Tag Archives: phillies

The Morning Edition (August 4, 2013)

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From Last Night:

  • A fine start by Haren leads the Brewers to victory
  • Price goes 9 again, but the Rays need a hit from Myers in the 10th to win
  • The Sox back Peavy in his Fenway debut
  • Liriano walks 5, but doesn’t allow a run as the Pirates beat the Rockies
  • Oakland beats Garza and the Rangers, 4-2
  • Braves beat the Phillies in 12
  • Maxwell’s 12th inning HR lifts the Royals

What I’m Watching Today:

  • Santana goes against Wheeler at Citi (1p Eastern)
  • McCarthy returns to the mound at Fenway (130p Eastern)
  • Holland and Griffin face off in Oakland (4p Eastern)
  • Alex Wood and Cliff Lee do it on Sunday Night (8p Eastern)

The Big Question:

  • Who is baseball’s worst baserunner?

There were some conversations on MLB Tonight on Saturday about bad baserunning and it made me curious. I often look at the top of the leaderboard, but rarely at the bottom. You can find more about some of the stats below right here, but they are all pretty clear. Entering Saturday….

Worst overall BsR (overall baserunning value): Allen Craig

Worst Basestealer (wSB, combines value of SB and cost of CS): Gerardo Parra

Worst Baserunner, not counting wSB (UBR = BsR – wSB): Allen Craig

Most Outs on the Bases (count of outs made when the player is not forced to the base): Allen Craig/Howie Kendrick

Extra Bases Taken (measures how often a player takes an extra base): Paul Konerko

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Appointment Television: Baseball’s Must Watch Starting Pitchers (August 2013 Update)

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In May, I rolled out our list of Appointment Television starting pitchers, or pitchers who were worth planning your baseball viewing (and life) schedule around. Today, as I did in June and July, I’d like to update that list and talk about the changes. The original list can be found here, which also includes a little more detail on the origin of the project. Recall that the order is tiered into stable and non stable (italics), but each ranking is meaningless.

Here is the gist from the original:

The methodology is simple but also subjective. To be classified as Appointment TV you have to have a high likelihood of pitching a gem. There is no set definition of gem or likelihood, but the idea is that to make this list, you have to be likely enough to throw a game worth clearing your schedule for. I think a number of pitchers qualify. Most are high strikeout guys, but that isn’t a requirement. If you are good enough to dominate on a semi-regular basis you’re in. If on your day to pitch, I make sure I’m aware of the start time so that I can check in, you’re Appointment TV.

This is a rolling list and pitchers will be added and subtracted throughout the season and it will be updated as necessary. There is no order other than that pitchers lower on the list in italics are recent additions, so if you’re wondering if Jordan Zimmermann really qualifies, know that he’s earned his way onto the list in his last few starts. Remember, this is a list of pitchers who on this date are can’t miss TV. These are not necessarily the best pitchers and plenty of good pitchers aren’t on the list.

Appointment Television Starting Pitchers:

  1. Justin Verlander
  2. Adam Wainwright
  3. Clayton Kershaw
  4. Felix Hernandez
  5. Yu Darvish
  6. Matt Harvey
  7. Cliff Lee
  8. Max Scherzer
  9. Anibal Sanchez
  10. Stephen Strasburg
  11. Chris Sale
  12. Doug Fister
  13. Jose Fernandez
  14. David Price
  15. Shelby Miller
  16. Mat Latos
  17. Derek Holland
  18. Jordan Zimmerman
  19. Francisco Liriano
  20. Homer Bailey
  21. Partrick Corbin
  22. Hiroki Kuroda
  23. Clay Buchholz  (On the DL, no return set)

Let’s talk about the changes. First of all, Jose Fernandez made the jump from the borderline region into the stable region because he continues to impress during his rookie season. Jordan Zimmernmann falls into the fringe ranks because while he is still pitching well, he hasn’t been turning in dominating, turn the game on and notice performances.

Everyone else on the list is in the same spot and the remaining changes are those who have joined the party. Francisco Liriano is impressing in Pittsburgh over his 95 IP this season. If he remains healthy, he should hold his spot on the list. Price is an obvious addition to the list. He’s been dominant since coming off the DL and was one of the top pitchers in the game last season. He’s now healthy and even more efficient than before.

