Cole Hamels will fire bullets for the Philadelphia Phillies tonight, looking to sweep the Nats. Can King Cole polish off another gem?
I will publish after every battle that is not washed out. I will have many summer-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: Load lifted
CAP-SIZE HINDSIGHT: 3-2 Triumph
|The Crystal Champagne Toast||Chase Utley||Four-Star Performance
|The Penthouse||Pete Orr|
|* Smoked A 2-RBI Gap Double To Close
Within 1 Run In The 2nd During His 1 For 2 Game
Stroked A 2-Run Single To Tie It Up At 4 In The 5th
During His 2 For 4 Night With A SB, A BB & 3 RBI
A 2-Out RBI Triple To Take A 5-4 Advantage In The 5th
Smacked A 2-Run Double To Open A 7-4 Lead In The 7th
During His 2 For 5 Evening
|The Workhouse||Home SP||* A 39-Pitch 2nd Inning|
|The Leather Warehouse||1B Darin Ruf||Made A Spectacular Over-The-Shoulder Catch
Of A Foul In The 5th
|The Fun House Of Mirrors||Home RF|
|Takes 1st On A SO WP & 2nd After A Throw (E2)
To The Bag In The 8th
A SO WP With The Bags Full & A DP Tag At The Plate
To End The 8th
|House Call||Ryan Howard|
|Season-Ending Big Toe Injury
Shut Down With A Dead Arm
I’ve seen at lot of baseball, last-to-first surprises, miracle clubs, destiny darlings, and even first-place seasons before cellar-dwelling years, but not a 2012 Phillies among them. Yes, there have been organizations decimated by injuries, but they didn’t become whole at the beginning of the stretch run. It is, however, possible that it was done by franchises before the sixties, where one may have rebounded from a double-digit deficit–but not the basement.
Usually, the team at the absolute bottom has been similar to the Astros from the last two 162’s. They sell off the expensive parts of their roster, and promote high-minors talent for an extended look on the big stage. Dom Brown is a good example, but RHP Tyler Cloyd (10-1, 1.98 ERA) for 17 starts at Triple-A Lehigh Valley would be a better one. A healthy Brown would probably have been up by June 1 in Houston.
Another improbability is a 100-win summer followed by being a seller during the trading-deadline frenzy the next tour. In this case it was a 102-40 record-setting ‘12: 42 games over .500. Health problems, off years and stars who tried to do too much has been the tombstone on Goliath’s back. Failure happens on the diamond when a Hunter Pence attempts to be a Ryan Howard.
With the pride of ascending the standings, the core four and the high-priced arms will not settle for the worst mark in the NL East. In other words, this is a wounded animal, which is the most dangerous kind. Meanwhile, there are jobs to be had in the outfield, on the bench and for the bullpen with 58 battles remaining. Writers in contending NL cities will assume that their 25 will at least take the series against well-under .500 dregs of the sport, like the hometown 9. Fans will read this so-called inside knowledge, and be deflated when it doesn’t materialize.
They won’t notice that Cliff Lee opened the mid-week matchup, and that Hamels will work the third contest. They will look at the 45-57 ledger before Tuesday night and a then 16.5 game difference. I mean: If you cannot beat the out-of-it Phillies, are you a championship squad? If you only look at one aspect of 2012, that is what you see.
The stats won’t help you either when you push aside Howard, Lee, Chase Utley and Doc Halladay as legitimate threats. Their numbers are the reason. I have never heard of a club with this much firepower or pitching as an also-ran–even without Pence and Shane Victorino. They are 10-7 in the 2nd half and 5-6 against the contenders, which tells you they are not a pushover unit.
They are on the verge of sweeping the Nattitudes in Washington, and the division leaders aren’t coasting. They have a slim advantage over the Braves, who are right on their heels. No, the Nats are facing a healing champion with 3 fresh-legged headliners, who were rolled over earlier in the campaign by them. A relaxed out-of-the-race team can be a thorn for an in-it organization with a title at stake. But a unit with 5 straight divisional crowns in that position can be an immovable object for the aspirations of: Washington, Arizona and Atlanta.
He will look for a bounce-back outing after his big deal and his 2nd debacle. In both yards against the Nats, his line is: 2-0, 0.56 ERA, 16 complete, 9 hits, 1 run (earned), 4 walks and 16 punch outs.
DAY & TIME
|3||LHP Cliff Lee||06-08, 3.12 ERA||@ Nats||RHP Edwin Jackson||09-11, 4.13 ERA||Wednesday, Day|
He was a DL replacement in the rotation, but returned after the bottom-rung hurler faltered. He has lasted 6.1 innings plus in 4 of 15 scheduled attempts with 4 clunkers. That said, he is 3-1 with a 3.11 ERA at home in the 5 slot.
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.
*** = Approximately equal to after plus-and-minus computation
|NUMBER||A One||A Five|
|FOR 2012||3-Quarter Sidearm||Short Arm|
|'12 RANKING||2nd of 5 Categories||4th of 5 Categories|
|LAST HIGH OR LOW||11th of 15 Categories||7th 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|
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Check out my previous publications (The Pressure Is Off) and the 85 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.
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