Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Sledgehammer

Games 74 through 80 - Phillies

Braves 5, Phils 4
Braves 11, Phils 1
Braves 5, Phils 2
Phils 7, Mets 2
Phils 4, Mets 1
Phils 2, Mets 0
Phils 22, Reds 1

Record 43 wins, 37 losses - 1st place, 2 games ahead of Florida

Going into Monday night's opener of a four game set with the Redlegs, the Phillies had the second smallest run differential of all the division leaders in MLB. The were only 19 runs better than their opponents (Detroit was +16.) Today the Phillies' run differential is outdone only by the two best teams in baseball - the BoSox and Dodgers. What's that about lies, damn lies and statistics?

My powers of prognostication around these parts are legendary. I predict the Phils score only 4 more runs the remainder of the Reds series and proceed to limp to the All Star break barely above .500. Of course, I won't be disappointed should they play like men, dominate the mediocre Reds and Buccos and cruise into St. Lou next week at 47 and 39 but something tells me the mini-emergence from our June swoon will be rectified. I expect a long, painful, mediocre march to October. The '73 Mets are in trouble.

On a bright note, Hamels went 7 and walked none surrendering squat. Of course, we don't know if that was the result of the shock and awe style run support he enjoyed in the 10 run Phillies' first. Let's wait and see if Colbert is ready to start pitching like a #1.

News from the J-Roll watch: Jimmie went 3 for 4 last night - his fourth multi-hit game since returning from exile a week ago. Nice work Jimmie.

Here's a scary series of numbers:

.207
.238
.167 (YIKES!)
.455

Them's Jimmie's monthly battin' averages. He's up to a cumulative .224 with an OBP of .276. At this stage, I will gladly take a .260 average with an OBP of .310 by season's end if he throws in about 12 more home runs and keeps playing his usual steady defense (only 3 errors in 75 games thus far.)

Oh, about that All-Star game - four first basemen? Really Charlie? 4? Look, I get that Ryan Howard's a great kid, a fan favorite, a St. Louis boy who made good and that nobody has produced more runs than the big lummox these past 3 years. Still, his OPS is .840 due largely to his paltry 30 walks and resultant unslugger-like .325 OBP. Surely there are some other infielders worthy of selection. Let's hope Howard doesn't have to play shortstop late in the game. He's to be commended for adhering to the Jared Subway diet and his hard work on improving his defense to the tune of only 4 errors so far. Still...






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