Bailey, Corbin, and Kuroda are all having very nice seasons and have earned their way onto the list. They don’t make me turn my head quite as much as some others, but they have now pitched their way to the point where I will always be aware when they are on the mound.

Feel free to make a case for other starting pitchers who are must watch guys and we’ll consider adding them to the list.

The Morning Edition (August 2, 2013)

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From Last Night:

  • Felix goes 7 innings, allowed 1 run and leaves with a 7-1 lead. The Mariners gave up 1 in the 8th and 6 in the 9th to fall to the Red Sox.

  • Darvish strikes out 14 batters, walks none, in 7 shutout innings
  • The Cardinals pummel the Pirates to salvage one of five in Pittsburgh
  • Hamels throws 8 shutout innings, Papelbon blows it
  • Norris is solid against his old club
  • Indians and Royals keep their winning streaks going as Raburn hits 2 HR
  • 11 K for Teheran as the Braves beat the Rockies

What I’m Watching Today:

  • Jose Fernandez looks to slow the Tribe (7p Eastern)
  • Bumgarner faces Archer (7p Eastern)
  • Shelby Miller leads the Cards into Cinci (7p Eastern)
  • Zimmermann tries to get back on track against the Crew (8p Eastern)

The Big Question:

  • Who do you like in the NL Central?

The Pirates, Cardinals, and Reds are all 60+ win teams and have clear paths to the playoffs. The Cardinals have the lowest floor, the Pirates are playing well, and the Reds are probably the most talented. But Cards don’t have Yadi, the Pirates are playing above their heads, and the Reds have Dusty holding them back. They’re all good teams and will likely all make it at least until the play-in game. My money is on the Cardinals, but it’s going to be fun.

The Morning Edition (August 1, 2013)

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From Last Night:

  • Essentially nothing happens at the trading deadline
  • The Pirates win their 4th game in 3 days against the Cardinals
  • Minor dominates as the Braves crush the Rockies
  • Three Astros pitchers I’ve literally never heard of shutout the Orioles
  • The Indians walk off on the White Sox
  • Beltre and the Rangers walk off on the Angels
  • Bailey dominates the Padres

What I’m Watching Today:

  • Sale takes on Masterson in Cleveland (12p Eastern)
  • Matt Harvey day! (1230p Eastern)
  • Someone named Zeke Spruill pitches against Darvish (7p Eastern)
  • Cain and Hamels in Philly (7p Eastern)
  • The Cardinals try to avoid a 5 game sweep in PIT (7p Eastern)
  • Felix faces the Sox (7p Eastern)

The Big Question:

  • Are you ready for the A-Rod coverage?

With such an incredible day of baseball behind us it is sad to realize that a ridiculous amount of coverage will be focused on the impending attempt of MLB to ban Alex Rodriguez for life. A-Rod. The Yankees. The City of New York. Steroids. I’m surprised ESPN hasn’t melted already. Let’s talk about the games, okay? The Pirates have won four straight against the Cardinals and might grab a fifth today. The Pirates are going to finish over .500 and will likely make the playoffs. Woah.

How Was The Game? (July 28, 2013)

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Another blowout.

Tigers 12. Phillies 4

Despite losing Miguel Cabrera and Jim Leyland to Chad Fairchild’s questionable sense of superiority, the Tigers had no trouble completing an impressive sweep of the Philadelphia Phillies. Rick Porcello (19 GS, 112.1 IP, 4.49 ERA, 3.51 FIP, 2.0 WAR) was solid, but hardly necessary, giving the Tigers 6 innings of 3 run baseball in which he struck out 3 and walked 2 (1 intentional). The Phillies scattered their runs, but the Tigers unloaded in big assaults. The Tigers got 3 in the 5th to tie it and 8 in the 6th on one of the worst defensive innings you’ll ever see from the Phillies. Peralta capped it off with a grand slam and the Tigers tacked on an extra run in the 7th for good measure. The win gives the Tigers three straight and 7 of 8 to move to 59-45 on the season. They will take Monday off in preparation for a two game set with the Nationals in which Anibal Sanchez (17 GS, 104 IP, 2.68 ERA, 2.39 FIP, 3.5 WAR) will start game one.

The Moment: Peralta caps an 8 run inning with a no doubt grand slam homerun.

How Was The Game? (July 27, 2013)

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A good old fashioned laugher.

