Cliff Lee of the Philadelphia Phillies fired off 102 bullets after 10 shutout innings, but there was no run support behind him. Was the offense repairable in the off-season? Was there something that could have been done?
TAL'S HANDY CAPS
Penthouse Occupancy for the 2-0 triumph: 5
The Crystal Champagne Toast is a salute to Vance Worley.
Chooch Completes The 6th-Inning DP
He escaped a leadoff 3-bagger by sandwiching a lineout and a groundout around a called 3rd strike in the 2nd. He also wiggled out of 1st-and-3rd, one-retired trouble with an unusual double play in the 6th. There was a strikeout, a toss to 2nd and an immediate return throw home for the frame-ending tag. Joining him on the top floor, Chooch Ruiz held onto the ball after being bowled over at the dish for that out. Also, Juan Pierre and Shane Victorino had 2-hit nights, while Jimmy Rollins had the lone RBI. Pierre tripled, walked and found 3rd base to his liking.
There were small-ball-talking visitors for Greenhouse Cholley, trying to grow some RBI. Juan took 3rd on a bobble by the leftfielder, and Jimmy drove him in with a 1st-inning sac-fly. Hunter Pence accepted a four-offering free pass, and advanced to 3rd during an attempted steal on a leftfield single. Vic swiped 2nd; however, a passed ball shortly thereafter produced an insurance tally in the 9th.
I will publish after every battle that is not washed out. The Phillies finished last summer 42 games over .500, which equaled a year of many positives. I will have many season-long highlights of puzzle pieces, especially important after drubbings and defeats.
If you were directed here by a feed and this article does not mention yesterday’s contest, please go to my author archives or Phillies page for my most recent coverage. Scroll down to Tal’s Handy Links at the bottom. Thank you.
Juan Pierre Hugs 3rd In The 1st
The days of the GM are back 100%, including the Bronx Bombers. Money alone is no longer sufficient and parity falls into 2 classes. There are the approximately 10 teams with big-payroll ability and their small-market brothers. For Rube Amaro, there is a partitioning of decisions. He has to allocate dollars for homegrown superstars (Cole Hamels), intricate acquisitions (Doc Halladay), cornerstone players (J-Roll) and vital regulars (Chooch). He must be frugal with peripheral jobs (Chad Qualls), and he needs young talent (Worley) to be counted on.
J-Roll Gets The Job Done In The 1st
The rub is that he has no alternative to breakout youngsters, like the Vanimal, John Mayberry Jr., Antonio Bastardo and Mike Stutes. He has to gamble that they will match their 2011 success. He is restricted by the competitive-balance tax, which he shimmied under in 2011 with $1M of breathing room. He allowed $3M for achieved incentives and only $2M was reached. He had to hope that Joe Blanton and Jose Contreras would be healthy. He could not re-sign Roy Oswalt, buy a pricey set-up man and/or a couple of sticks. He had to trust Mayberry, Bastardo and Worley.
HURLERW - LERAINN - HR - ERBB - SO Worley11 - 33.01131.2 - 11647 - 4446 - 119 20121 - 12.3719.0 - 175 - 58 - 21 Bastardo6 - 12.6458.0 - 2817 - 1726 - 70 20120 - 14.5002.0 - 031 - 12 - 05 Stutes 6 - 23.6362.0 - 4925 - 2528 - 58 20120 - 01.9304.2 - 043 - 13 - 04
J-Roll Turns 9th-Frame Double Play
Antonio hasn’t found the velocity on his heater, and either he has to pitch or appear as a lefty specialist. Stutes, like David Herndon, is limited to less important roles in the front end of the bullpen. Big John is off to a really horrendous start and is coming up small in big spots frequently. The only one who resembles his first campaign is the Vanimal. Rube could not deny any of them the opportunity they earned, and didn’t have the resources within the rules to do otherwise. His plan is for the club to be slightly above .500 with plenty of time remaining after Chase Utley and Ryan Howard return. After June 30, the red pinstripes will score 4 or 5 and give up 2 on most nights.
BATTERAVG.HRRBISB - CSE Mayberry.273154908 - 033 2012.189000200 - 000
King Cole Dominates The Mets At The Bank On April 15
He’s picked up right where he’s been since April 30 of 2010. He always brings his ace game to his hometown. A huge park and weak competition won’t hurt either. He won’t need much backing in this one, but he’ll get enough to smile.
STARTERRECORDTMSTARTERRECORDDAY & TIME 2LHP Cole Hamels1-1, 3.65 ERA@ PadresRHP Edinson Volquez0-1, 4.24 ERAFriday, Late Night 3RHP Doc Halladay3-0, 1.17 ERA@ PadresLHP Cory Luebke1-1, 3.71 ERASaturday, Night 4RHP Joe Blanton1-2, 4.26 ERA@ PadresRHP Anthony Bass0-2, 3.38 ERASunday, Late Day
Edinson Volquez Pictured In LA On April 15
He has the stuff but not the control and that has been his downfall. He did have the exception of a spectacular first-half in 2008, but the rule has been mediocre numbers.
DELIVERY = PITCHER’S 2012DEFINITION OF SEASON Over The TopExcellent 3-Quarters SidearmGood SidearmAbove Average Short Arm Approximately Average SubmarineBelow Average
Quality number of the pitcher: 1 – 5
Slot on his club: 1 – 5
Ranking is 1 to 5 & 15 for the less adventurous.
HURLERCole HamelsEdinson Volquez NUMBERA OneA Five CLUB SLOTThreeOne FOR 20123-Quarters SidearmShort Arm '12 RANKING2nd of 5 Categories4th of 5 Categories LAST STARTSplit FingerKnuckleball LAST HIGH OR LOW4th of 15 Categories11th of 15 Categories
PITCHINNER - R- HPITCHINNER 1Gyroball9 (CG)0 - 0 - 310Screwball64 2Fastball9 (CG)0 - 011Knuckleball53 3Cutter9 (CG)312Forkball0 - 4.2Monstrosity 4Split Finger7213Eephus Pitch0 - 2.2Disaster 5Curveball7314*Palm BallEjected 6Sinker6.1315*Spit Ball**Ejected+ 7Slider62*Breaking BallInjured 8Changeup63*FoshRain Interrupted 9Slurve52** = Suspended* = A 2nd Pitch Also
The next preview of Nitecap Insight is on hold due to continuing feed problems. It will return shortly at Tal’s Handy Caps on Facebook. Join for notification of future glimpses, which will be almost daily. You’ll also know immediately when my isportsweb post goes up. It might be worth your while because I have seen delays of 2 hours on feeds.
Check out my previous publication (Inner Light), and the 29 storylines–so far–for 2012 on the Phillies page or my author archives, where there is an excerpt photo.
Tal’s Handy Stats is daily coverage. I am alternating the 2012 ERA For The NL East and the 2012 ERA For The MLB 5. Thank you, to all who bookmarked the Phillies page, because feeds are erratic at times.
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