The Wednesday Ten: Starving for WiFi

Once again, the Tuesday 10 has become the Wednesday Ten as Paul, your regularly scheduled host, searches high and low in Manhattan for an Internet connection. Much as early man scoured the desert for water, man now crawls on his hands and knees, growing weaker by the hour until he finds WiFi. Is that… a Starbucks? With free Internet? No, couldn’t be. The closer you get, the more you think your search has ended until… nope, just a mirage. What you thought was a Starbucks in the distance turned out to be the halal cart.

Let’s jump into the Ten.

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The Wednesday Ten: Doubles Will Find Me

So, the Ten is a day late. And Paul Boye, your usual curator, is out of pocket, so I will be pulling together your Tuesday Wednesday 10 today. Plenty happening with the Phillies and around the league, so let’s get right into it.

10. Delmon Young plays the sport of baseball professionally (for money) in an organization known as Major League Baseball

OK, look. This isn’t that bad. Sure, there are countless other .gifs documenting Delmon’s tragilarious defense in the outfield, but that one hit off the wall! He could’ve played it better, or gotten to it quicker, but it bounced kinda funkily. It’s not like he botched a routine fly there. And, more importantly, it’s not as if the Phillies signed Delmon to be early-2000s Andruw Jones in the outfield; he’s here for his stick. He’s a role player, and it’s unfair to- actually, now that I’m looking at it, he’s hitting .214/.292/.393 in 65 plate appearances. That’s really bad. I mean, it’s only 65 plate appearances, and it’s not like the Phillies bet the house on him, but dang. He’d better pull some kind of streak together quickly.

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Jeremy Horst’s Bad Luck Continues

We discussed Jeremy Horst‘s bad luck two and a half weeks ago and it looked like things were starting to turn around. In his next four appearances, he allowed just one earned run over five innings and held the opposition to a .176 average on balls in play. Last night against the Indians, Horst’s bad luck returned. The lefty allowed one run, which was considered fortunate since he allowed four base runners, three of which were infield singles and the other was a bloop into shallow left field.

When people talk about a pitcher’s bad luck on balls in play, we are referring essentially to anything that happens after contact. So many variables come into play beyond the pitcher’s ability to hit his location and fool the opposing hitter. The ball may be hit hard, but right at a fielder. Or it may be hit three feet to his side for a hit. The ball may be hit softly, but slowly enough down the line that the third baseman can’t make a play on it. Or it can be hit softly but right to the pitcher, who throws to first for an easy out. The batter can pop the ball right over the shortstop’s head, or it can go a few feet further out where a play is unable to be made. Despite the pitcher’s lack of control, a run of bad luck on balls in play still gets counted against his ERA and thus he is judged for it throughout the year, long after the circumstances have been forgotten.

Let’s take a look at the hits Horst allowed last night after the jump.

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The Tuesday 10: Go Left, Young Man

The Phillies swept the Mets! That’s really cool! Even in a season that’s been tinged with a bit of malaise out of the gate, taking a series like that in New York is pleasing, without fail. Some players – Halladay, Hamels, Brown – are showing some signs of turnaround, albeit conditional turnarounds. Chase Utley is still slugging over .500. Carlos Ruiz is back! Maybe things are looking up!

Or maybe I’m just getting ahead of myself. Whatever, this was a good week if you pretend that Pittsburgh series never happened.

To the 10!

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Ben Revere’s Costly Arm

Ben Revere is known for having a weak bat, but as we have seen during this series with the Pittsburgh Pirates (which mercifully ends this afternoon), his weak arm is often a detriment as well. In parsing the game logs, I was able to pull out three plays where opposing runners greedily advanced from second to third on a ball hit to Revere in center, something those runners certainly wouldn’t have done against, say, Shane Victorino.

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The Tuesday 10: Jesse Biddle Afterglow

Another April week, another seven days elapsed where it’s Too Early to Really Judge Anything. Except for Jesse Biddle‘s bonkers 7 IP, 16 K, 2 BB, 0 R outing for Double-A Reading Monday. That one I judge to be “pretty damn awesome.”

It’s very difficult to go back through Minor League games to crosscheck, but I wager a Phils farmhand hasn’t put together an outing like that since Cole Hamels was tearing his way through the pipeline (not to make a direct comparison). To stay grounded: it is just one outing. But for the second-youngest pitcher in the entire Eastern League to do that, well, I’m sure plenty of people will take notice. It sure gave me the tingles.

Okay, on to the 10.

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