Sunday, April 19, 2015

Phillies offense needs serious tuning

Ryne Sandberg has got to find the answer to the lack of Phillies scoring runs

The Phillies offense hasn't been all that good this season. You can kind of figure that out without look too closely at stats.

But a closer look at some stats bring this astonishing fact to light better. The Phils run scoring is 14th of 15 teams in the NL, the offense has only managed 31 runs in the first 12 games.

From all the stats, this one is particularity relevant to the lack of Phils offense as well. The team is batting .213 which is 15th out of 15 NL teams so far.

Some players that have struggled the most are:

Darin Ruf - BA .107
Chase Utley - BA .119
Grady Sizemore - BA .136
Ben Revere - BA .158
Ryan Howard - BA .167

On the plus side Chase Utley is sitting with 8 RBI on the year. Cody Asche is also hot at .361 so far.

The Phils have hit 6 HR on the year and have had 16 HR hit against them. The RBI have been scattered so far, so to improve there would be a great plus as the Phillies have had plenty on base to drive home, but so far it's been a very difficult thing for the Phils to do. The Phillies face Steven Strasburg this afternoon in Washington.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Phils face 'Dark Knight' Harvey and the Mets tonight

Matt Harvey 'The Dark Knight' is on the mound for NY

The Phillies have the non-envious job of facing Matt Harvey aka The Dark Knight as they call him in NY tonight in game two of the series in New York.

This Phillies need a turn around with their offense fast if they are going to have a chance at winning this ballgame and for the last game in the series.

The Phils have many starters that are under the Mendoza line of .200 and that has hurt the team despite the team is 3-4 on the season.

Here's how the offense has looked through 7 full games:

Rk Pos Name G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SO BA
1 C Carlos Ruiz 5 16 1 5 0 0 0 1 4 .313
2 1B Ryan Howard* 6 24 0 4 3 0 0 1 8 .167
3 2B Chase Utley* 7 22 1 2 0 0 0 3 6 .091
4 SS Freddy Galvis# 7 25 2 10 1 0 0 1 2 .400
5 3B Cody Asche* 6 18 1 8 0 0 0 1 5 .444
6 LF Ben Revere* 7 28 2 4 0 0 0 0 5 .143
7 CF Odubel Herrera* 7 18 1 4 1 0 0 2 3 .222
8 RF Jeff Francoeur 6 18 1 4 1 0 1 3 3 .222
Rk Pos Name G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SO BA
9 OF Grady Sizemore* 5 15 0 2 1 0 0 0 1 .133
10 UT Darin Ruf 5 13 2 1 0 0 1 1 4 .077
11 2B Cesar Hernandez# 6 10 2 2 0 0 0 2 3 .200
12 3B Andres Blanco# 4 8 1 3 1 0 0 0 1 .375
13 C Cameron Rupp 2 7 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 .000
Rk Pos Name G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SO BA
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 4/14/2015.

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Matthew Broderick checks out the Opener in New York yesterday, where the Phils hung in the game but couldn't put runs on he board

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Monday, April 13, 2015

Phillies Talk Podcast: Phils Open Spring Up Nicely in 2015

The Phillies have given us a little surprise so far in the early 2015 season, they've had some wins and that is encouraging. 

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Sunday, April 12, 2015

Phils face Scherzer in Nationals finale

The Phillies are poised to make a sweep of the Washington Nationals this afternoon in Philadelphia after winning the first two games of the series.

The second win in this series came last night in the 10th inning with Odubel Herrera getting his first ever Major League hit, it was a game winning RBI hit, as the Phils won a 3-2 decision over the Nationals.

The Nationals are still without several key players. Jayson Werth is down in the minors getting back up to speed after an injury, Anthony Rendon is injured as is Denard Span. So the Nationals haven't started this season at full strength.

The Phillies will face the $210 Million dollar man, Max Scherzer. Max inked a 7-year deal for the $210M which included a $50M signing bonus that will be paid out over 14 years.

Max Scherzer already has one loss on the season, coming at the expense of Matt Harvey and the powerhouse Mets who are near the top but under the Phillies of the NL East just behind the hot starting Atlanta Braves.

In Scherzer's personal life, his brother Alex committed suicide in 2012. Alex was a huge baseball fan and loved sabermetrics. Scherzer makes every start now with a dedication to his brother.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Bring on the Nats

The Phils will miss Stephen Strasburg for this series, Strasburg lost to the Mets and Matt Harvey yesterday afternoon

The Phillies didn't fare too well in last night's game against the Red Sox. They lost 6-2 after the Red Sox had an explosive 6 run inning in the top of the 3rd inning.

The Phils had their 1915 baseball caps on last night to honor the 100th Anniversary of the Phillies team making it to the World Series against the Boston Red Sox, the Phils lost the World Series to the Red Sox in 1915.

Focus turns to the series against the Washington Nationals, Jerome Williams takes the mound for the Phillies tonight at CBP. The Phils will face Gio Gonzalez who will be making his first start for the Washington Nationals, the Nats lost 2 of their first 3 games to the Mets in the opening series down in DC.

