Phillies-Padres Game Thread 4/20/12

Some runs are better than no runs. That’s what we told ourselves, at least, as the Phillies took the first game of their four-game set with the Padres last night. Vance Worley was phenomenal, striking out 11 batters over seven innings, and the bullpen was able to preserve the shut-out. It marked the third game in a row that the Phillies had scored two runs or fewer, and the eighth out of 13 games. The Phillies hope that changes tonight against Padres starter Edinson Volquez, who has walked 12 in 17 innings to start the season. Cole Hamels makes the start for the Phillies in his home town of San Diego.

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Padres

No Cover It Live chat tonight, as most of the guys are out watching the Flyers. Use the comments below to chat about the game.

Phillies/Giants Game Thread 4/18/12

In a big sports day for Philadelphia, the Flyers are trying to sweep the Pittsburgh Penguins out of the quarterfinals and the Phillies hope to leave San Francisco with a series win against tough right-hander Matt Cain (click here to read my recent ESPN article on Cain). In opposition, Cliff Lee takes the hill for his third start of the year.

With just two runs against Madison Bumgarner last night, the Phillies sunk further down in the offensive leaderboards. They currently rank 13th or worse out of 16 National League teams in runs scored, doubles, triples, home runs, walks, on-base percentage, and OPS. As a team, they have drawn more than one walk in a game four times out of 11 games.

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Phillies

Giants

Use this thread to talk about the game, and the Flyers if you wish. We will be doing more Cover It Live chats in the future, just not tonight.

Phillies-Giants Game Thread 4/17/2012

Another late game, folks. After Roy Halladay‘s excellent performance last night, the Phillies (5-5) throw Joe Blanton at the Giants (4-6) tonight. Blanton (2011 xFIP: 3.15) pitched well in his first start against the Marlins last week, and with the now-handsomely compensated Madison Bumgarner (3.10) on the mound, it’s imperative that Blanton does the same again tonight. Charlie Manuel benched left-handed hitters Laynce Nix and Juan Pierre against tough lefty Bumgarner–though neither is really much good against right-handed pitching either–in favor of a lineup that features three switch-hitters and six righties. We’ll see how this goes.

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Phillies

Giants

Phillies-Giants Game Thread 4/16/2012

 

East coast fans, get ready for a week of late bedtimes. The Phillies (4-5) begin their first real road trip of the season, with stops in San Francisco, San Diego, and then Arizona. The offense, currently averaging 3.11 runs per game, will have its work cut out for it in the cavernous expanses of AT&T Park and PETCO Park. To open the series versus the Giants (4-5), the Phillies will send Roy Halladay (2.71 xFIP in 2011) to the bump to match up against Tim Lincecum (3.36). Halladay enters his third start having allowed only 1 run over 15 innings pitched. Though Lincecum has struck out 10 batters in just 7 and 2/3rds innings, he was stung by the long ball in Arizona, and was smacked around to the tune of 5 line drives in Colorado, chased early from both games.

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Phillies

Giants

Mets-Phillies Game Thread 4/15/12

The Phillies hope to find some offense in this afternoon’s series finale with the New York Mets. Jon Niese held the Phillies scoreless over six and two-thirds innings and the bullpen finished the shut-out, the sixth time out of eight games that the Phils have been held to three or fewer runs. Cole Hamels (3.02 xFIP in 2011), who pitched into the sixth inning with nine strikeouts in his last start, will oppose Mike Pelfrey (4.55). After this afternoon’s game, the Phillies fly out west for three games with the San Francisco Giants, four with the San Diego Padres, and three with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

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Mets

Jason Bay was scratched from the lineup with a jammed right index finger.

Phillies

(Ryan note: I just want you to know, before you read this lineup, that I think you’re very handsome, and I hope you have a wonderful day.)

Mets-Phillies Game Thread 4/14/12

The Phillies dipped back below .500 last night with a 5-2 loss in the series opener against the New York Mets. Aside from allowing a home run to Freddy Galvis, R.A. Dickey was able to work around nine hits allowed, while Cliff Lee surrendered four runs in seven innings, including two long home runs to Jason Bay and Scott Hairston. This afternoon’s game will pit two up-and-coming arms against each other: lefty Jon Niese and right-hander Vance Worley. David Wright makes a return to the lineup today as he was dealing with a broken pinkie.

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Phillies

Mets/Phillies Game Thread 4/13/12

The hated New York Mets will open up a three-game set in Philadelphia tonight. Surprisingly, the Mets sit ahead of the Phillies in the standings, but  it is of course still very early and things will certainly change in the coming months. Cliff Lee (2.68 xFIP in 2011) will make his second start against knuckleballer R.A. Dickey (3.95). David Wright, suffering from a broken right pinkie, is not in tonight’s lineup and may end up on the disabled list.

I spoke with Ted Berg (@OGTedBerg) on SNY.tv earlier to preview the series. You can watch it below:

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Phillies

Marlins/Phillies Game Thread 4/12/12

The offense finally woke up last night, taking an ineffective Josh Johnson for six runs and 11 hits in three and two-thirds innings, certainly an uncharacteristic outing for the Marlins’ ace. Roy Halladay was superb as always, holding the Marlins to one run over seven innings, although he only struck out three. Each position player in the lineup recorded at least one hit, including four with two or more, leading to a 7-1 victory. However, only three of their 14 hits went for extra bases: doubles by Carlos Ruiz and Freddy Galvis, and a home run by Ruiz. Still, it’s progress.

