Roy Halladay opened the western swing for the Philadelphia Phillies, while most of you were asleep. Are these 1st seven games a time to squirrel away some wins? Would you be happy–not overjoyed–by a 6-4 trip?
Penthouse Occupancy for the 5-2 triumph: 4
The Crystal Champagne Toast is a salute to Hunter Pence.
He, like Shane Victorino, went 2 for 4 with 1 RBI and 1 R, but the right-fielder made a sparkling play. The Doctor methodically operated without his black bag, which is better than most on their best nights.
Polly Polanco doubled his pleasure in the Fun House on a you-take-it fly to initiate the 1st-inning barrage.
Greenhouse Cholley was visited by Jimmy Rollins, who coaxed a 6-offering walk in the 1st. Laynce Nix took 3rd on a soft groundout to the hot corner after some nonchalant fielding in the 8th.
Rally Tal & Cap: Pence and Victorino singled in an opening-frame pair, while Nix lined a two-bagger for the other 2 runs.
The Warehouse featured the leather of the Hunter after his leaping off-the-wall catch in the 4th.
A House Call was made for Polly in the 7th after he was plunked on the elbow. He just seems to get hit in places that affect his season. He, however, remained at 3rd base throughout.
I will publish after every battle that is not washed out. The Phillies finished last summer 42 games over .500, which equaled a year of many positives. I will have many season-long highlights of puzzle pieces, especially important after drubbings and defeats.
The red pinstripes donned their road greys for this 3-4-3 grouping of contests. Here is a wish list for injecting some life into the Phils. I jot down a huge park, where singles blossom into doubles, where 2 knocks equal a run. Plus, a cavernous yard aids a team with a solid defense, speed and pitching. It would be nice, also, to face some clubs with losing marks, a missing piece and a questionable star. I think an organization that just signed their starters to healthy dollars would put some extra pressure on those arms. Maybe, a big help would be a franchise with MLB hitting below the Mendosa Line, and the worse record in the majors.
The Bay Area is the first stop after their 8-2 sendoff on Sunday. They plated 2 and 5 in their final Bank innings, but last night they didn’t cool off with 4 on the board after just 3 outs. That said, they now face 2 hurlers that aren’t tarnished by recent showings. However, Brian Wilson is probably out for the duration after 2nd and 3rd opinions before Tommy John surgery. San Francisco has a porous defense which can be exploited by competition that has legs and solid instincts. The 4-6 Giants have their own set of problems that has kept them under .500.
The Pads have an even larger stadium, which has always benefited their mound occupants. Yesterday, they managed a 14-knock attack at Coors Field, which upped them to a .210 average from .188. They are carrying a 3.22 ERA in San Diego to an away 4.46 ERA, but are 2-5 at Petco Park. Overall, they have a dismal 3-8 ledger for 30th best. And they have a history of young guns that get exposed after 3-4 months, replacing them with similar Triple-A prospects in a revolving-door policy.
This excursion breaks into 2 parts: California and Arizona. 5-2 and 1-2 equals 6-4, which means a returning band of brothers at 10-9 in the standings. However, Chase Field is the shooting gallery that will greet Cliff Lee, Vance Worley and Cole Hamels next week. The optimistic view is that we could enter Phoenix with the momentum of being 9-7.
This is the follow-up outing for Kentucky Joe, and it will be interesting to watch his changes of speed. Did everything fall just right in the 1st performance, or is there more to come? His ERA is slightly deceptive because he has a 1.29 without the relief appearance.
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He has handled the league’s adjustment to him, and continues without interruption in his maturation. He is a solid middle-of-the-rotation wing, and the locals will have a tougher night than they did on Monday.
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Quality number of the pitcher: 1 – 5
Slot on his club: 1 – 5
Ranking is 1 to 5 & 15 for the less adventurous.
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DISPLAY NOTE: Non-listed results can go up or down by
* 1 notch & ** 2 clicks (This note will only appear when it’s relevant.)
* 1 Tick UP
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The next preview is Nitecap Insight: Plus One (1st paragraph). It will be at Tal’s Handy Caps on Facebook. Join for notification of future glimpses, which will be almost daily. You’ll also know immediately when my isportsweb post goes up. It might be worth your while because I have seen delays of 2 hours on feeds.
Check out my previous publication (First Returns), and the 26 storylines–so far–for 2012 on the Phillies page or my author archives, where there is an excerpt photo.
Tal’s Handy Stats is daily coverage. I am alternating the 2012 ERA For The NL East and the 2012 ERA For The MLB 5. Thank you, to all who bookmarked the Phillies page, because feeds are erratic at times.
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