Ryan Howard will begin extended spring training for the Philadelphia Phillies in Clearwater. He and Chase Utley will be in the lineup, but he won’t be running out his at-bats. The loss of the 2 infielders and Doc Halladay are heavy-conversation items, but missing Jose Contreras also is having an immediate impact.
Penthouse Occupancy for the 2-1 outcome: 1
The Chrystal Champagne Toast is a salute to Cliff Lee.
He had a SO 2-hitter when he entered the 8th with 12 punch outs, and he also had a fielding gem.
Greenhouse Cholley had 3 visitors in the 1st: Jimmy Rollins doubled, Juan Pierre stroked a sac fly, and Hunter Pence singled him home.
Freddy Galvis was a robbery victim in the 7th on a bunt-hit attempt, which earned him the Big House Key to lockup the thief.
The Leather Warehouse experienced tremors in the 8th. Lee fielded a bunt and cut down a man at 3rd. Pence nailed a runner at 3rd when he tried to take 2 bases on a single.
The Gashouse Gang featured another starter who went 1 inning too long. The General Lee was on empty and his mistakes led to 4 of his 6 knocks allowed. That’s why Rube Amaro needs a quality 8th-frame reliever to pair with Antonio Bastardo.
A House Call was ordered for Polly Polanco after he was spiked on his glove hand in the 8th.
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.
This is the 3rd in a series of an unknown number. Joe Blanton had 6 excellent innings and was clobbered in the 7th. Cliff produced 7 sterling frames before the wheels fell off in the 8th. This is where Contreras was beginning to cover 3 outs. The return of two big offensive weapons will help, but Amaro has his hands tied with adding another complimentary stick, like Hunter. That said, he has the money and the chips for a decent 8th-frame wing.
With 3 tiers during the postseason and 2 wild cards, most organizations won’t deal that guy for a work-in-progress prospect. According to the WC standings, the prime franchises would be the Pads, Cubs and Twins. Seattle (7 back), Oakland (7 out) and Colorado (6.5 behind) are At the fringe for 1 playoff game. On these teams there are known commodities, like Grant Balfour and Rafael Betancourt. Both are closing, the asking price would be expensive, those GM’s will want to hold out for the best offer, and they are more than the Phils need.
There are many variables to distort the numbers. The Friers, A’s, Mariners, and Twinkies play in big stadiums, while the Rox use a humidor to compensate for the thin air. Wrigley Field is a whole story unto itself. Plus, there is the health factor, the splits, and what innings the reliever works in. My first glance at the rosters and stats of these 6 clubs didn’t reveal any diamonds on the surface. However, there are a few interesting characters I have to research. My effort is like using a stone knife, when I compare it to Rube’s laser scalpel.
Since he settled into only 1 role, he has been a solid fill-in for the rotation. He is 2-3 with a 3.27 ERA as a starter, which includes a short-notice 1st outing. Without that only monstrosity, he is 2-2 with a 1.88 ERA. He has gone 7 full or more in 2 of 7 opportunities.
|STARTER||RECORD||TM||STARTER||RECORD||DAY & TIME|
|1||LHP Cliff Lee||1-6, 3.72 ERA||@ Nats||RHP Stephen Strasburg||11-4, 2.76 ERA||Tuesday, Night|
|2||RHP Vance Worley||5-6, 3.88 ERA||@ Nats||RHP Edwin Jackson||6-6, 3.52 ERA||Wednesday, Night|
|3||LHP Cole Hamels||11-5, 3.31 ERA||@ Nats||LHP Ross Detwiler||5-4, 3.24 ERA||Thursday, Night|
He is a soft-tossing lefty who revived his career in 2011 after injuries. He has lasted 6.1 innings plus in 6 of 11 tries with 2 clunkers. However, he is 2-2 with a 3.57 ERA in 6 away efforts, logging 2.1 frames more on the road than at home.
DELIVERY = PITCHER’S 2012
DEFINITION OF SEASON
|Over The Top||Excellent|
|Short Arm||Approximately Average|
Quality number of the pitcher: 1 – 5
Slot on his club: 1 – 5
Ranking is 1 to 5 & 15 for the less adventurous.
* As a starter
|NUMBER||A Five||A Five|
|FOR 2012||Sidearm||Short Arm|
|'12 RANKING||3rd of 5 Categories||4th of 5 Categories|
|LAST START||Eephus Pitch||Slurve ***|
|LAST HIGH OR LOW||13th of 15 Categories||9th of 15 Categories|
ER - R- H
|1||Gyroball||9 (CG)||0 - 0 - 3||10||Screwball||6||4|
|2||Fastball||9 (CG)||0 - 0||11||Knuckleball||5||3|
|3||Cutter||9 (CG)||3||12||Forkball||0 - 4.2||Monstrosity|
|4||Split Finger||7||2||13||Eephus Pitch||0 - 2.2||Disaster|
|9||Slurve||5||2||*Knuckle Curve||Pitch Count|
|** = Suspended||* = A 2nd Pitch Also|
Trade Debate : Check it out.
CLIFF'S LINE: 6 INN, 8 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 7 K & 109 DARTS
W - L
CG - SO
BB - IBB
|Total||34 - 23||3.48||6.1||59 of 86||2 - 2||12||582.2||225||114 -2||557|
|Hamels||17 - 06||3.05||6.2||21 of 31||2 - 2||03||215.1||073||050 - 2||218|
|Lee||06 - 09||3.16||6.1||23 of 30||0 - 0||02||211.0||074||028 - 0||207|
|Halladay||11 - 08||4.49||7.0||15 of 25||0 - 0||07||156.1||078||036- 0||132|
The program acronym is for Methodical Algorithmic Computerization or Mac. That is the feed system from Fox Sports that had dogged me for 2 months. I probed for a compatible solution, and found that I had possibilities 90% of the time. The rest is luck, which means that you know about half of my articles. In other words, if a Fox affiliate publishes, that trumps everything else. The balance is a flip of the coin. The breakdown at 20 submissions minus 2 unacceptable was 11 of 18 or 11 to 9 total. Some of those other 7 drew positive responses from other outlets.
COMPUTER ALGORITHM VS. TAL:
TAL 18 – MAC 8 (& 2)
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