Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 5/8/12

Jonathan Papelbon–like his team, the Philadelphia Phillies–woke up recently to discover their similarities. Without Mariano Rivera and Brian Wilson, who is the best closer?  With Ryan Howard and Chase Utley recovering, what clubs are at the top and the bottom of the standings?



Penthouse Occupancy for the 5-2 outcome:  1

The Chrystal Champagne Toast is a salute to Doc Halladay.

Doc Loads Up During The 2nd At The Bank

John Mayberry Jr. visited the Leather Warehouse during the game’s first batter with an out-of-nowhere diving catch, which had that good-omen feeling. Freddy Galvis made 2 sliding plays in the 7th for Doc’s defense. His backup on a desperation throw to first stopped a sure extra base from occurring, and he snared a low pop in no-man’s land, ending the frame.

Greenhouse Cholley had company immediately right out of the chute. Jimmy Rollins laced a double, took third after a bobble, and he slide across home on Mayberry’s sac fly.

The offense sent the opposing starter to the Workhouse, providing a quick exit after only 5 innings on 101 tosses.


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 review does not mention yesterday’s contest, please go to my author archives or Phillies page for my most recent coverage. (Early morning readers may arrive before the latest post.) Scroll down to Tal’s Handy Links at the bottom. Thank you.

Chooch Scores In The 2nd


Remaining At The Top:

Papelbon picked the worse time for me to write about him, while Phillies fans are deflated from his last 3 outs of work.  Up until now, my commentary and the results on the field have not clashed, but over 162 it cannot be avoided.  That said, I would rather have him than the alternatives, and most of the natives will see it that way after they calm down.

CLOSERTEAMERASAVESOPPS.PCT. Jonathan PapelbonPhillies2.95404393.0% Mariano RiveraYankees1.94495589.1% Brian WilsonGiants3.32374288.1% Craig KimbrelBraves2.25556485.9% John AxefordBrewers2.19525496.3%

Ty Wigginton Is Out In The 8th And The Catcher Is Knocked Out Of The Game

I’ll begin with the fallen warriors of the 9th brigade after the musical-chairs hot stove. Ryan Madson hasn’t thrown a changeup since leaving Philly during even a spring-training frame. The replacement for Paps at Fenway Park is Andrew Bailey, who may return in August. So, the tune was in the air before Madson landed on the floor, while Bailey had the stool pulled from under him. Among the batch of free agents, Heath Bell has been a disaster and Francisco Cordaro accepted set-up money. Bell has blown more than he’s saved, while Cordero is locking down by default.

Rivera’s farewell tour is on hold. He is now done for ‘12, and the Yankees are endeavoring to slip under the $189M competitive-balance tax of 2014, which could put his comeback in limbo. Entering the year, Papelbon and Wilson were the top 2 in that order respectively after Mo. The Beard is also on the shelf for the entire campaign. Cinco Ocho is the last survivor on more than 1 level, and is first among hammers in the majors.

TEAMCLOSERTEAMCLOSERTEAMCLOSER PhilliesJonathan PapelbonCardinalsJason MotteGiantsSantiago Cassilla BravesCraig Kimbrel BrewersJohn AxfordDiamondbacksJ.J. Putz FishHeath BellReds*Sean MarshallDodgersKenley Jansen NationalsHenry Rodriguez**BucsJoel HanrahanRoxRafael Betancourt MetsFrank FranciscoCubs @Rafael DolisPadsHuston Street*** Cubs @*James Russell AstrosBrett Myers

@ = Team with co-closers

* = Left-Handed

** = Replacing a hammer on the DL

*** = On the disabled list

TEAMCLOSERTEAMCLOSERTEAMCLOSER Yankees David Robertson TigersJose ValverdeHalos*Scott Downs Red SoxAlfredo AcevesTwinsMatt CappsRangersJoe Nathan RaysFernando RodneyWhite Sox*Chris SaleMarinersBrandon League Blue JaysFrancisco CordoroIndiansChris PerezA'sGrant Balfour Orioles Jim JohnsonRoyalsJonathan Broxton

Kentucky Joe Pictured During His Gem In Atlanta On May 3


Joe Blanton:

He fired a CG 3-hit SO his last time out, which is the best performance from the 2012 rotation.  That was his second sparking effort in 5 chances with 2 other decent ones.  He draws their 5 for the moment, which gives him a huge advantage.

STARTERRECORDTMSTARTERRECORDDAY & TIME 2RHP Joe Blanton3-3, 2.83 ERAMets RHP Miguel Batista0-1, 6.92 ERATuesday, Night 3LHP Cliff Lee0-1, 1.96 ERAMetsRHP Dillon Gee2-2, 4.50 ERAWednesday, Night 1RHP Vance Worley2-2, 2.84 ERAPadsLHP Clayton Richard1-4, 4.89 ERAFriday, Night

Miguel Batista Works During His Last Start On April 23 At Home Against The Giants

Miguel Batista:

He is the fill-in arm of their staff with Mike Pelfrey out for the duration.  In his only scheduled showing, he was clobbered for 8 knocks, 3 free passes and 8 all-earned runs.  Those 3.2 innings and 77 pitches were his longest outing during this tour.

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.

HURLERJoe BlantonMiguel Batista NUMBERA FourA Five CLUB SLOTFiveFive FOR 2012Over The TopSubmarine '12 RANKING1st of 5 Categories5th of 5 Categories LAST STARTGyroball Forkball LAST HIGH OR LOW1st of 15 Categories12th 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



DOC HALLADAY DOC'S LINE: 7 INN, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 7 K & 107 DARTS

ACEW - LERAINN+CONVCG SOBADINNHRERBBIBBSO Total7 - 42.727.011 of 16001112.291353419098 Halladay3 - 23.287.006 of 07001049.142181811036 Lee0 - 11.967.002 of 03000023.014050502018 Hamels4 - 12.467.003 of 06000040.135121106044


The program acronym is for Methodical Algorithmic Computerization or Mac.  That is the feed system that has dogged me an entire month, but it allows me now to probe for a compatible solution.  This only involves readers who were directed here from Fox Sports.  The 2 links–Radar updated to May 2– in this section were recently passed over by a computer’s judgment.  Does the national-and-all-major-sports machine understand Phillies commentary better than local fans?  I discovered that the buttons and lights objected the most to the storyline when I submitted only that part.  So, when the electrodes decide a Nitecap Insight isn’t to their liking, I’ll give my transferred readers a viewing opportunity the next day.  I’ll keep score of acceptable to rejected submissions, because I don’t want a large readership excluded or my time wasted.



TAL 1 – MAC 0

Philadelphia Phillies storyline: under the radar

Philadelphia Phillies storyline: burn rate


If the algorithm okays this article for a full audience, Philadelphia Phillies storyline: mean street east is tomorrow’s review.


There are previews–time permitting–of my next storyline 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 recent publication (The Height Of The Wall) and the 43 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.


TAL’S HANDY CAPS at Facebook

Philadelphia Phillies storyline: the opponent’s value

Philadelphia Phillies

Tal Venada

Philadelphia Phillies: 2012 ERA for the NL East at game 29

Most strikeouts by a hitter in a single season
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