VOTE VICTORINO

http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/events/all_star/y2009/fv/ballot_pop.html

On Fire

Despite what their record may be the
Phillies are on fire. They ended May with 3 straight wins.
They started June with a sweep of the Padres and then moved
on to LA. In LA Cole pitched amazing. A 95 pitch complete
game shutout. The next night the Phils played well for 8 2/3
innings. It was that final out in which they could not get as
they dropped a heart breaker. On Saturday it was a similar
story as Lidge blew another save in as many days. On Sunday
night on ESPN in the national spotlight new pitcher Bastardo
shined. I like the direction this team is heading. Their
playing real good baseball and Phillies fans should be
excited to see how they do this month.

State of the Phillies

It’s been awhile since I last updated this. (100% due to
college finals/papers) Our beloved Phillies are off to an average start. Going
into the Nats series we were sitting at .500. Great Baseball? No. Bad Baseball?
No. Just flat out average baseball. During the past four games we saw the real
Phillies come out. The Phillies that won us a championship last year. Yeah, you
can say we played the Nationals and we should win. On paper all signs point
towards the Phils, but that is why you play the game. The Phils did what good
teams do, they swept all 4 games.

At 20-16 the Phils have life. Not bad for a team who’s starting pitching has
been nonexistent. The offense has dominated. Rauuuuuuuuuuul, like I predicted here,
is having a big season. Feliz is off to a hot start. The rest of the offense is
doing there thing except for one person, J- Roll. Jimmy Jimmy Jimmy. This isn’t
the same J-Roll we have seen in past seasons. Hell, this isn’t half the J-Roll
we have seen in past seasons. I’m not starting to boo, yet. I’m 100% confident
Jimmy won’t continue this all year. By mid June he will find his swing and we
will all forget about his atrocious start.

The pitching on this team has been bad.

Hamels- Had zero breaks to start the season. Now that he’s back and healthy, I
expect nothing less than the Cole we saw last fall.

Myers- After a few rough outings that boosted his ERA he had recovered. He went
7 strong against the Nats the other day. What his problem is right now is the
homerun ball. If Myers can fix that we could see a great pitcher emerge.

Moyer- As much as I love this guy I feel like his time on the diamond is coming
to an end. I saw a stat the other day that showed that Moyers last few quality
starts have all been against inexperienced teams. (Ex. Marlins, Reds) Teams
with young hitters. When he faces experienced teams he just can’t fool the
hitters. I would give him a few more starts to see if anything changes, but if
this trend continues we may see a major move in the rotation.

Blanton- He has had a quiet season. Not much talk about this guy so far. He is
off to a bad start. Not much to say then he might also be replaced soon unless
he starts pitching up to his abilities.

Park- After an awesome spring Chan Ho could not continue it at the MLB level.
After a few bad starts to start the season he bounced back and pitched
excellent against the Mets and Dodgers. After a horrible start today against
the Nats it leaves us all wondering, what Chan Ho are we going to see each
start?

Happ- This man deserves a shot. He’s been patient. He hasn’t complained. He has
done everything right. Now it’s time to hand him the ball. Give him a start and
see what he does. If he gets shelled, hey its one game. If he succeeds he earns
himself another shot. I’m excited to see what this kid can do. I think he is A
LOT better than many people think.

The bullpen has been pretty good this year with the exception of Lidge. After a
perfect season you can only go down and that’s what Brad has done. Am I
worried? No. Yes he has given up the homerun ball, but he will pitch out of
this funk. It’s only a matter of time until he starts a new streak and restores
his confidence.

The Phils have an off day tomorrow then head out to Great American Ballpark to
take on the Reds. I will try to update this as much as possible to keep you up
to date on all the latest Phillies news.

 

R.I.P. Harry Kalas

Not much to say here. The Phillies family lost a great one today. It’s a shame to see him go. Harry Phillies Nation will miss you…..
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Recap of the Braves Series

The World Champs are back!!

The first two games didn’t go as planned. There was some frustration in the stands during the first two games.To all those who booed: Take a step back. It’s only the first series of the season. I don’t want to say it means nothing, but it is just a step above it.

The Phillies dropped the first 2 games before an exciting one today. When your receiving something that looks like this, you better win that game.

Phillies were down 10-3 heading into the 7th. Shane led off with an out. Then the magic happened. A couple walks, key hits and a little help from the Braves pitchers (walking in runs) the Fightin’s were able to pulled it out.

Here’s some picture’s of the absolutely beautiful rings. Thanks to the Zo Zone for the pictures.
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Race for 5th Place

I held off on writing this article until Spring Training
winds down. Chan Ho Park and J.A. Happ have both pitched outstanding this
spring. Luckily I don’t have to decide who wins the 5th starter spot. Let’s
take a look at their stats this spring.

