Blog for your Philadelphia Phillies with articles, stats, schedules, payroll, and other fun stuff.
http://www.philsbaseball.com/ - May 17, 2013 10:50:43 PM - Dec 5, 2004 5:03:03 AM
Chase Utley is having a weird season
by Scott Butler 5/11/13
Chase Utley is giving the Phillies way more than they could have imagined this season. For a guy with chronic knee problems who has missed 185 games over the past three seasons, just having him on the field is a huge success. The fact that he is hitting .271 with 7 home runs, 24 RBI, and an .823 OPS is icing on the cake.
But he also has been really weird this season. Utley is a bit of an awkward dude to begin with, but his play on the field has never been weird. Utley has always been an ultra-focused player who works the count, makes great decisions, plays fairly sound defense, and runs the bases well. But not this season.
Last night was a great example. With no outs in the first inning, Utley hit a double and considered going to third before throwing on the breaks...then changing his mind and getting thrown out. He broke the cardinal rule: never make the first or third out at third base. Later in the game, he had a chance to easily throw out a runner at the plate but hurried his thrown and air mailed it to Ruiz.
Those are not the only two blunders of Utley's 2013 season.
What is the identity of the Phillies offense?
by Scott Butler 5/7/13
Last night might have been the most complete offensive effort all season for the Phillies. While 10 hits and 6 runs is hopefully a sign of things to come, it has not been a common occurrence for the 12th ranked Phillies offense. With 33 games in the books, we should now be at the point where their personality begins to arise.
So, what is the identity of the 2013 Phillies offense? That was a fairly easy question to answer during most of the Phillies' playoff run. The Phillies would score in bunches, hit a lot of home runs, strike out frequently, and struggle with fundamental hitting.
The identity of the current offense is more difficult to pinpoint. With a couple completely new additions (Michael Young & Ben Revere), a young outfielder (Domonic Brown), and two aging stars with injury issues (Howard and Utley), it was going to take time for the offense to take shape. Last night was game number 33 of the Phillies season and they have now completed one-fifth of the season - that should be enough to give us a pretty clear picture of the hitting unit.
And the personality of this team is, well, they just look...old. They aren’t great, they aren’t awful, they are just kinda there. The offense is grasping onto enough of a semblance of talent to stay out of the statistical basement, but they don’t have enough to be even considered average.
Ace is not the place for Cole Hamels
by Scott Butler 5/4/13
The Phillies are 2 games under .500 and if it weren't for the Mets and Marlins, the Phillies would be 5-14 right now. There are plenty of reasons for this, but one number sticks in my mind: 1-5. That is the Phillies' record in games in which Cole Hamels has pitched.
Hamels gets a pass on a couple of these outings, but a 6-9 record was unacceptable for Cliff Lee last year and a 1-5 record is unacceptable now for Cole Hamels. Low run support might be a valid excuse for Kyle Kendrick or John Lannan, but not for the recently anointed Phillies staff ace.
That title of staff ace was bestowed upon Hamels more for signing a big contract than for his performance on the mound. As soon as he signed Colbert Michael Hamels on the dotted line of a $144 million contract he became the Phillies ace, vaulting right over Cliff Lee in the process.
Phillies review: April 2013 by Scott Butler 5/1/13
Phillies April Storyline
The 2013 Phillies barely resembled the same team as the previous season on Opening Day. They had a different Opening Day starter (Cole Hamels) and only two players were on the Opening Day lineups from 2012 and 2013 (Rollins and Mayberry). What began with a sliver of excitement ended with major concerns.
Phillies April Win/Loss Totals
Home record: 6-8
Road record: 6-7
Top winning streak: 3
Top losing streak: 5
Series record: 3-4-1
Began month: --
Finished month: 12-16 - 3rd place
--5 games behind 1st place Braves & 1.5 games behind 2nd place Nationals
Former Phils give us something to laugh about
by Scott Butler 4/29/13
Feeling down about the Phillies on a miserable Monday? If you are a glass half-empty kind of guy, you might take pleasure in knowing that some former Phils are having really bad seasons. Just to give you a basis for the truly alarming numbers you are about to see, keep in mind that the league average for WHIP is 1.31 and Chad Qualls had a 1.53 WHIP last season for the Phils.
Adding Ruiz without Aderall: what will Phillies get?
by Scott Butler 4/28/13
Carlos Ruiz returns to the Phillies today and he will do so without his long lost friend Aderall. Although it might be a fun drug at parties or to cram for a big exam for college students, Aderall doesn't exactly scream baseball.
Aderall doesn't improve bat speed, it doesn't add distance on home runs, and it doesn't help players rebound quicker from injuries. But what it does provide might be the biggest benefit of all for a catcher: it improves concentration.
Think about the life of a catcher for a moment.
No smoke and mirrors Kyle Kendrick is the real deal
by Scott Butler 4/27/13
Like a father watching his son ride a bike on his own for the first time, I am super proud of Kyle Kendrick and you should be, too. Or, as Jim Salisbury put it, "Kyle Kendrick has become a man."
The ups and downs in Kendrick's career are like a bike ride through the Appalachian Trail: minor leaguer-turned major leaguer-turned playoff starter in 2007; major leaguer in 2008-turned minor leaguer in 2009-turned major leaguer in 2010; reliever-turned starter-turned reliever-turned starter in 2011 and 2012; and a fake trade for Kobayashi thrown in for good measure.
And here is the latest twist: after last night's complete game shutout, Kendrick's 2.41 ERA is the best on the staff...and it didn't come from nowhere...
The numbers are impressive:
2012 was a fluke for Cliff Lee
by Scott Butler 4/26/13
$3.58 million per win. That is how much Cliff Lee earned last season for the Phillies. After going 17-8 the year before with a career winning percentage of .617 and an average of 15 wins per season, Lee finished with just 6 wins in 2012. So was it just a case of bad luck or was it possibly the signs of a declining pitcher?
Cliff Lee probably calmed all fears with a 1.52 ERA and an average of 7.9 innings in his first three outings, but should we be concerned with 5 earned runs in 5 innings on Saturday and a blown lead yesterday in a tight game?
Save your concerns for the Phillies 9-14 record, their 10th ranked NL offense, their league leading 23 double-plays, or go right on down the list of players not hitting (Revere, Brown, Kratz, Howard....), because there is no need to worry about Cliff Lee.
It was just one of those years and one of the strangest starts to a season for a starting pitcher. Cliff Lee was winless in his first 13 games before a July 5 victory due to a combination of a fairly high 4.13 ERA and poor run support of 2.6 runs/9 while he was the pitcher of record. Even so, the difference wasn't large enough to explain a goose egg in the win column. Consider it a case of the wrong place at the wrong time 13 straight times.