Despite the fact that I didn’t make any pre-season predictions for the Phils in 2013, I’ll make some predictions with 98.77% of the season remaining.
Here they are:
- Pitchers Cole Hamels, Roy Halladay, and Cliff Lee are going to have some very good games this season. By the same token, they’re going to have awful games this season. Hamels and Halladay have each had one of those. In all fairness to Halladay, he did strike out nine Braves in the Phils’ 9 – 2 loss last night.
- Ryan Howard is going to hit HRs. He’s also going to strike out, particularly against lefties. He struck out looking twice last night, although the second strikeout was a really bad call by the ump on a low and inside pitch.
- Ben Revere and Jimmy Rollins are going to steal bases. They’re also going to get caught stealing. Ben Revere stole second base in the first game of the series and Rollins stole third last night.
- Relief pitchers are going to pitch well one night and get hit around the next night. That’s just baseball. Mike Adams pitched a perfect inning of relief last night and closer Jonathan Papelbon surrendered a two-run home run to Jason Heyward in a game that was already out of reach for the Phils. I’m not going to jump all over Papelbon for pitching poorly in non-save situations, certainly not in his first outing of the season.
If it seems to you like I’m being very matter-of-fact with my predictions, that’s because I am. There are baseball experts in this town and fans on the Phillies forums who are already abandoning ship because the team is off to an 0 – 2 start. Trust me, the Phils will win more than the 81 games they won last year.
Sometimes fans forget about the sports-as-entertainment aspect. The sports experts, beat writers, and pundits all tread the line between sports and entertainment by hyping up a particular storyline or a particular player. That’s their jobs. You’re the die-hard fan who knows the season is a marathon, not a sprint, and you will gladly watch it all play out. That’s your job.
Speaking of jobs, back in high school I used to work for a prominent sports wire service. Basically, I watched MLB games, scored them, and got paid for it. For me, there’s something very satisfying about scoring a baseball game. For example, when a batter comes to the plate and the graphic next to their name shows ‘1 for 4’, the scorecard in front of you illustrates that this guy singled in his first at-bat (1B) and flied out to centerfield (F8) in his next three at-bats. So I did that last night with the Phils – Braves game. Click on the images on the left to see the full size.
Have you scored a baseball game before, either from home or at the ballpark? Did you enjoy it? Leave a comment below.