Last night, with the Phillies trailing the Astros 5-2, first baseman Ryan Howard hit a go-ahead grand slam off of lefty reliever Tony Sipp. The FanGraphs win expectancy chart illustrates just how important the home run was:
A year ago, eulogies were being penned –the once great Jimmy Rollins was done. The former MVP and once elite shortstop hit a paltry .252/.318/.348 with just six home runs as defensive metrics began to sour on a man who had once been among the league’s best defenders at shortstop. Rollins set career lows in ISO, HRs and RBI. His rWAR (-0.2) was far and away the lowest of his prodigious career. All of this combined with the fact that he was a 34-year-old playing one of the most physically demanding positions on the field and the Rollins’ Demise narrative was defensible but, as it turns out, also wholly inaccurate.
Ryan Lawrence of the Philadelphia Daily News posted a column yesterday with a few rather revealing quotes from reliever Antonio Bastardo. The lefty was placed on revocable waivers by the team on Monday after failing to move him by the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. Bastardo said a trade would be good for him.
@Matt_Winkelman: “Given the Phillies signing Lenin this summer, can you make a team of former and current world leaders?”
I’ll try to go easy on American presidents with common names, but my lack of knowledge of, say, obscure Italian provincial dukes is probably going to hamstring me here a little.
- C: Lenin Rodriguez (Vladimir Lenin, premier of the USSR, 1922-1924)
- 1B: Fred Merkle (Angela Merkel, current chancellor of Germany)
- 2B: Donovan Solano (Javier Solana, former Secretary General of NATO and de facto foreign minister of the European Union)
- 3B: Tony Batista (Fulgencio Batista, president of Cuba, 1940-1944, 1952-1959)
- SS: John McDonald (Sir John A. MacDonald, first prime minister of Canada, 1867-1873, 1878-1891)
- LF: Mike Morse (Mike Moore, former prime minister of New Zealand, 1990)
- CF: Cameron Maybin (David Cameron, current prime minister of the U.K.)
- RF: Trot Nixon (yeah, you know this guy)
- DH: Starlin Castro (Fidel Castro and Josef Stalin if you’re from New England)
- SP: Derek Holland (Francois Hollande, current president of France. And not the Netherlands, at it happens, which I think is kind of messed up.)
- SP: Masahiro Tanaka (Kakuei Tanaka, prime minister of Japan, 1972-1976)
- LH RP: Joe Thatcher (Margaret Thatcher, prime minister of the U.K., 1979-1990)
- RH RP: Luis Aquino (Corazon Aquino, president of the Philippines, 1986-1992)
- CL: John Franco (Francisco Franco, dictator of Spain, 1939-1975)
Sorry for playing fast and loose with the spelling–this could have taken all day otherwise. Actually, it pretty much did take all day.
@neal_kendrick: “If everything happens for a reason why do the Phillies suck?’ Continue reading…
At the end of May, I took stock of starter Roberto Hernandez‘s performance. He had, to that point, compiled a 3.76 ERA over 12 starts. In the four starts after that, he struggled, ballooning his ERA to 4.52, but he was the least of the Phillies’ concerns at the time.
Since then, in his last seven starts, Hernandez has notched five quality starts (missing a sixth by one-third of an inning) with a 2.85 ERA, lowering his overall ERA on the season to 3.87, only a smidge higher than it was the last time we checked up on the right-hander.
The Phillies are enjoying a much-needed day off today, after having been dominated by Nationals pitching over the weekend. They were shut out in each of their last two games and haven’t scored since the sixth inning of Friday’s 2-1 win. They’re 49-63, tied with the Arizona Diamondbacks for the third-worst record in the National League.
You’re not alone, and certainly not to be blamed if you’ve already found better things to do with your weekend evenings than watch a bad team play bad baseball. But for those of you who, like me, will watch no matter what, there are still a few points of intrigue with two months of regular season remaining.
There was a reason why your parents lied about sending the family dog to a farm upstate. In ignorance, a comfortable lie is always better than the cold, hard reality. Better to deal with a temporarily nonplussed child who believes his dog will play fetch into eternity than an inconsolable child who just lost an irreplaceable best friend.
This morning, David Murphy of The Daily News did an excellent job laying out the reasons why inaction by the Phillies at the trade deadline would neither be surprising nor irresponsible. The entire article is rather short and well worth reading, but the following excerpt gets to the crux of the issue: