Is the use of W-L the biggest issue in baseball today? Not even close. It’s one of those issues that are small in relative meaning, but if changes are made, it can affect an entire fanbase’s perception of the game. We have seen how the ubiquity of the save statistic has altered how managers utilize their bullpens; discarding W-L can have as strong an effect, if not greater. All it takes is an open mind.
Impressive. Antonio Bastardo ignored the butterflies which were nonetheless evident, particularly in the first inning. Inside, outside, up, down — the San Diego hitters could not hit his stuff. Padres first baseman Adrian Gonzalez made the only dent with a home run to right field as Bastardo’s outing drew to a close.
Six innings, only one run allowed on four hits and a walk, and he struck out five. Bastardo threw 91 fastballs and 11 sliders with average speeds of 92.3 and 82.7 MPH respectively. Being that it’s just past 1 AM EST, I’ll direct you to Brooks Baseball for the pretty Pitch F/X graphs.
Some interesting notes on Bastardo’s start…
Average fastball velocity by inning:
First: 93.3 MPH
His top 26 fastest fastballs came in either the first or the second inning. I think it’s safe to say he was wired in the first couple innings of his Major League debut. If only there was some way to make him think every start is his ML debut. He hit 94 MPH or higher five times, all in the first inning.
As you can see with the following chart, he was up in the zone for most of the night. He threw only nine pitches low out of the strike zone compared to twenty high out of the strike zone.
Right-handed hitters were 2-for-14 (.143) with two singles and a hit batsman off of Bastardo; lefties were 2-for-7 (.286) with a single, a home run, and a walk.
Padres starter Jake Peavy lasted only one inning as the Phillies got out of the gates quick, scoring four runs off of the sought-after former Cy Young winner. The official reason for his early departure was a “viral upper respiratory infection”.
After Bastardo left the game, Chan Ho Park — who recently lost his spot in the Phillies’ starting rotation –was brought in to eat up some innings but instead put the Padres back in the game, allowing four runs in the seventh inning. Single, single, strikeout, foul fly-out, walk, single, walk, single, strikeout. If you’re counting, that’s four singles and two walks that led to four runs.
Walking hitters when you’re up by nine runs is inexcusable. Park isn’t making any friends with his shoddy pitching performances. It’s clear he doesn’t like his role in the bullpen and badly wants to start, but he’s not helping his cause, and neither is Bastardo.
Chad Durbin pitched a clean, efficient eighth inning and got the first two out in the ninth, but loaded the bases attempting to bring the game to an end. Ryan Madson had to get out #27 on his day off. You can just hear Dante from the movie Clerks: “I’m not even supposed to be here today!”
Raul Ibanez had another big game, hitting two home runs and a single, driving in five in five at-bats.
The win is the Phillies’ fifth in a row and improves their NL-best road record to 18-6 (.750). The Dodgers are the only other team even close to the Phillies with a 17-12 road record. Coupled with the Mets’ loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Phils are now 2.5 games ahead in the NL East.
J.C. Romero, having completed his suspension for violating MLB’s drug policy, will return for the series finale against the Padres tomorrow. The Phils then meet up with the Dodgers for four games before flying back to New York for a three-game set with the Mets from June 9-11.
To wrap up, I’ll leave you with a philosophical query. Which is more awesome: Raul Ibanez so far this season, or the Three Wolf Moon T-shirt? Watch the video below before making your decision.