Marlins newcomer Mark Buehrle (4.14 xFIP in 2011) will oppose Joe Blanton (3.15 in 41.1 IP) in his starting debut. Blanton has already made one appearance as a reliever in which he took the loss against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

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Marlins

Phillies

Marlins/Phillies Game Thread 4/11/12

The Phillies host the Florida Marlins in game two of this three-game set. They dropped the first game 6-2 in disappointing fashion, although Freddy Galvis finally picked up his first Major League hit and RBIs. In what should become a classical match-up, Josh Johnson (3.32 xFIP in 2011) will oppose Roy Halladay (2.71). As you may recall, Johnson was the Marlins’ starter on the day Halladay tossed his perfect game in 2010. Two weeks later, the two met again in another great game, Johnson emerging the victor that time. The two have matched up on two other occasions as well: June 18, 2006 and May 10, 2011. Halladay will aim to get the Phillies back to their winning ways tonight.

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Marlins

Phillies

At FanGraphs, Bill Petti (of TV!experimented with some data and threw together these tables for tonight’s game. They show each team’s lineup and their performance against the various pitches tonight’s starters throw.Click on each image to view a larger version. Click here for a primer on pitch type linear weights if you are not familiar, and read Petti’s article for an explanation.

Use this thread to discuss tonight’s game.

Marlins Series Preview with Dave Gershman

The 1-3 Florida Marlins are in town for the 1-2 Phillies’ home opener. Anibal Sanchez will oppose Cole Hamels, a match-up of two very talented starting pitchers. Both teams are coming off of disappointing openings to the season: the Phillies have pitched well but scored few runs; the Marlins have been hit-or-miss, falling victim to Kyle Lohse and Johnny Cueto but victimizing Mat Latos and Bronson Arroyo.

Series at a Glance

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Marlins

Phillies

Dave Gershman (@Dave_Gershman), of ESPN’s Marlins Daily, and I swapped some questions to preview the series on our respective blogs, so make sure to stop over there to check out what I had to say about the Phillies. His answers about the Marlins are below.

. . .

1. So you’ve seen the first regular season action in the new ballpark, albeit just one game. What are your initial thoughts? Do you think it will play as an extreme pitcher’s park as many are predicting?

Although I think it’s too early to tell whether or not the ballpark will favor pitchers rather than hitters, there are some initial problems concerning me that could easily be found within the confines of the park prior to the seasons start. The home run sculpture in center field is a basic issue that I have with the park. It’s almost directly in the batters eye, which too is bright green. There is just a lot of noise going on in center field which I think should be dimmed out if possible. Back to the question though, I do think the park will become a pitcher’s best friend. The dimensions are huge, and last time we saw dimensions as such for a brand new park was Citi Field.

2. Giancarlo Stanton hasn’t hit a home run yet. What’s wrong with him?

Absolutely nothing. The season is only four days old and we all know what Stanton is capable of.

3. Which hitter has most impressed you through four games? Which pitcher?

I’ll go with Omar Infante and Josh Johnson. It’s still early, but Infante’s big home run on Saturday night helped the Marlins win their first game of the season. Additionally, he almost hit for the cycle that night. Josh Johnson being healthy and pitching a decent game on Opening Night earns him my “most valuable pitcher through four games” award. If Johnson can stay healthy and simply be Josh Johnson, the Marlins post-season chances are much greater.

4. Which hitter has least impressed you through four games? Which pitcher?

Mike Stanton and Carlos Zambrano. The fact that Stanton hasn’t yet gone deep isn’t the problem for me. The issue that I have with Stanton is that a lot of the fastballs he’s been given have been rolled over to third base or elsewhere to the left side of the infield. Last season, all of those would be fly balls. Zambrano’s performance yesterday sells it. After a lousy first few innings, the right-hander easily penetrated the Marlins’ chances of winning the ballgame.

5. Anibal Sanchez increased his K/9 from 7.4 and 7.2 in 2009-10 to 9.3 last year, while also continuing to improve his control. What contributed to this change?

Like Ricky Nolasco, Sanchez threw his fastball more and got more whiffs outside the zone. His contact rate lowered because of that and, because of that, probably had him gain more confidence in his arsenal. In doing so, Sanchez has easily become one of the more feared starters in the NL East and has a chance to continue providing as a solid number two for the Fish for years to come.

6. Have the first few games of the season changed the way you feel about the NL East?

Not particularly. I’ll make my judgements in a couple of weeks once things settle down a bit. That said, I did expect the Braves to play better and the Mets the opposite. Cliff Lee failed to lead the Phillies to victory in his first start, but again, these things happen in the first few games of the season. If I made judgements after the first weekend of the season I would have given up on the Red Sox after the first week of last season.

7. How do you see this series playing out? Who wins?

Especially with the way these two teams played this weekend, it could go either way. That said, I think the Phillies will turn the bats on and, additionally, shut the Marlins down. The Fightin’s will win the series 2-1.

. . .

Many thanks to Dave for sharing his insight on the Fish. Follow him on Twitter and stop by Marlins Daily for his thoughts throughout the series.

Use this thread throughout the day to talk about the Phillies and the game.