In a September of increasing hope, Ryan Howard and the Philadelphia Phillies are winning by the slimmest margin at times. Have you been watching the scoreboard lately to notice the same dynamic on other contending teams?
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.
CAP-SIZE HINDSIGHT: 6-2 Triumph
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Above Asterisks ( *) = Corresponding Plays And/Or Events
MASKED SEPTEMBER NUMBERS:
GB 2nd WC: 3.0
2ND WC Pos: 4
Elimination No: 9
The Lower Bar:
The difference between this campaign and the 102-victory one that preceded it is strikingly opposite. That brings up an interesting contrast on the reaction to this phenomenon. This situation is creating a stir among the fans, the media, the players and other cities. As they draw closer to the 2nd wild-card berth, the volume is increasing and I expect that the loudness will become more pleasurable.
Fans keep anticipating an end to this valiant run toward the playoffs, but on New York radio, I heard a Mets follower complain that his club should have played the spoiler against the Phils. Sports commentators excitedly opine that the red pinstripes are only 3 games out of it, but then they seem befuddled that it keeps going. The players enter each battle to win that day, while time expires on the clock. Some nights there is no gain and other evenings there is. The competition realizes the height of the mountain before them, breathing a little easier for now.
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The beauty is that there is no pressure on the stars to even tie for the 2nd wild card, and fans would consider that more than they have expected in quite awhile. There is no hype-oriented obstacle, which means they are relaxed and worry-free. It would be a surprise, if fans were disappointed at the end of this 162. However, as I said on September 3, this season appears to be franchise history encapsulated into one 7-month period. In other words, the next step is to play meaningful October baseball, and–like 2007–that means uncertainty until the final 27 outs are recorded for 2012.
2nd Wild-Card Teams:
[table id=208 /]
He is 6-1 with a 3.58 ERA since August 4. During those 9 outings, his log is: 60.1 innings, 56 hits, 24 all-earned runs, 14 free passes and 50 punch outs. Against the Braves in 3 away efforts, his ledger reads: 0-1, a 8.44 ERA, 16 frames, 25 hits, 15 all-earned runs, 5 BB and 15 whiffs.
He has worked 6.1 innings or more in 11 of 28 opportunities with 10 clunkers. He is 3-6 with a 5.31 away ERA, which is 1.84 lower at home. His line against the Phils in both parks (1 away of 3) is: 1-1, a 3.60 ERA, 20 complete, 18 hits, 8 all-earned runs, 3 walks and 17 strikeouts.
[table id=84 /]
Starters’ photos, not described otherwise, are in the 1st inning.
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
DISPLAY NOTE: Non-listed results can go up or down by
1 or 2 categories (This note will only appear when it’s relevant.)
* 1 Tick UP
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