The Phils will travel to NY after the weekend series with the Nationals to visit the Mets and open the Amazin's season at home on Tuesday night at Citi Field. Listen in to a broadcast I participated in last night with the Mets Musings Podcast with Gary Mack talking about the Phils and Mets series coming up.

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Phils hang on for 1st win of season

Galvis protects himself from the cold at CBP last night, there is probably going to be very similar conditions tonight at the ballpark 

It was more like conditions you would see at a football game, misty and very cold, but baseball was able to be played in Philadelphia last night despite a lot of rain earlier in the day.

The game was a toughly fought match. Aaron Harang pitched 6.1 innings and kept the Red Sox scoreless. He earned his first win of the year last night. He got a standing ovation from the hearty fans who stayed despite the cold conditions.

The Red Sox made it interesting late in the game. Ken Giles looked like he would sail right through the 8th inning but he got into trouble and the Red Sox loaded the bases on him. Ryne Sandberg yanked him out after the Red Sox got 2 runs and it was up to Jonathan Papelbon to get a 4 out save, which he did. Hanley Ramirez did give a scare with a long fly out to the warning track in left with the bases loaded but it was nothing more than a long out to end the Red Sox threat.

The bulk of the Phillies offense was courtesy of a 3 run HR by Jeff Francoeur, who put one out into the left center field seats over the WB Mason sign. It was his first HR of the year.

The two teams are set to wrap this series up in Philly tonight at 7:05 PM with David Buchanan on the mound for the Phils vs. Justin Masterson for the Red Sox.

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Long ball hits sink Phillies Opener

The imposing looking, Aaron Harang, takes the hill for the Phillies in game 2 of the Opening Series with Boston

The Red Sox looked like they really enjoyed playing at Citizens Bank Park. The players have a familiarity with the Green Monster out in left field in Boston, so for them, it's probably much easier to loft the ball out of the stadium at CBP and that's exactly what they did in the home opener of the Phillies yesterday.

Cole Hamels surrendered 4 HR to the Red Sox on the day, then Jake Diekman gave up a Grand Slam to Hanley Ramirez to end the Phillies hopes of winning yesterday.

The Phillies did have opportunities to answer back, but each time they had runners in scoring position, the batter who was up couldn't deliver a hit. That will be the Phillies problem all year long unfortunately, as they don't seem to have players that can overcome this most of the time.

Opening Night looms tomorrow at CBP in Game 2 of the series, pending weather is due to the area before then though so we'll see what happens by tomorrow night.

Monday, April 06, 2015

Phillies vs. Red Sox Preview

Clay Buchholz is the first to face the Phillies in 2015

The Boston Red Sox are expected to do well this season. So well that a few employees of ESPN and others actually picked them to win the AL East division this year.

The Sox went out and added some offense to their team and added some serious money to their payroll, expecting those players to do well for them this season.

Pedro Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez, and relief pitcher Joe Kelly (currently on the injured list) are examples of the players that the Sox went out and picked up over the off season.

The one stopper for them for doing that well this year could be starting pitching. The Red Sox actually didn't improve all that much in that category. Their opening day pitcher, Clay Buchholz had a fantastic 2013 at 12-1 and then last season turned in a 8-11 record with a 5.34 ERA. Buchholz is starting up his 9th year with the Red Sox.

The Opening Day pitcher for the Red Sox for 4 years prior had been Jon Lester. Lester took the loss last night in his first start for the Cubs.

The Phillies on the other hand say they are rebuilding, but so far that has been a very slow process.

Rumors of Cole Hamels and Jonathan Papelbon finding a new team is fading faster now as the season is set to start. The Phillies need to hang onto a pitcher like Hamels now that it appears that Cliff Lee will have problems that may cut his season short.

Odubel Herrera looks like he's poised to become a leader on the Phillies offense this year, hopefully he'll have some competition with more Phillies players picking up the offense.

One thing is for sure, we get the see this 2015 Phillies team play for real at 3:05 PM today at Citizens Bank Park on Opening Day when all the teams are starting out fresh, and that's a great feeling. 

Phillies Opening Day Roster for 2015 ready

It was like waiting for an Easter egg hunt on this sunny Easter day, the Phillies had a 3 PM deadline to submit their roster, and it seemed like they really needed the extra time this year because it came right down to the wire before the team announced it.

Anyway, the mystery is over and here are some thoughts about the lineup. It's a roster that hardly reminds one that the Phillies are rebuilding. Despite the press saying that the Phils wanted to trade the whole team away. 

Jeff Francoeur, aka Frenchy, made the team as well as Andres Blanco. 

The Phils have to go with a 4-man rotation to start off the season, as Andrew Simon says here in a article about the opening day roster. 

The Phillies' Opening Day roster is as follows:
Pitchers (12): RHP David BuchananJustin De Fratus,Luis GarciaKen Giles, Jeanmar Gomez, Aaron Harang, McGowan, Jonathan Papelbon and Jerome Williams; LHP Jake DiekmanCole Hamels and Cesar Jimenez
Catchers (2): Carlos Ruiz and Cameron Rupp
Outfielders (4): Francoeur, Odubel HerreraBen Revere and Grady Sizemore