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Phils Pull Off Wicked Awesome Win

Posted by Michael Baumann, Sat, May 22, 2010 12:06 AM | Comments: 17
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It was like 2008 all over again. Behind strong pitching by Cole Hamels and a decent offensive display, the Phillies imposed their will on an AL East team. Hamels went seven strong innings, mixing in his fastball with a devastating change to hold the Red Sox to a single run, on a first inning solo homer by catcher Victor Martinez. Hamels struck out eight and allowed only four baserunners in his second consecutive solid outing.

Jayson Werth also had a strong night, contributing a double and a fifth-inning home run (and a nifty running catch in right field to end the eighth inning). Ryan Howard also had a big night, going 2-for-3 with a walk and a home run. John Lackey, Boston’s big-money offseason acquisition, continued to look, well, lacklustah, allowing four runs and throwing 107 pitches in only five innings. All of this sounds pretty pissa, right? Well, there are a couple caveats.

After the Juan Castro and Exxon Wilson Valdez experiment, it was good to see the Phillies’ informal captain back in the lineup at short this past week, but Jimmy Rollins’ stay in the starting lineup might turn out to be short-lived. J-Roll (1-for-3 with a walk tonight) tweaked his calf again running out a grounder in the bottom of the sixth and was relieved by Castro. Rollins insisted that it was not as bad as the first time, when he spent a month on the DL after a bizarre incident just before the home opener, and insists that the injury has already started to feel better.

“You never wanna get injured twice when it’s the same area, but it happens. You deal with it,” Rollins said after the game. He seems to be relatively optimistic and is listed as day-to-day.

Second, Hamels looked strong, but with all the brouhaha over Roy Halladay throwing 132 pitches in Tuesday night’s loss to the Pirates, it should be noted that Hamels, who does not share Halladay’s workhorse reputation, tossed 116 balls in tonight’s game.

Finally, that ninth inning near-miss needs to be mentioned. Danys Baez came out for the ninth with a four-run lead, and while he got a quick first out, it turned into a save situation in a big hurry. J.C. Romero came on, retired J.D. Drew, hit Adrian Beltre to load the bases, and got pinch-hitter David Ortiz on a fly ball to the warning track in center with the bases loaded and two out to end the game. Baez continues to be untrustworthy, as I’m sure many of you have noticed.

Here’s some food for thought. David Appelman of FanGraphs came up with statistics called Shutdowns and Meltdowns, based on WPA. For those of you who are interested about the specifics, you can read about it here. For those of you who aren’t, shutdowns and meltdowns are supposed to improve on saves and blown saves by incorporating the closeness of the game and more accurately valuing middle relief appearances. Want to guess who tied for the major league lead in meltdowns last year? That’s right–Danys Baez. The post-Contreras bullpen situation bears monitoring.

Action resumes tomorrow evening at 7:10 , as Kyle Kendrick faces Daisuke Matsuzaka. If the Phillies win this series, coupled with the Flyers’ comeback over the Bruins, the national media has got to reconsider which Northeastern city with a rich political history, an inferiority complex, and mouthy fans it frames as a rival to New York. Move over, Boston–here we come.

Avatar of Michael Baumann

About Michael Baumann

Michael Baumann has written 229 articles on Phillies Nation.

Michael is a graduate student at Temple University who lost his childlike innocence when, at the age of 6, his dad let him stay up for the end of Game 6 of the 1993 World Series. Unsettled by the Phillies' recent success, he has threatened over the years to leave the team he loves if they don't start losing again, but has so far been unable to follow through. Michael spent 4 years as an undercover agent in Braves territory at the University of South Carolina, where he covered football and soccer for The Daily Gamecock before moving back up north. He began writing for The Phrontiersman in June 2009 before moving to Phillies Nation in January 2010.

 
 
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  • Posts: 0 Scotch Man

    Just watched the game (DVR’d it last night) and it was quality. Baez may have had a lot of meltdowns last year, but it appears to me they won’t give him much rope at all if it looks like he doesn’t have it. Couldn’t be more impressed with Hamels. He pitched one of his best games in a while.

     
  • Posts: 0 Brooks

    The Phils have not had good fortune with health issues this year. Seemingly more this year than any other recently that I can recall (How about the great expectations of the 92 Phils – washed away with injuries). A mild calf strain? Is that like a muscle pull? Does that come from lack of use or lack of physical preparation?
    The Phightins have showed quite the resiliency regardless of the player or position they have had to replenish.
    This is turning out to be quite a year so far.
    MB, you sound ‘cautiously optimistic’? Yes, Hamels threw 116 pitches but, the huge upside – Cholly (when the Phils win the NL AGAIN, he has to get the MOY) knew to take him out and Cole had arguably his second best outing this year vs one of the key teams in the AL. And yes, was there a weakness in last nights game, I would say one, Baez.
    All said, I am really pumped to see if the Phils starting pitching can continue this awesome trend. On the mound tonight is KK – one time the mere mention of that would send one a brain signal similar to that of a ‘shart’ to our lower extremities but KK has a 2.57 ERA and a 2-0 record in 3 starts so far in May.
    And on Sunday the good doctor pays a visit once again. Let’s hope the weather keeps up and it stays warm. The doc has proven that even if it is not warm, he can deliver – we just need 2, maybe 3…
    Go Phils!

