Tag Archives: halladay

The Morning Edition (April 14, 2013)

Clip art illustration of a Cartoon Tiger with a Missing Tooth


From Last Night:

  • Matt Harvey takes a no-hitter into the 7th in a 4-2 win over the Twins
  • Wainwright throws a CGSO with 12K in an 8-0 thumping of the Crew
  • Strasburg gives the Nats 6 strong innings, but Hudson is better as the Braves win 3-1

What I’m Watching Today:

  • Roy Halladay tries to right the ship again, this time against the Fish in Miami (1p Eastern)
  • Maholm and Gonzalez face off in DC (1p Eastern)
  • Phil Humber and the Astros look to take advantage of the slumping Halos (330p Eastern)

The Big Question:

  • If Halladay can’t get going against the Marlins, is it time to talk DL?

The two big stories for me on a full Saturday of baseball were Harvey and Wainwright. Harvey continues to dominate and came within a few outs of throwing the second no-hitter in Mets history. His fastball got faster as the game went on and all four pitches looked great in his standout performance. I’ve been drooling over him all season, and he just keeps delivering. I’m officially putting Harvey on the list of pitchers who are appointment television right now. The list includes Verlander, Kershaw, King Felix, Strasburg, and now Harvey. It’s a fluid list, but right now, I don’t think you can afford to miss a Matt Harvey start. Speaking of appointment TV, have you seen what Wainwright is doing this season? After his CGSO today, he has thrown 22IP with 24 strikeouts and 0 walks. To find another pitcher with no walks, you have to drop down to Cliff Lee who has thrown 7 2/3 fewer innings and after that you have to go down to Kyle Lohse who only has 13 innings this season. I think it’s safe to say Adam Wainwright has fully recovered from his Tommy John Surgery and is back to being an ace.

The Morning Edition (April 4, 2013)

Clip art illustration of a Cartoon Tiger with a Missing Tooth

From Last Night:

  • Matt Joyce walks-off in an 8-7 win over the Orioles
  • Joey Votto, not to be outdone, hits a walk-off single not ten minutes later in a 5-4 win over the Halos
  • Ervin Santana allows 3 HR in his Royals debut, loses to the White Sox
  • Matt Harvey tosses 7 1-hit innings and fans 10 Padres in an 8-4 win
  • Halladay strikes out 9, walks 3, and allows 5 runs in 3 1/3 innings in a loss to the Braves

What I’m Watching Today:

  • Cliff Lee and Kris Medlen face off in Atlanta in the only premier pitching matchup of the day (7p Eastern)

The Big Question:

  • Which #3/4 starters will give their teams a boost in the first week?

The early season is a great time for hilarious quirks of small sample sizes. Those of you who follow me on Twitter know that yesterday I was abuzz about Yu Darvish’s -0.27 FIP. In other words, FIP thinks his strikeout rate, walk rate, homerun rate, and IFFB rate should yield outcomes that literally take runs away from the opposing team. That is quite impressive. Another sample size issue I’m tracking is which player is the first past 1.0 WAR. As I write this, Darvish’s 0.6 is the closest, but on average we wouldn’t expect to see it happen until we were about 10-20 games into the season. I think my money will be on Harper. Much of what happened last night can be encapsulated in the lines above, but yesterday was the first day in which all 30 teams were in action and the benefits of that were reaped by those of us watching around 10pm. I really missed watching MLB Network go back and forth as so many games went down to the wire. Man, baseball is great and I’m never sleeping again.

The Morning Edition (April 3, 2013)

Clip art illustration of a Cartoon Tiger with a Missing Tooth

From Last Night:

  • Yu Darvish nearly twirls the 24th perfect game in MLB history in his first start of the season in Houston.
  • Robinson Cano fired Scott Boras and hired Jay-Z to be his agent. That was not my attempt at humor, but rather something that actually occurred. This should be a sign that Cano plans to stay in New York.
  • Arencibia struggled to handle Dickey’s knuckleball in a 4-1 loss to the Tribe.
  • The Orioles exploded for 5 in the 7th to beat the Rays 7-4. Price gave up 2 runs in 6 innings.

What I’m Watching Today:

  • Halladay makes his season debut against the Braves (7p Eastern)
  • Matt Harvey looks to pick up where last season ended against the Padres (7p Eastern)
  • Lincecum and Beckett duel in a battle of pitchers in need of a bounce back season (10p Eastern)

The Big Question:

  • How will the pitchers coming off bad seasons and injuries fare as the open the season?

The big story last night was obviously Yu Darvish who flirted with perfection in Houston against the Astros. He struck out 14 in 8 2/3 innings and didn’t allow a baserunner until there were two outs in the 9th. The Rangers ace looked dominant even if it was against the league’s worst team. His pitch count was elevated early on due to the numerous strikeouts, but he increased his efficiency in the middle innings to temper the worry about a potential pitch count meets perfect game quandary. Bowa and Ripkin on MLB Tonight said they wouldn’t let him go more than 105 in his first start, but Padres fan and host Matt Vasgersian reminded them that some teams fans have never seen a no-hitter and those shouldn’t be cast aside lightly. It was a fun night staying up with Darvish and his quest, even if it ultimately came up short. We’ve only seen 23 perfect games in MLB history and it’s always great to follow along with one, but it’s actually even rarer to see some lose it to the final batter. Darvish becomes just the 11th pitcher to lose a perfect game to the 27th batter. He was masterful and clearly in midseason form in what made for the most exciting game of the young season (Take that Kershaw!). Man, I can’t wait to see Verlander face the Astros. It’s good to have baseball back.

2012 Season in Review: Philadelphia Phillies

81-81, 3rd in the NL East

After years atop the NL East, the Phillies stubbed their toe in 2012. Picked by many to head back to the playoffs, they finished the season .500 and failed to make the playoffs for the first time in six seasons.

The disappointment comes in two phases. The offense problems were predictable. Carlos Ruiz (5.5 WAR) had a very strong season behind the plate before his offseason suspension and Jimmy Rollins (4.4) provided a lot of value at short. Chase Utley (3.2) was very good, but only played half a season. Shane Victorino’s 2.2 WAR in 101 games was also a good showing, even if he isn’t the player he used to be.

Other than that, the Phillies didn’t get a lot of great offensive contributions and were very average as a team.

Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels had down-ballot Cy Young Type seasons, but Roy Halladay had an injury plagued campaign. Halladay was a solid starter in 2012, but that’s a far cry from his “best in the game” credentials. Vance Worley, Kyle Kendrick, and Joe Blanton combined to fill out the remaining rotation spots and did a respectable job doing so.

Jonathan Papelbon had a good season in the first year of his too-big contract, but the rest of the bullpen struggled. The rotation was top ten, but the bullpen was mediocre.

Collectively, the Phillies were just an average team in a tough division. They played better later on in the season and got some top flight performances from their stars, but not enough to live up to their high expectations.

The rotation is still great heading into 2013 and Ben Revere in center and the-maybe-upgrade of Michael Young at third should give them a boost. Ryan Howard is still a serious problem at first. The corner outfield is still up in the air.

The Phillies should be better in 2013, but they played below their potential in 2012.

2012 Grade: C

Early 2013 Projection: 85-77

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