane’s homer. I do like Madson but he always seems to give up a run. I dont care if its a save situation a hold situation or not, if you are a relief pitcher you should get three outs without giving up a run.

     
  • Posts: 0 teejvee

    I don’t know- do you think Kendrick gets another start?

    I’m think maybe one more before they throw Figueroa in there.

     
  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Madson is just really more comfortable as a set-up guy, I think. He’s out of his comfort zone as a closer. He has the stuff….but it just seems like it’s between his ears. Maybe I’m wrong about that and he can/will become an effective closer??

     
  • Posts: 0 philsgirl

    Too bad the rotation this week works out so Hamels pitches an afternoon game again.

     
  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Tonight: Halladay

    Tomorrow: Moyer with extra rest and that impressive choke-hold on the Marlins

    Sunday: Hamels on full, 5-day rest

    Anything less than 2 out of 3 is a disappointing weekend.

     
  • Posts: 0 Don M

    “FULL” or “REGULAR” rest . . . is pitching every 5 days..(with 4 days rest)

    SHORT REST.. is pitching on only 3 days rest

    Hamels, and every other pitcher in baseball goes most of the season on REGULAR/FULL REST

    some teams will push everyone back, and give everyone an EXTRA day if there is an off-day.

    For example.. Phillies play Fri, Sat, Sun .. OFF MON.. then play Tues, Wed, Thurs..

    So if Halladay is pitching tonight, Friday… his REGULAR REST would have him slotted to pitch again on Wednesday.
    If they wanted to, they could stay in their rotation:..
    Friday would be #1..
    Saturday #2..
    Sunday #3..
    Monday everyone rests..
    Tuesday #4..
    Wednesday #5..
    ……..and then Halladay, as #1, would pitch again on Thursday instead of Monday…

    but follow that a few times a year, and you have your less-effective pitchers getting extra starts, which sucks.. but it also gives your #1 and #2.. an extra day of rest here or there

     
  • Posts: 0 RichieAllen

    Jeeeeze…..we are 7-2 .When has that happened last? I sure cant remember.
    Quit worrying ,things are going better than planned this year.
    I think Madson will work out as our new closer this year,the position he has now will be permanent.We’ll forget about Lidge.

     
  • Posts: 0 Don M

    Read this for a quick- guide to how REST work’s for pitchers.. and the ways that teams adjust it all the time based on their current NEEDS

    http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/phillies/A_slight_but_interesting_rotation_shift.html

     
  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    If I’m not mistaken (I could be wrong), Hamels LIKES to have 5 FULL days rest. Even though, you’re right, the baseball definition of FULL rest is FOUR days.

     
  • Posts: 0 The Original Chuck P

    Madson gives up a run in a non-save situation and people are ready to jump off the bandwagon… let’s let him blow a few saves before we say that he’s incapable.

    Sooo you’re willing to start Nelson Figueroa over Kyle Kendrick, eh? If ever there was a statement that oozed, “What have you done for me lately” it’s that one. Kyle Kendrick might not remain a starter for long but Nelson Figueroa, really? If you’re eager to start Nelson Figueroa based off a few relief appearances, you might need a reminder that MLB seasons are 162 games… leave him in relief.

    Jorge De la Rosa started the season 0-6… he finished the season with 16 wins. Not saying KK deserves that kind of patience but we need to be reminded that this thing is a marathon, not a sprint.

     
  • Posts: 0 Don M

    Im sure that EVERY pitcher besides Halladay and Sabathia LIKES to have extra days of rest, so it gives them time to heal

    but after the first few weeks of the season, the OFF days are much less frequent, and teams usually play long stretches.

    Coming up, starting Tuesday, the Phillies will play 9 days in a row… then have a day off

    They then play 13 days in a row.. then a day off

    They then play 20 days in a row.. then a day off

    They then play 10 days in a row.. then a day off

    ETC….

    so the early parts of the season, which has lots of off days, day games, etc.. really screw up the rotation. but wants the season gets moving.. most teams try to keep everyone on REGULAR REST = Pitching every 5th day

     
  • [...] Phillies Nation agrees: this team should be 9-0. They also note that no pitcher on the staff has had a quality start besides Halladay.  [...]

     
 
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