Tigers 10, Phillies 0

Despite the 40 minute rain delay, the Tigers didn’t have any trouble getting off to a good start on Saturday as they annihilated the Phillies without much trouble. Max Scherzer (21 GS, 143.2 IP, 3.01 ERA, 2.72 FIP, 4.3 WAR) put the Phillies away easily in the 1st and allowed just one baserunner across his 6 innings of work to go with 7 strikeouts. Leyland pulled him after just 75 pitches to save some bullets because the Tigers offense unloaded early and often. They got 5 runs in the first on a Cabrera HR, Peralta single, and Tuiasosopo HR to the shrubs in dead center. They added 3 in the 2nd, and single runs in the 4th and 5th to run the score up to 10-0 before the Phillies knew what hit them and every Tigers starter had reached base at least once before the night was over. The Tigers went to Alburquerque for 2 innings and Reed for one to finish out the ballgame and coast to their 58th win. They’ll turn around and go for the sweep on Sunday behind Rick Porcello (18 GS, 106.1 IP, 4.49 ERA, 3.55 FIP, 1.9 WAR) who looks to keep his strong season going.

The Moment: Tuiasosopo crushes a 3 run HR to dead center to put this one away early.

How Was The Game? (July 26, 2013)

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A thing of beauty.

Tigers 2, Phillies 1

In life, it’s so rare that something lives up to the hype but I’m confident in saying this duel between Cole Hamels and Doug Fister (21 GS, 135 IP, 3.67 ERA, 3.31 FIP, 2.9 WAR) did. Hamels’ only blemish was a 2 run double he allowed to Avila in the 5th and Fister allowed just a single unearned run in the 3rd. Fister gave the Tigers a brilliant effort, going 8 innings and allowing just 3 hits and 1 walk to go with his 6 strikeouts. It was everything a great Fister start should be. He was efficient, he got ground balls, and he made hitters look silly with tons of movement on the fastball and a curve about which you could write poetry. After today’s start, Fister is now 3rd in MLB in ground ball percentage and 7th in the league in walk percentage. Both teams also treated us to some great defense to put the cherry on top of the sundae that was this game, including some solid work by Santiago and a doozy of a grab by Nix in RF for the Phils. The win pushes the Tigers to 57-45 and they will avoid Cliff Lee on Saturday due to an injury. The Tigers will send Max Scherzer (20 GS, 137.2 IP, 3.14 ERA, 2.81 FIP, 4.0 WAR) to the mound to face his replacement.

The Moment: Fister gets a standing ovation after retiring 13 of the final 14 batters he faced.

The Morning Edition (July 24, 2013)

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From Last Night:

  • Myers and Longoria homer, but the Rays finally lose to the Sox
  • Dodgers out slug the Jays, 10-9
  • Cole leads the Pirates over the Nats
  • Miller gives the Cards 6 scoreless in win over the Phils
  • Yanks get two in the 9th to top the Rangers
  • A fine start from Fernandez leads the Fish past the Rockies
  • Parker and Cosart pitch well in Houston

What I’m Watching Today:

  • Liriano and Strasburg face off in DC (7p Eastern)
  • Price goes against the Red Sox (7p Eastern)
  • Garza makes his Rangers debut in NY (7p Eastern)
  • Jacob Turner heads to Coors (830p Eastern)

The Big Question:

  • Which young NL pitcher, not named Harvey, do you like?

These numbers are fun. After last night, take a look:

Name IP K% BB% ERA- FIP- xFIP- WAR
Shelby Miller 110.2 26.50% 6.70% 76 81 88 2.3
Jose Fernandez 111.2 24.70% 9.30% 72 84 92 2.0

I was on the Miller bandwagon early, but Fernandez has really impressed me lately. Tough call.

The Morning Edition (July 23, 2013)

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From Last Night:

  • MLB suspends Ryan Braun for the remainder of the season
  • Rangers acquire Garza from the Cubs
  • Matt Moore gets the CGSO as the Rays beat the Sox, move to 18-2 in their last 20
  • Feldman’s solid start lifts the O’s over the Royals
  • Gee flirts with a no-no, but the Braves take the game in the 9th
  • Grilli hurt in win over the Nats

What I’m Watching Today:

  • Jarrod Parker and Jarred Cosart pitch in Houston (8p Eastern)
  • Miller pitches against the Phils (8p Eastern)
  • Jose Fernandez heads to Coors (830p Eastern)
  • Corbin gets the Cubs (930p Eastern)

The Big Question:

  • Thoughts on the Braun suspension?

