At what point is a victory harder to come by for the Philadelphia Phillies and Cole Hamels? Actually, there are many places that this occurs.
My articles are designed to represent a baseball man’s thinking, the view from the dugout and the GM’s box. Most fans do not consider the budget, prospects on the radar, the club’s weaknesses, the track record, the competition and the other intangibles. Please go to my author archives or Phillies page for my most recent coverage. Scroll down to Tal’s Handy Links at the bottom. Thank you.
Check out the complimentary piece: Philadelphia Phillies storyline: Telling chemistry
I will continue the process of the previous Monday’s approach, if appropriate. For early birds Sunday evening is post time. Due to a strong response and a complicated offseason, my reviews will be weekly until spring training ends. The new summer schedule will allow me to publish the best 3 storylines each week, but there will be an updated calendar included with each feature: Posts involving commentary, polls and stats will be listed for the upcoming 7 days.
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This review is an additional posting.
Emphasis on Reasoning:
Last year the view from the catch-up side to the postseason revealed a deeper meaning behind the dominance of a second-half club.
When a player has the strong physical grind that involves 6 months of almost daily action, he has to pace himself for the long haul. It also consists of the strength buildup, which begins in mid-February and ends near Halloween. That’s 8.5 months if you are triumphant in the World Series. In other words, the demands on the mind and the body are extreme, because there is also the preparation aspect–which doubles the load.
Camp is relaxed for the veterans as they ramp up their activities, knowing the stress that the campaign ahead offers. The first half features less talented squads that win games over pennant-bound franchises, because that group isn’t performing with an October attitude. This was not a surprise last season except for the differential between before and after the break. My tracking revealed a stark change in the mind set of the contenders, as simultaneously the victories dried up for the also-rans.
From mid-July until the completion of the schedule, the red pinstripes reincorporated Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Doc Halladay. That meant 1 good month from each of them, while Shane Victorino, Hunter Pence, Joe Blanton and Jim Thome were traded away. The real test was against in-it teams, like the Nationals. They had a 7-5 mark (.583) against them, which equals 95 triumphs. They went 27-22 (.551) for a 89-win clip against the best.
The pressure increases incrementally during the 2nd half, August, September and the last two weeks. That continues to intensify during the final weekend, the last battle, and each level of the playoffs. The ultimate is the Fall Classic and game 7. That is why the 27th out in that contest and all 162 decisions is the most difficult. April is the 1st inning and September is the 9th.
There is a consistency to the organization’s record after the mid-summer vacation, and it shows over the years, including the obstacle course of 2012. For August, 17-12 (.586) equates to 95 victories, which means there is no escaping the conclusion. Only a championship caliber club is capable of these outcomes, and the results are scary. Then, there is the 2-ring validation for these 1-title warriors, who feel the pangs of that hunger as a unit.
The 2nd Half Breakdown:
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The Phils have succeeded with their cornerstone of Jimmy Rollins, Utley, Howard and Hamels. However, Washington is exhibiting signs of a potential core four with Ryan Zimmerman, Stephen Strasburg, Jayson Werth and Bryce Harper. These stars come mostly from amateur drafts due to their organization’s extended stay in the cellar, and regulars who experienced 2-3 dreadful 162’s with them. Parity with the drafting system and the competitive-balance tax creates the opportunity for future dominant franchises.
The young lion is where the aging king was in 2008.
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This is the 19th storyline for 2013. Check out my recent publication (The Silent Surprise) on the Phillies page or my author archives, where there is an excerpt photo. Also, my new feature is Suds or Studs. The last one was Select One of Each.
I will periodically publish the 2013 ERA for the NL East and the 2013 ERA for the MLB 5. Thank you, to all who bookmarked my page.
Tal Venada (Author Archives)