Jonathan Papelbon can be used correctly by the Philadelphia Phillies, and there still can be relief-corps issues that affect the locals. Did what happen in Atlanta over last season impact the Phils? Did it work in favor of or against the red pinstripes?
Penthouse Occupancy for the 5-2 triumph: 4
The Crystal Champagne Toast is a salute to Chooch Ruiz.
He went 2 for 3 with 3 RBI and a bomb, which he smacked after he took a ball off his knee in the away half inning. He was the first batter in the 6th after being plunked just minutes before. His first 2 RBI broke the game open in the 4th. With 3 sirloins Chooch was 1 short of the Steak House.
Joe Blanton provided an extremely solid 7.1 frames with 8 K’s, and he worked a 2-out walk to keep the 4th alive. Jimmy Rollins doubled exactly on the right-field line for 2 RBI after that free pass. Ty Wigginton–who was not in the lineup originally–extended his hitting streak to 13 with a 7th-inning single.
Rally Tal & Cap in the 4th: Hunter Pence pulled a double into the corner, which was followed by a free pass, a fielder’s choice, a stolen base, another walk to load the sacks, and a 2-RBI single from Ruiz. With 2 retired Kentucky Joe worked a base on balls, and J-Roll hooked a two-bagger off the chalk to knock out the starter.
The Outhouse was employed by 2B umpire Dale Scott–who was wrongly behind the play–missed a close call in the 1st, which led to a run.
A House Call was made for Jim Thome, who left after the 4th with lower-back tightness on the damp and chilly night.
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.
If you were directed here by a feed and this review does not mention yesterday’s contest, please go to my author archives or Phillies page for my most recent coverage. (Early morning readers may arrive before the latest post.) Scroll down to Tal’s Handy Links at the bottom. Thank you.
Most organizations aren’t fortunate enough to have 3 horses in the front of their rotations. Complicating matters, some skippers have a quick hook, which adds workload to the ’pen. In fact, just last September it affected the NL race. The Braves overused their relievers and they had little left for the final month. Their collapse allowed the Cards to erase 8.5 games and make the playoffs. That malaise jump started the hometown 9 but it opened the door for St. Louis also.
That entrance was a direct result of an overworked relief corps. On August 31, Craig Kimbrel had 1.64 ERA and Jonny Venters had a 1.31 ERA. In that cruel last 4 weeks, Kimbrel relinguished a 4.76 ERA and Venters yielded a 5.11 ERA. However, I could see this coming in May when I saw the frames accumulated by their bullpen. The same thing is occurring with the Yankees right now. In fact, they have reached 46.1% of Atlanta’s overage by April 28 with 142 still on the schedule. They have a serious problem that only baseball men are aware of.
[table id=144 /]
Taxing your relievers has consequences down the stretch before you get to October. This was another element involved last September that was below the surface. The Braves had almost zero left in their ‘pen after 5 months.
He had absolutely nothing in his first outing, but had to soldier on, which spared the wings of relief. He will be more serviceable this afternoon up to 100 tosses, which is about 6 complete.
[table id=145 /]
He is the stud for the Cubbies, and a big-trading chip or a piece to build a staff around, depending on the desperation of other general managers at the deadline. He will be the toughest customer in this series.
[table id=84 /]
Quality number of the pitcher: 1 – 5
Slot on his club: 1 – 5
Ranking is 1 to 5 & 15 for the less adventurous.
[table id=138 /]
[table id=86 /]
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