Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 10/25/14
Cole Hamels of the Philadelphia Phillies was in complete control after the 1st, and this is considered the MLB norm?  However, elsewhere in the starter-dominated competition, some of the better rotations are floundering.  Why are my eyes deceiving my ears and my preconceived notions? TAL'S HANDY CAPS CAP-SIZE HINDSIGHT: Penthouse Occupancy for the 8-2 triumph:  6 The Crystal Champagne Toast is a salute to Ty Wigginton. Ty Wigginton Scores On The 8th-Inning Swinging Bunt He smacked a warning-track sac-fly to tie the contest in the 7th. He cleared the sacks with a 2-out two-bagger, and scored on a stayed-fair swinging bunt in the following frame. Jimmy Rollins knocked in a 1st-inning run and initiated a double steal. Hunter Pence beat the throw on the trail end of the twin robberies. J-Roll and Hunter took the extra sack in the 7th on a short-distance wild pitch, but the backstop targeted 2nd base. Free-swinging Pence earned a bases-juiced walk for a 8th-frame insurance run on a 3-2 count. Hamels executed a 2-strike bunt in the home 6th, albeit with the scoring-starved lineup behind by 1 point. He also fired a 7 complete, 10 punch-out victory. Pierre slapped 3 singles and slide across the dish for run one. During the 7th Laynce Nix doubled in the 3rd tally for a 1-run advantage. Wigginton became customer number one at the Steak House with 4 RBI–hold the taters. WELCOME, NEWCOMERS: 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. Juan Pierre Dives Across The Plate For Run One In The 1st NITECAP INSIGHT:    First Returns: It’s not that the red pinstripes aren’t hitting; they are.  They are a singles machine, which makes a 10-knock barrage look flat.  I harbor no illusion that until Chase Utley and Ryan Howard return that this will be a .500 team. They will have a hot streak and a cold spell along the way.  That said, the bigger parks in San Francisco and San Diego are better suited for their now.  The Phils have pitching, defense, 1-bag lumber and speed.  The Giants have big mound issues and the Pads are no offensive juggernaut. This Guy Needs More Than Yesterday's Mop-Up 9th I have to admit that either I’m ahead of the curve or utterly clueless. I hear that everybody is having hitting difficulties, because the arms are the dominant force for the 3rd straight campaign. However, the ERA stats aren’t co-operating with the common wisdom, like how the batters are at a disadvantage in April. Combining the best of the NL East and 2011-12 MLB 5, I found 12 organizations. Here are some rotation-only numbers to munch on: Milwaukee (6.49 ERA), Boston (5.87 ERA), the Yankees (5.26 ERA), the Halos (5.23 ERA), Tampa Bay (4.83 ERA), Miami (4.25 ERA), San Francisco (3.99 ERA), Atlanta (3.70 ERA) and St. Louis (3.48 ERA). The Phillies, Nats and Dodgers are the other 3. I only list the strongest of each staff. The Brewers have Yovani Gallardo (5.91 ERA), Zack Greinke (6.75 ERA) and Randy Wolf (10.61 ERA). The Sox have Josh Beckett (5.68 ERA), who annually alternates excellence with shortcomings, and Clay Buchholz (9.82 ERA). C.C. Sabathia (6.75 ERA) struggles at the beginning of every tour, they said. He had a worse send-off in 2008 and this is already second to that. Entering 2012, the Angels were 4 deep on the bump, but Dan Haren (6.97 ERA) and Ervin Santana (7.71 ERA) make 2. I heard all about the young wings on the Rays, because fans fall in love with players who have a small sample size. David Price (4.82 ERA) and James Shields (5.54 ERA) are the anchors of that crew. The other surprises are: Josh Johnson (8.38 ERA), Tim Lincecum (12.91 ERA), Jair Jurrjens (7.71 ERA) and Adam Wainwright (11.42 ERA). That’s 14 studs who are getting hit by somebody, which is out of 33 total. Tonight, we’ll face the Freak, who has lost some of his luster over the last year. We just might be catching him out to lunch at Fisherman’s Wharf. Doc Medicates The Fish In The 2nd At The Bank On April 11 PRECAP PITCH: Doc Halladay: He is the undisputed number one of the franchise, who has only improved since he arrived.  He has retaken the hill with a man-on-a-mission attitude, putting up zeros in almost every inning. STARTERRECORDTMSTARTERRECORDDAY & TIME 1RHP Doc Halladay2-0, 0.60 ERA@ GiantsRHP Tim Lincecum0-1, 12.91 ERAMonday, Late Night
2RHP Joe Blanton1-1, 2.35 ERA@ GiantsLHP Madison Bumgarner1-1, 3.97 ERATuesday, Late Night 3LHP Cliff Lee0-1, 3.46 ERA@ GiantsRHP Matt Cain1-0, 3.00 ERAWednesday, Late Night The Freak Tosses A Changeup In Denver On April 11
Tim Lincecum: His struggles have followed him into the new season.  That means he has had a noticeable drop in velocity, relies on his changeup primarily, and he gets clobbered when clubs divine his pattern.  He has had two clunkers already and accumulated 9 last summer, while the 3 aces combined for 10. Quality number of the pitcher:  1 – 5 Slot on his club:  1 – 5 Ranking is 1 to 5 & 15 for the less adventurous. HURLERDoc HalladayTim Lincecum NUMBERA OneA One CLUB SLOTOneOne FOR 2012Over The TopSubmarine '12 RANKING1st of 5 Categories5th of 5 Categories LAST STARTCutter*Eephus Pitch LAST HIGH OR LOW3rd of 15 Categories13th of 15 Categories DISPLAY NOTE:  Non-listed results can go up or down by * 1 notch & ** 2 clicks (This note will only appear when it’s relevant.) * 1 Tick UP 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


COLE HAMELS LINE: 7.0 INN, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 10 K & 102 DARTS ACEW - LERAINN+CONVCG SOBADINNHRERBBIBBSO Total3 - 22.467.04 of 600040.12812114038 Halladay2 - 00.607.02 of 200015.00701011008 Lee0 - 13.467.01 of 200013.00705052011 Hamels1 - 13.657.01 of 200012.11406051019 2ND TURN OF THE HORSEMEN: ACEW - LERAINN+CONVCG SOBADINNHRERBBIBBSO Total2-13.007.0+3 of 300021.016772020 Halladay1-01.297.01 of 100007.005111003 Lee0-15.147.01 of 100007.005440007 Hamels1-02.577.01 of 100007.006221010 LINK-UP BELOW: The next preview is Nitecap Insight:  Coasting Leftward (1st paragraph).  It will be 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 (Seeds Of Success), and the 25 storylines–so far–for 2012 on the Phillies page or my author archives, where there is an excerpt photo. This article ran into feed difficulty, absent and/or tardy. 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. TAL'S HANDY LINKS TAL’S HANDY CAPS at Facebook Philadelphia Phillies storyline: mind games Philadelphia Phillies Tal Venada Philadelphia Phillies: 2012 ERA for the NL East at game 9 Philadelphia Phillies: 2012 ERA for the MLB 5 at game 8

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