Obviously the Braun news populated the headlines on Monday, and I have a lot of disjointed reactions I’d like to share. Recognize that these don’t all go together or in order:

  • I want MLB or MLBPA to lay out the evidence they have against him. I understand Braun accepted the punishment, which is a partial admission of wrongdoing, but the info that has been made public is not grounds for punishment. I want to know what it is they have on him before I make my final judgments about a person’s character. I see no reason to rush to judgment.
  • Braun broke the rules, it appears, and lied about it boldly. That was wrong, but let’s not act like this is such a terrible thing. He should be punished, but this is a sport that has no punishment for dangerous felonies like DUIs. Braun behaved badly, but this isn’t the worst thing an MLB player has done in the last two seasons. Perspective would be nice.
  • Also, most people break rules to get advantages in life. Braun is to blame and deserves punishment, but you’re not perfect either.
  • Braun being linked to BioGen doesn’t mean the failed test in 2011 was legitimate. The two may not be related. Again, I want to see some evidence. If they are related, my reaction will be different. Evidence is important, speculation is not.
  • People are going to town on Braun for tearing down the “sample transporter” person from 2011 and think he should apologize. That person didn’t do his job correctly, even if Braun was dirty. Braun’s guilt doesn’t make up for that guy’s failure. Braun might not have been nice to him, but Braun’s career was at stake. You might have done the same.
  • Finally, imagine how you would feel if it was you or a close family member. I’m not asking you to feel sorry for him, but I am asking you to temper your reaction accordingly. He’s a public figure and there are no consequences for anything you say behind a keyboard, so you probably feel okay spewing vitriol. But seriously, this is a person who made a bad choice. He didn’t kill anyone, he didn’t endanger others. The reaction to Braun is not properly weighted to the severity of the offense.
  • If he’s guilty, he should be punished. But that’s it. The focus should be on the field, not on the people who made choices to take themselves off of it. Instead of vilifying Braun, why don’t you celebrate the ones left in the game.

The Morning Edition (July 22, 2013)

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From Last Night:

  • Harvey dominates the Phils over 7 innings, allows 3 H and 10 K as Lee struggles
  • Masterson flirts with a no-hitter in a 7-1 win over the Twins
  • Giants waste a great start from Bumgarner
  • Colon drops a CGSO on the Angels
  • Wainwright’s 8 strong innings lead the Cards over the Padres
  • Felix turns in 6 solid inning as the Mariners thrash the Astros
  • Peralta and Alvarez throw gems, but it takes a Gindl walk off in the 13th to finalize the Crew and Fish
  • Kershaw throws well, Zimmermann gets rocked in Dodgers win at Nats
  • Bailey K’s 12 but the Reds fall to the Bucs
  • Rays win…again

What I’m Watching Today:

  • Darvish comes to Yankee Stadium (7p Eastern)
  • Scherzer and Sale (8p Eastern)
  • Garza showcase continues against Skaggs in AZ (930p Eastern)
  • Lincecum returns to the mound for the first time since his no-hitter (10p Eastern)

The Big Question:

  • Should the Rays scare you?

The answer is yes under certain conditions. First, if you cheer for the Rays, no the Rays should not scare you. Also, if you’re team is wildly out of the race, then you should just enjoy baseball and not sweat the standings. But everyone else should be worried because the Rays are dangerous. They probably won’t sustain a 17-2 pace for the rest of the season but they are putting the East on notice. On May 7th, the Rays were 14-18 and looked like they weren’t going to be able to provide their usually excellent starting pitching. Since then, they are 44-23, which is a 106 win pace. This is a good team that just had their rough stretch early, which is often a nice way to lull your opponents into a false sense of security. I picked the Rays to win the East and haven’t wavered. They are baseball’s 3rd best offense and 11th best pitching staff and have one of baseball’s best managers and easily the best GM. This is a team that should scare you. They have one of the game’s best in Longoria, an excellent super utility guy in Zobrist, the underrated Jennings, the young Myers, and the lightning in a bottle Loney. Not to mention the pitching is back. They Rays are hot and are only going to cool off a little.

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