     
  • Posts: 0 Brooks

    Impressed with the starting pitching? How about these figures for the (so far) merry month of May:
    Between Doc, Hamels, Moyer and KK –
    15 GS
    107.1 IP (that’s just a tick over 7 innings per start)
    90 hits
    29 ER
    9 hrs (only!)
    26 BB
    74 K’s
    10 wins, 2 losses
    3 team shutouts, toss in a few CG’s – and an astounding 2.44 ERA.
    Add in Kentucky Joe, just getting his legs back and the starters ERA ‘inflates’ to 2.96.
    For now, no more talk of Roy Oswalt being on our radar – lets just keep the focus on our new Mr. Consistency J Werth – the CBP Beard.

     
  • Posts: 0 Ed R.

    Just so we are clear….Roy Oswalt is not on our radar…unless Ed would take Ibanez, Lidge and Kendrick.

    But honestly, trading for Roy just admits that we should have never traded Lee. Can’t say I see RAJ making that move.

     
  • Posts: 0 Brooks

    I hope not Ed! After reading that some of the bloggers here are thinking that signing Patty is an option, you just don’t know what people are thinking.

     
  • Posts: 0 Ed R.

    I love Pat, he is my favorite Phillie ever…Ruiz is a close second, but even still, signing Pat, at 400,000 K is still not worth it. He can’t play the OF anymore and I don’t think he is a PH…so he basically serves no purpose.

    We have all see the train wreck that bringing the Kid back to Seattle has been, doing the same with Pat(though they aren’t even in the same class) would not work out any better.

     
  • [...] year, we managed to get off on the right foot, and though the Sox are a better team than their record would indicate, it is nice to be playing a [...]

     
  • Posts: 0 Brooks

    I sat in section 142, row 7 for the 08 WS. Right behind Patty.
    To me, he was the heart and soul of the Phils back then, I loved him too. We gave him a pass, time and time again and he never complained. But, his time has come and gone. No room for Patty Cake anymore. It was fun, we had our moments (he was our official Mets killer for years).

     
  • Posts: 0 Ed R.

    Well said Brooks. I would rather my final memory of Pat being him, his wife and Elvis leading the WFC parade rather than a guy who came back as a PH and once in a great while OF just to fail miserably because of how hard it is to have the aforementioned roles.

     
  • Posts: 0 Brooks

    You know Ed, how many players can retire with a ring? He has to be happy. Topped off a $50 mil contract here, getting what, another $16 mil in Tampa and the lad is not quite 34.
    I feel good for Pat – he has another life ahead of him and a ring to tell his grandkids about!

     
  • Posts: 0 psujoe

    Looked at any possible trade possibilities for Oswalt and they just don’t exist. Way too much salary even if they let Werth walk, which they’re not going to do.

     
  • Posts: 0 psujoe

    Did you guys see that Chone Figgins is batting .192. Man, he’s horrible this year and expensive. Polanco has out played him by a mile.

     
  • Posts: 0 The Second John

    They should not even be calling Houston to ask for Oswalt. He’s way overpaid, and the Phills don’t really need another starter. The only trade I see them making if they do make any trades, is a trade for a closer, or a bench player.

     
  • Posts: 0 Brooks

    Oswalt is a certified ace on any club (xept the Phils of course!). Playing on a decent team, he probably could have a few 20 win seasons behind him at this point.
    Premier pitcher, good stuff. Always kept the Phils to under 3 runs even in the warmth of the hot summer.

     
  • Posts: 0 Ed R.

    Rollins to the DL apparently?

     
  • Posts: 0 George

    I’m more worried about the Phils’ bats and bullpen than I am about the rotation. Heck, Happ hasn’t even been in it for a month. Hamels has pitched well lately (I said during Spring Training that he’d suffer some at first because he was still figuring out when to use his new pitches) Kendrick has been better of late, and Blanton will be at full strength soon. The team simply doesn’t need Oswalt.

    I’m only worried about the bats because of Rollins. Even though the team has done well without him, I’m not sure Castro and Valdez will be so good all year, and JRoll WILL miss significant time.

     
 
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