 

Innings Pitched

ERA

Hits

Runs

Earned Runs

HR Allowed

Walks

Strikeouts

Park

21.1

2.53

20

7

6

1

2

25

Happ

20

3.15

18

8

7

4

6

14

Source: Phillies.com

After looking at their stats head to head it looks like Park
has the advantage. What you can’t see is how they really pitched. Many Phillies
coaches have said Happ has pitched better than his stats appear. This will also
play a role when Charlie decides who will be the 5th starter.

Other things you have to take into consideration are where the other pitcher
will be placed after spring training. Happ struggled in his time in the bullpen
last year. He is and should be a starter in the majors. Park spent time in the
bullpen last year with the Dodgers. Yet, he has publicity said that he wants to
be a starter. He declined an invite to play for South Korea in the World
Baseball Classic in order to concentrate on the 5th starters spot.

If Park ends up losing the spot to Happ, I do not think he will be good in the
bullpen. His mind is set as a starter and it will be a huge disappointment if
he doesn’t win the spot. It can be compared to Myers still having his mind on
being a closer at the start of last season. We all know how that turned out.

If I were to decide on who gets the 5th spot I would choose Park. The man wants
to win. He also has his mind straight in order to be a starter. Happ is still relatively
young. Although it kills me to send this kid back to the minors given how well
he has pitched, there will still be opportunities. Injuries do happen;
sometimes too often. Odds are he will be back in Philadelphia before the
All-Star break. Happ could also be used as trade bait for whatever the Phillies
are looking for.

We’ll see in the upcoming weeks who will win this battle. Whether it is Happ or
Park you cannot be disappointed. Both have had an outstanding Spring Training,
and we will likely see both these players pitch throughout the year. 

Happy Birthday Harry Kalas!

Today is Harry the K’s 73rd birthday. One of baseball’s greatest announcers.

Todd Zolecki was lucky enough to get a short interview with him today.

Todd Zolecki: “Happy birthday, Harry. You broadcasting today?”

Kalas: “No.”

Todd Zolecki: “So why are you here then?”

Kalas: “For the love of the game.”

What a guy. A true fan of the game. Happy Birthday Harry!

Look at the Starting Lineup #9

Each day I will take a look at one of the 9 starting positions and evaluate
it. I
will also list the positions in the order in which I think the 2009
Lineup should be set.

#9 Pitcher

Obviously we don’t expect much from any of these guys at the plate this year. Possibly with the exception of Myers because of this and who could forget this. The pitchers this year will be Hamels, Myers, Blanton, Moyer and Happ/ Park. I’m not going to take the time now to discuss the 5th spot in the rotation. I will have another segment possibly at the end of this week or this weekend on how the race for 5th place is going.

Look at the Starting Lineup #8

Each day I will take a look at one of the 9 starting positions and evaluate
it. I
will also list the positions in the order in which I think the 2009
Lineup should be set.

#8 Catcher

Last
year we all had our likes and dislikes against Carlos Ruiz. He’s a
solid defensive catch who calls the game very well. Every time Carlos
stepped to the play with a runner on I would get the feeling a double
play was coming. That was the one area Carlos needed to improve. When
the playoffs came around Carlos stepped up his offensive production big
time. Coming up big in clutch situations. If he can pick up where he
left off last year Carlos might be the biggest surprise on this
Phillies team. Backing him up was a man who’s story everyone knows.
Chris Coste had the bat all year long but was not the greatest
defensive catcher. In the playoffs he slowly saw his playing time
diminish. This off season Amaro picked up another catcher by the name
of Ronny Paulino. I am not to thrilled about this pickup because he
only hit a shade over .200 last year with 2 home runs. Also lurking in
the background is Lou Marson. Marson is the future of the catcher
position and could possibly see his name on the big league roster come
August. He has the potential to become one of the elite players on
this team for years to come.

Overall Grade: C+

Look at the Starting Lineup #7

Each day I will take a look at one of the 9 starting positions and evaluate
it. I
will also list the positions in the order in which I think the 2009
Lineup should be set.

#7 3rd Base

Pedro
Feliz is one of the best defensive third basemen in the league. We also
found out this year that he has a pretty solid bat too. He came up big
many times in 2008. Most notably the game winning RBI in Game 5 of the
World Series. During the off season he had back surgery that has
bothered him all throughout his career. If he isn’t able to start come
opening day Greg Dobbs will take his place. Dobbs saw a decent amount
of time last year. He was very good at the play and was an above
average fielder. I think Charlie will use the two of them the same way
he did last year. It’s a win-win situation either way. If Pedro starts
you get a solid glove and a clutch bat; If Dobbs starts you get a
average glove but a better hitter. I believe if Feliz is 100% healthy
he will get a majority of the starts because the lineup is loaded with
left handed bats. I expect another solid year from Pedro, hitting
around 20 home runs and keeping his average around .270.

Overall Grade: B

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