Tag Archives: baseball

If ‘The Big Piece’ Finds Patience, Could the Phils Find the Playoffs?

Coming off a 2013 season where he swung and missed at a career-high 16.9% of pitches, Ryan Howard is displaying a better eye at the plate so far in 2014. Through 62 plate appearances (or 15 games), The Big Piece’s swinging-strike percentage is down more than 50% over the same amount of plate appearances last year. If nothing else, it’s an excellent sign for a team that, as a whole, has been undisciplined at the plate over the past 3 seasons.
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Scorecard: Strasburg On Fire as Nationals Take Series 2 – 1

The Washington Nationals beat the Phillies on Sunday 6 – 1. Here are a few of my observations from the game.

Phillies scorecard against NationalsCan you find a ‘BB’ on the Phillies scorecard? I bet you can’t. Wanna know why? The Phillies don’t work counts enough to take walks. Yes, Nationals pitcher Steven Strasburg was ‘on’ yesterday, but Phillies hitters could have fouled off pitches when they got behind in the count. The Nationals’ hitters made Cole Hamels’ pitch count go up that way, why couldn’t the Phils’ hitters do the same to Strasburg?

Nationals scorecard against PhilliesThe Phillies 3-4-5 hitters — Michael Young, Delmon Young, and Domonic Brown — were up a total of 11 times yesterday. They struck out a combined six times (two looking and four swinging). On the up side, these three only stranded one in scoring position. On the down side, these three only stranded one in scoring position.

Lastly, on the Nationals’ scorecard you’ll see a note in the bottom margin: *De Fratus should be pitching to Lombardozzi in the 7th. I made that notation based on the sequence of plays before the Nationals’ second baseman came to the plate: Zimmerman single, LaRoche single, Desmond sacrifice bunt, Moore walk, Solano safe on fielder’s choice, throwing error on third baseman Michael Young. At this point, two runs scored on Young’s throwing error and it was clear to every Phillies fan watching the game that Hamels’ pitches were no longer effective. Right-handed reliever Justin DeFratus was warming up in the bullpen. Why the hell would you let Hamels, a lefty, pitch against a righty who had hit the ball hard the entire series? Phils’ manager Charlie Manual left Cole in there rather than playing the right-right matchup (right-handed pitcher vs. right-handed hitter). As you can see from the scorecard, Hamels was up third in the Phils’ half of the eighth. I guess Manual didn’t want to use DeFratus knowing he’d have to pinch hit for him, especially if the Phils’ first two hitters got on base? That tells me Manual didn’t have enough confidence in his bench. I can’t imagine why a manager wouldn’t have confidence inserting John Mayberry Jr., Erik Kratz, or Michael Martinez into a lineup. #rubenamarolovestheseguys

I would have rather used DeFratus in this scenario and then used my pinch hitter with the highest on-base percentage, which is John Mayberry. Yet another case where the team’s lack of a solid bench hamstrings a manager who already makes terrible in-game decisions.

What stands out to you from either scorecard? Leave a comment below.

Phillies Successful Versus N.L. West as Visit From the Tribe Looms

Despite scoring a combined 10 runs in their four games (2.5 runs per game) against the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Philadelphia Phillies split the series and finished the seven-game road trip at 4 – 3. It’s beyond comical to say, at this point, but the offense is still inconsistent.

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New Hitters in Phillies Lineup, Same Poor Approach

If it seems the Phillies’ hitters have been less patient at the plate in recent years, that’s because they have. First, I’ll present the plate discipline indicators, as defined by FanGraphs.com. Then, I’ll show you a chart of 2013 National League averages for these indicators compared to how the 2013 Phillies stack up against the NL averages. Finally, I’ll illustrate how the Phils’ plate discipline has been a downward spiral.

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Review of Phillies – Pirates Minus Bullpen Analysis

Last year, the Phillies’ didn’t have a reliable arm in the bullpen to pitch the eighth inning. Mike Adams has filled that role nicely this year overall, except for last night. Aside from the Phils’ bullpen’s less-than-stellar performance, here are a couple of other observations from last night’s game. Click on the attached images for larger versions of last night’s scorecard.
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Offense Absent Like Manual’s Strategic Thinking in Doc’s 200th Win

Roy “Doc” Halladay won his 200th career game today in a 2 – 1 victory over the Miami Marlins. That’s good news for Phillies’ fans. More good news is that Phillies pitchers gave up a total of four runs in the three-game series, which the Phils took two games to one. Now for the bad news. They scored a total of six runs in the three games. Continue reading

Does BABIP Stand For ‘Being A Baller In Philadelphia’?

I love calculating lesser-known baseball statistics just because. I know what you’re thinking: “Pump the brakes, bro, they’re just numbers.” Point taken. The truth is I never took a single statistics course in school but I know this much: while baseball statistics aren’t solely intended to predict future performance, they can provide a glimpse into developing trends.

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