Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 10/23/14
Roy Halladay and the aces of the Philadelphia Phillies are living up to their billing, but not all other hyped staffs are. The experts say pitching continues to be the dominant force, but are they relying on easy numbers? Is it worth watching a national baseball broadcast to hear surface-oriented information? Facts are like an iceberg: Most of it is below the visible line. TAL'S HANDY CAPS   CAP-SIZE HINDSIGHT:
Penthouse Occupancy for the 6-4 triumph:  7 The Crystal Champagne Toast is a salute to Polly Polanco. He drove in the two-out winning run with a 8th-inning, 2-RBI double during his 2 for 5 night. Plus, he stopped the series pest with his glove. Jimmy Rollins initiated that rally in the 1st and kept the 8th frame alive. Hunter Pence produced defensively and offensively in the 1st. Vance Worley had another solid 7 complete, allowing only 1 to score. The other lumber-carrying personnel were: Chooch Ruiz (2 key RBI), Pete Orr and Ty Wigginton with 2 knocks each. The Warehouse displayed Hunter’s gun; he nailed an attempt for a two-bagger right out of the gate. Polly nipped the speedster of the Cubs on a bunting-for-a-hit effort in the 4th. J-Roll paid a visit to Greenhouse Cholley with a leadoff bunt single in the 1st. He was immediately joined by Shane Victorino (infield dribbler), and Pence with his RBI up the middle, moving Vic to second. Rally Tal & Cap in the 1st: Hunter (1), Chooch (2) and Orr (1) plated 4 tallies on 3 knocks. In the 8th the 2 scores were the result of a one-out HBP, a single with 1 remaining strike, and a double to ice the victory. A House Call and DL stint was ordered for David Herndon’s right-elbow inflammation.   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.   UPDATED  REQUEST: This is the first of two reviews that will be republished this week.  The feed–that has dogged me–apparently has a glitch at certain hours, which I will now avoid to prevent this problem by altering my timeframe.  I trust my regular readers will bear with me.  Thank you, I do appreciate your site visits.     NITECAP INSIGHT:       Unconventional Smarts:   Logic dictates that the national voices are the most knowledgeable, but I’ve heard things about my club that I know to be different. Time has provided me with certain conclusions. When you spread yourself over multiple sports or teams, you have holes in your analysis. One-size-fits-all statistics are one way to compensate for breakdown depth. Age and recent performance is another dissection tool with short research. Because there are just so many working hours daily, I follow only the red pinstripes and the rest of the majors with the leftover minutes. My ERA stats provide me with information on the division and the other top MLB rotations. The only number employed by the experts to determine that pitching is superior is the trending combined ERA for all 30 franchises. This glosses over the individual statistics for 6 of the top 12 staffs, and I cover 8 in my MLB 5 plus the NL East. That means I’m watching 8 squads very closely. These ERA results indicate that somebody is hitting: Atlanta (3.94), Milwaukee (5.12), the Halos (3.97), the Yankees (4.33), Boston (5.54) and Tampa Bay (4.03). New York entered 2012 with 7 starters and now are banking on Andy Pettitte’s return. Freddy Garcia and Phil Hughes have been torched, while Michael Pineda is shutdown with shoulder issues that began immediately in camp due to velocity loss. Jair Jurrjens of the Braves has been demoted to Triple-A, and there are other examples under the radar. Juan Pierre is the best illustration that not every age-34+ player is shot. He created a good problem for the Dodgers in 2009 with Manny Ramirez out a good chunk of weeks. He hit .308 for 380 at-bats, and they were forced to take him out of the lineup, when the authorities had previously said he was definitely not a regular. Athletes are not chess pawns. They have ambition, opportunity, personality, competitiveness, pride, heart and a host of other human attributes. That’s why Pierre is averaging .318, and Cholley Manuel will find a place for him in the order.   PRECAP PITCH:     Cole Hamels:   On this unit he is the 3rd best arm, he is behind Cliff Lee barely, and both are trailing Doc Halladay. His growth has been heavily influenced by his good fortune to have Halladay, Lee, Roy Oswalt, Pedro Martinez and Jamie Moyer around for advice. He has been successful against Atlanta and that should continue tonight.   STARTERRECORDTMSTARTERRECORDDAY & TIME 1LHP Cole Hamels3-1, 2.73 ERA@ BravesRHP Brandon Beachy2-1, 1.05 ERATuesday, Night 2RHP Doc Halladay3-2, 1.95 ERA@ BravesRHP Tommy Hanson3-2, 3.00 ERAWednesday, Night 3RHP Joe Blanton2-3, 3.81 ERA@ BravesRHP Randall Delgado2-2, 6/30 ERAThursday, Day   Brandon Beachy:   He is off to a playing-above-his-head 2012, and his stats will probably even out by May’s end. That said, he always seems to give the Phils a difficult night even with Chase Utley and Ryan Howard. You can expect a low-scoring contest.     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 HamelsBrandon Beachy NUMBERA OneA Four CLUB SLOTThreeThree FOR 2012Over The TopOver The Top '12 RANKING1st of 5 Categories1st of 5 Categories LAST STARTCutter*Curveball* LAST HIGH OR LOW3rd of 15 Categories5th 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     LINK-UP BELOW: 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 previous publication (The Queue), and the 39 storylines–so far–for 2012 on the Phillies page or my author archives, where there is an excerpt photo.  The Apocalyptic Horsemen Stats are in my recent review listed below. 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: pecking order Philadelphia Phillies storyline: unconventional smarts (Horsemen Stats) Philadelphia Phillies Tal Venada Philadelphia Phillies: 2012 ERA for the MLB 5 at game 22                  
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