Monday, June 22, 2009

Anatomy of a losing streak

       Breaking down the causes of the recent Phillies losing streak is a tough assignment. Here’s a couple things that are discovered from a losing streak like the Phillies are currently in. The streak is at 6 games currently through June 21st Sunday, it started June 16th after the Phillies had won a convincing 11-6 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Sunday, June 14th. The Phillies dropped the first game on the 16th against the Toronto Blue Jays, by a score of 8-3. Let’s look at this game first with a mini table of stats:

Cole Hamels, starter Pitches 6.0 innings 2 ER – 7 H
Raul Ibanez 0-5 tonight
Ryan Madson Walks in tying run top 9th
Clay Condrey Gets loss- 0.1 IP, 3 H - 5 ER
Toronto Blue Jays 13 hits, 39 LOB

 

  As you can see, the Phillies blew this one late, it was a game they normally close out and win, but this time the game was tied in the 9th and then the bullpen collapsed like a house of cards. Toronto would go on to leave plenty on base in this three game series. In fact, the Jays stranded 85 players on base  with 85 LOB in the three game series. That is enough baserunners to load the bases 28.33 times in this series if you add up all the runners the Jays left on base.

  Exit stage left is Raul Ibanez after the next game, it is revealed that he has an injury and must go to the DL to heal it up. Tests show that Ibanez didn’t have a more serious injury but he’ll still be out of the lineup for the next 15 days and perhaps not make the All Star game if selected.

Game 2 vs. Blue Jays

  The threat of a ‘losing streak’ doesn’t start after the first game, but let’s look at the second game in the Toronto series. Toronto is currently third in the AL East only 5 GB off of the leader. In game two against the Phillies, it will be a washout 7-1 victory against the defending World Champs. Lets again look at a table of stats for Game 2:

 

Toronto Blue Jays Scored 3 runs in 1st inning
Jamie Moyer, starter 6.0 IP – 10 H – 6 R – 6 ER
Scott Rolen, ex-Phillies player 2-5 with 2 RBI – 1 HR, BA is .325
Raul Ibanez 0-3 tonight, then to DL
Scott Richmond, (who?) Jays 8.0 IP – 1 R – 1 ER- 11 SO
Rod Barajas 1-3 with a HR in the 2nd inning

 

   Former Phillies players Rolen, and Barajas come back after their old team with home runs each in this game. It is a 7-1 game, and the starter Jamie Moyer could probably share the blame if you will on this loss. The Phillies offense could not muster more than 1 run in this game, so that is also a contributing factor. Two games in a row for losses starts what is a mini losing streak. There will be more.

 

Game 3 vs. Blue Jays

 

  Game 3 was a game that the Phillies really wanted to win, and they almost did. The Phillies and the Blue Jays traded runs and leads throughout the game. A lot of good things happened for the Phillies in this one, the offense returned and the starting pitching wasn’t too bad. Jimmy Rollins went 3-4 with 2 RBI and the spark was back in the Phillies lineup. A late inning error by Pedro Feliz opened the door for this loss, with the scored tied 5-5, Feliz bobbled an easy double play ball that could have got the Phillies out of trouble in this game.

Ryan Madson came in late in the game and though it wasn’t a save situation, he actually just got the loss in this one. The lead changed so many times, but the Phillies ended up again on the losing end of an 8-7 score. Here again is a table of stats to look at in this one:

 

Joe Blanton, starter 5.1 IP – 9 H – 4 R –4 ER
Jimmy Rollins 3-4  2 RBI – 1 BB
Shane Victorino 2-4  1 RBI
John Mayberry, Jr 2-5   1 RBI
Vern Wells, Jays 3-6  2 RBI
Rod Barajas HR pinch hit
Toronto Blue Jays 31 LOB this game

 

 

     Again, the tough loss here. Pedro Feliz with a costly error, and Ryan Madson with a 90 + mph pitch down the middle to Rod Barajas was the difference in this game. Old players of a team love to come back and haunt them, Rod Barajas and Scott Rolen did just that in this series against the Phillies. Here’s the line for the three game series for each player:

 

Rod Barajas 3-9 4 RBI 3 HR .333 series
Scott Rolen 6-14 4 RBI 1 HR .429 series

 

 

  Stay tuned for Part 2 to Anatomy of a Losing Streak  …  only on Fightin Phillies Blog.

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