Cole Hamels toes the rubber tomorrow night for the Philadelphia Phillies, which will be the first of many memories. Does Atlanta have pitching problems and a streaky offense?
I will publish after every battle that is not washed out. 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 the 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.
Check out: Philadelphia Phillies storyline: Sudden life
CAP-SIZE HINDSIGHT: 7-6 Triumph
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The Margin Of Victory:
It wasn’t 1776 but it was 3 late-frame 7-6 conquests. During those endgame uprisings, the red pinstripes skirted around their fill-in at the hot corner, their inconsistent set-up man, and a poor turn from 2 aces–one working his way back after a long layoff. The reason the Phils are a 2nd-half club is their pacing. In other words, they dial it up a notch after the break, when the stakes are raised. That’s the mark of a contender and their current percentage is .667, which would produce 42 more wins for a 87-75 campaign. This is reachable when you consider their previous 4 years. In fact, they could exceed that because they are stronger offensively.
Now, the Braves stand in their path. Yes, the hometown 9 were red faced after being swept at the Bank by the Tomahawks. That said, Cholley’s boys were still being reassembled, but the payback moment has arrived. Don’t think for a second that they forgot that visit in July. That said, Atlanta puts a lot of pressure on Tim Hudson and Tommy Hanson to succeed every time out. Mike Minor and Jair Jurrjens–his turn was skipped in this series–struggle frequently, while Ben Sheets is a health gamble who is limited to 6 innings. Their relief corps is in the middle of the MLB pack (16th) and they are overworked. Like 2011, they will probably have an empty tank by September.
The 8th is the only hole for our team with Kyle Kendrick stabilizing the 6th and 7th. He might have to handle the 8th also with Antonio Bastardo relegated down a peg, perhaps, in a less prominent role. Rube Amaro is looking for a backend arm, but the standings help an August acquisition from an NL organization that falls out of it. That said, these are basically the same guys from 2008 to 2010, and those squads had injuries amid other issues. This unit has a solid rotation, an improvement in the hammer department, a stronger attack and bench, but that 1 glaring weakness. That stated, both franchises went 1-2 versus the Giants, but against other contenders, the locals are 3-3 to the Chop Shopper’s 3-4.
They have 3 stars with fresh legs, entering the stretch drive. And in earlier tours they have had other shortcomings they overcame or shielded from exposure. However, the mathematicians say it is highly unlikely for them to play .700 ball. Well, this same crew produced a 49-19 finish (.721) in 2010, and continued into 2011 with a 98-52 record before taking their foot off the accelerator. That “impossible” trek of 218 consecutive games equaled 147-71 (.674).
Unlike their last battles, the Braves and the Nats will now face Goliath head-on in their own backyards.
2ND HALF RECORDS:
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Warning: This is his adrenalin-rush performance after inking his marriage in Philly. The Braves might be the victims of a more explosive fastball on Friday night. Against them at the Ted, his line was: 6 complete, 6 hits, 2 both-earned runs, 2 walks and 6 punch outs on 108 bullets.
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He reappears in this incarnation with Atlanta after coming within 4 days of a 2 summer absence. His two W ledger is: 12 total, 7 hits, 0 runs, 4 free passes plus 11 whiffs on 88 and 91 darts respectively.
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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.
*** = Approximately equal after plus-and-minus compensation
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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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Check out my previous publications (Uncharted Territory) and the 82 storylines–so far–for 2012 on the Phillies page, 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 my page.
Philadelphia Phillies storyline: Sudden life (Horsemen Stats)
Tal Venada (Author Archives)
(MLB 5 at game 99 will be up today.)