News and Notes: Rollins, Valdez, Giants

Posted by Pat Gallen, Mon, September 12, 2011 11:14 AM | Comments: 11
Analysis, News, Opinion, Posts

J-Roll is back tonight. (PHOTO: US Presswire)

-Jimmy Rollins will finally return to the Phillies lineup tonight in Houston, and it couldn’t come at a better time. The injuries continue for this aging club; Wilson Valdez is day to day with a hamstring injury. I don’t think Rollins is an everyday player from here to the end of the season – more like an every other day player if the Phillies can afford it. And with a healthy lead in the NL standings (10.5 over the Brewers, 11 over the Diamondbacks, 12 over the Braves, and out of nowhere, the Cardinals are 16 back).

Temper your expectations as to what you’ll see from J-Roll upon his official return as a starter. All anyone wants to see is a healthy shortstop with that same rocket arm and whatever comes offensively would be a bonus at this point.

-So much for the San Francisco Giants. Bruce Bochy went out on a limb this weekend and said that his Giants are “awful” right now. And he’d be so right. The team whom everyone believed would give the Phillies fits if they saw each other again in the playoffs are on the doorstep of elimination, now 8.5 games behind Arizona in the NL West.

They scored 8 runs Sunday for the first time since August 3. They are dead last in baseball in runs scored, something not even the best pitching staff can overcome. To put that in perspective, the Phillies, for all of the grief they had gotten all year for being average offensively, have scored 653 runs to San Fran’s 492. How the mighty have fallen.

-Speaking of runs, the Phillies, as we all know, have not given up many this season. Pundits believed the Braves to have an equally compelling pitching staff before the season began, but that’s why you play the game. Here we stand, on September 12, and the Phillies have given up 79 fewer runs than the Braves. To be fair, the Giants have only allowed 47 more than the Phils, but, they play in At&t Park and their run differential is -19 as a team.

Bruce Bochy isn't happy. (PHOTO: AP)

To also put the number 464 in perspective (the number of runs the Phillies have given up this year) they would have to really implode over the final 19 games this season to come anywhere close to last year’s total of 640. The Phillies gave up 640 runs last season as a unit, good for the fifth best total in MLB. Last season, the San Diego Padres allowed 581 runs, the fewest in baseball. At 3.24 runs per game, which is what the Phils allow on average this year, over the final 19 games, they will fall short of 581 by about about 55 (or 526 runs for the season). Pretty ridiculous.

When this playoff run began for the Phillies in 2007, the team gave up 821 runs that year. Amazing. The game certainly has changed.

Avatar of Pat Gallen

About Pat Gallen

Pat Gallen has written 1714 articles on Phillies Nation.

Pat is Editor-in-Chief of Phillies Nation. He also covers the Phils for 97.5 FM in Philly.

  • Posts: 1117 betasigmadeltashag

    Avatar of betasigmadeltashag

    I know it was just the Astros, but seeing how this team has been going, does any think that they will play down to one of the worst teams in the NL. They have beat the better teams and lose to the Marlins. And it would also allow them to clincht at home. And any word on bringing up some starting pitching to help with the double headers with no days off.

    • Posts: 1376 Pat Gallen

      Avatar of Pat Gallen

      I dont think they’ll play down to the Astros. They are just firing on all cylinders right now, going through the motions. But they are so much better in every facet of the game than most other teams that they can win 2 of 3 by accident, when playing their worst possible baseball.

    • Posts: 1 Philthy Phil

      Avatar of Philthy Phil

      The word I heard it that Kendrick will pitch in both of those double headers. Remember also that Joe Blanton is activated too and could possibly get a start mixed in there.

  • Posts: 5401 Lefty

    Avatar of Lefty

    Pat, Just to add a little more perspective, the Phillies have played three less games than San Francisco making the difference in runs scored even more astounding.

    And to take a different view of our offensive numbers, the Cardinals who lead the league in runs scored have 679 to our 653- have also played 3 more games to compile those numbers. We are averaging 4.56 runs scored per game, to their 4.65. As you mentioned our much maligned offense really isn’t very far off from the leaders. It was before Utley returned, and got even better after the Pence trade.

    Also interesting is the difference between the number of runs allowed at 3.24 per game to the team’s ERA- 3.03, a difference of only .17

    That means we play extremely sound fundamental baseball, making very few mental or physical mistakes in the field.

  • Posts: 0 P.J.

    Remember when the Giants traded for Beltran and so many baseball people and media thought that was the key to them repeating as World Series champions?

    Oh how times have changed!

    • Posts: 1376 Pat Gallen

      Avatar of Pat Gallen

      Guess the Phillies made the right move with Pence over Beltran. I actually wanted the Phillies to pursue Beltran at the time because I thought he made sense if the Mets would come off their asking price of a top tiered prospect. They didnt, and the Phillies made the better move, of course.

  • Posts: 2896 Chuck A.

    Avatar of Chuck A.

    And to think those clowns on FOX started talking about a Giants dynasty right after they won the World Series last year. Jacka$$es.

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    In their defense… they’ve had their best player, and starting catcher, Buster Posey out for a while. …. Imagine where we’d be with no Utley all season

    I still think the Giants would give us fits in the playoffs – I think we’d win the series, but Lincecum and Cain are up their among the best pitchers in baseball for a reason. Bumgarner is legit too … I expec the SF Giants to grab a series player this offseason – Jose Reyes, Prince Fielder, etc… and challange again next year

    • Posts: 2896 Chuck A.

      Avatar of Chuck A.

      That’s a fair point but I couldn’t help but scratch my head a little when they suggested that last year…..knowing that, aside from Posey and those 2 starters, they weren’t exactly a dynamic team. I just couldn’t see them repeating with their roster….and that includes a healthy Posey.

      Give them credit last year. They did what they had to do to win and guys like Cody Ross and Juan Uribe and Edgar Renteria stepped up when they had to.

  • Posts: 0 bacardipr05

    The Giants can still give us fits if we face them again in the playoff’s no question about it. These are the same folk who used words like “Steamroll” by them last year. Lincecum, Cain, Vogelsong who we foolishly released an even Bumgarner to an extent. With still a pretty strong bullpen. Anytime you face Lincecum an Cain in a short series you have more than a fighting chance even with their anemic offense. All it takes is one swing of the bat to change the outcome of a game. I do agree Pence (as of right now) was the better move only thing that bothers me is we gave up so much. On Rollins why not just let him come in as a late game replacement if he is still hurting until he is at least closer to been a 100%. The time is coming when we should just let these guys sit out an play the B sqaud. Then again the B squad is hurting as well. I still dont understand why they dont have Kratz up here filling in.

  • Posts: 548 Brian Sr. of CO

    Avatar of Brian Sr. of CO

    And yet, it is all for not, because no one will be facing the Giants in the playoffs. Unless of course you are playing PS 3. LOL

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