Phillies split series, find success scoring early

Nothing has been more frustrating this baseball season than watching the Phillies go six,seven, or even sometimes eight innings without a run and wasting a great outing from Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, or even Vance Worley.  It’s painstaking to watch a team put up consistent zeros in the runs column, especially when that team has been a serious World Series contender for about five years now.  So when the Phillies came up to bat in the first inning and quickly put four runs on the board, it was hard for even the most doubtful of fans to keep a smile off of their faces.  From that point on, Vance Worley was strong, the Phillies defense was solid and just less than three hours later,  the Phillies had salvaged a four-game series with the Cubs. Continue reading

Vance Worley looks good, but Phillies drop series with Pirates

The theme of this season for the Phillies seems to be question marks.  There is a big question mark next to the return dates of Ryan Howard and Chase Utley, question marks as to how the Phillies offense will fare this year with an aging core of players.  Question marks as to whether or not Jimmy Rollins’ contract will be worthwhile or not.  However, one of the biggest question marks coming into the 2012 season was that of fourth starter Vance Worley and if he would be able to repeat the success of his rookie season.

Worley had a fantastic rookie campaign, finishing third in NL Rookie of the Year voting after  posting an 11-3 record with a 3.01 ERA and a complete game in 21 starts.  But Worley had struggled a bit at times, especially against teams that had already seen him, bringing some to worry about his ability to play in the 2012 season. Continue reading

Season Preview: Starting Pitching

In 2007 the Phillies had one of the most dominant offenses in baseball, coming in second place in the MLB, as a team, in total runs, home runs, slugging percentage and on-base-plus-slugging (OPS).  In addition, the Phillies had the 2007 MVP in Jimmy Rollins, as well as Ryan Howard and Chase Utley, both of whom finished in the top ten in MVP voting.  However, the Phillies pitching was far different from their hitting, finishing 23rd in ERA, and batting average against, as well as 20th in quality starts, 18th in strikeouts, and a pitiful 27th in shutouts.  All of this was even with Cole Hamels, who was an All-Star and finished sixth in Cy Young voting with 15 wins, a 3.39 ERA and 1.12 WHIP that was sixth best in the MLB.  It did not take long for the Phillies pitching to catch up to them, as they were bounced from the playoffs in just four games by the eventual World Series runner-up Colorado Rockies.

The next year, the Phillies made major improvements to their pitching staff, adding key pieces like 2008 hero Brad Lidge and Jamie Moyer to help fill the team’s major holes.  The additions certainly helped, turning the Phillies into a top ten team in most pitching categories and leading the Phillies to their first World Series victory in 28 years.  Since then, pitching has come first in Philadelphia and this year’s group of starting pitchers is no exception. Continue reading

The Phillies’ Holiday Wish List

With Christmas coming tomorrow, and Hanukkah already well underway, most people are

Thanks to sportscardinfo.wordpress.com for the picture

asking for something this holiday season.  While the Phillies’ presents come from April to October next year, it’s never too early to join the club and start making a list.  So without further ado (except clicking “continue reading”), here is the Phillies’ holiday wish list. Continue reading

Phillies Lose in Extras, Must Wait to Clinch Division

In the regular season, there is only so much success that a team can have.  As many games as you win in the regular season, it really does not matter until you get to the playoffs, when the games start to matter.  But that is not to say that there are no milestones during the regular season.  One of those milestones was clinching a playoff spot, something the Phillies accomplished on Wednesday against the Astros in Houston.  The next step for the Phillies was to clinch the NL East title, a title that would be their fifth straight, and a nice start to the end of the season.  Unfortunately for the team with the MLBs best record, the champagne and post-game celebration would have to wait, after 11th inning runs dashed their hopes of clinching the the East. Continue reading