Everybody Hits

Curb your enthusiasm. It’s just the Washington Nationals and Houston Astros. Still, it’s hard not to feel good about the way the Phillies have opened up in April. Four games, 52 hits. The only two Phillies who haven’t appeared ready to hit were Raul Ibanez and Shane Victorino.

Ibanez broke out tonight against the Astros, collecting three hits, three rib-eyes and a walk in five at-bats. Victorino was the only regular who failed to collect a hit in the Phillies’ 8-0 win in the series opener in Houston. Jimmy Rollins continued to draw walks — his two tonight give him six on the season. Placido Polanco and Chase Utley still have not struck out yet this season. Polanco had four hits and two RBI in five at-bats while Utley had two hits (including his first home run), a walk and 2 RBI.

Even the pitchers — the crack in the Phillies’ armor — have thrown well in the first four games. While starter J.A. Happ wasn’t economic with his pitches tonight, he was effective enough to avoid damage and pitched into the sixth inning without allowing a run. David Herndon, a Rule-5 pick from the L.A. Angels, continued to impress with two shut-out innings of relief including a bail-out of Happ in the sixth. Overall, Phillies relievers have compiled a 1.29 ERA in 14 innings so far this season.

As mentioned previously, though, curb your enthusiasm. There is going to be a lot of regression especially as the Phillies play more competitive teams in the second half of April. Last year, among National League teams, the Astros ranked 14th in runs scored per game and 12th in runs allowed. The Nationals had a mediocre offense but the absolute worst pitching staff in the league last year. The Phillies have the Astros for two more games and then the Nationals again for three for the home opener at Citizens Bank Park starting April 12.

Old Man Moyer will get the start tomorrow tonight. In doing so, he will become the seventh pitcher to play in four different decades (per Tom McCarthy during tonight’s broadcast).

Game graph courtesy FanGraphs.

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6 comments

  1. Dave P

    April 09, 2010 11:07 PM

    “As mentioned previously, though, curb your enthusiasm. There is going to be a lot of regression especially as the Phillies play more competitive teams in the second half of April.”

    So I shouldn’t expect Polanco to hit over .500? What a Debbie Downer you’ve become.

    Seriously though, can we make anything of J Roll’s 6 walks? He only had 31 last year.

  2. Phillies Red

    April 10, 2010 03:52 AM

    At what point do we say, man, that JA Happ kid is straight ice with RISP? I mean, I expect about 1000 runs of regression (my BP membership card says so) but as a fan and viewer, you’ve got to give it to him. He appears to be a different – and a better – pitcher once a guy gets to 2nd. It can’t last, I’m sure, but it really looks like Happ has another gear for those high leverage situations.

  3. Bill Baer

    April 10, 2010 10:11 AM

    To be fair, Happ wasn’t exactly facing a sterling offense. If/when I get Pitch F/X database capabilities, I’ll see if there’s any difference between his stuff with the bases empty and with runners on base.

    (Or if anyone with Pitch F/X capabilities wants to tackle this, feel free.)

  4. Bill

    April 10, 2010 02:35 PM

    Hey, this has nothing to do with the game story but…me and some friends were looking to visit all of the phanatic statues in one day but arent sure if we could get to the airport statue without a tick/going through any security. If anyone has any insights it would be appreciated.

  5. Peter

    April 11, 2010 01:04 PM

    Agree one shouldn’t get too excited 5 games into the season against two not-so-great teams. However, it is nice to see the phils doing what they’re supposed to do against teams they should beat – beat ‘em! In recent years past it was frustrating when the nats or nats-equivalent would win series against the phils. The best teams will compete (win or split series) against the great teams and win the “must-win” series against the not-so-great teams

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