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February 15 2007

In the same way the Phillies can't get Jose Reyes out, there were some pitchers last season that they just couldn't hit.

 

Player G IP W-L ERA Ratio Season ERA Season ratio
J Maine 3 18.1 3-0 1.96 1.15 3.60 1.13
B Penny 2 13.0 2-0 0.69 0.77 4.33 1.38
I Snell 2 14.0 2-0 0.64 0.86 4.74 1.46
B Wagner 7 7.2 0-0 0.00 0.65 2.24 1.11

Something is going to have to be done about John Maine, who just befuddled the Phillies in his three starts against them.  He looks like a prime candidate to make at least four starts a season against the Phils for the next couple of years and so far he's shut them down.  The Nats hammered him last year, so maybe it's as simple as getting awful hitters and playing in a football stadium.  His teammate Billy Wagner posted four saves against the Phils without being charged with an earned run.  In his 7 2/3 innings he struck out ten.  With the Phillies in '05 he didn't allow a run or even a hit against the Mets in six innings.  The last time he was charged with an earned run against either the Mets or the Phillies was 2001.  Since then he's thrown 32 innings with a 0.00 ERA against the two teams combined.  In 2004 the Mets got to him for two unearned runs, so maybe if the Phils can get the game tape it will inspire them to scratch out an unearned run this year.

There were some pitchers that the Phils hit hard in '06:

 

Player G IP W-L ERA Ratio Season ERA Season ratio
O Hernandez 3 13.0 0-1 11.08 2.15 4.66 1.33
B Moehler 4 16.0 0-3 9.56 1.94 6.57 1.66
P Martinez 2 8.0 0-1 10.13 1.38 4.48 1.11
K Davies 3 9.2 0-2 14.90 2.59 8.38 1.94

El Duque is a big part of the Mets' plans again this season, so hopefully the Phils continue to have success against him.  Pedro has been very good against the Phils over his career, including his two starts in '06 he's now 7-5 with a 3.36 ERA against the Phils in 112 1/3 innings.

And here's how the Phils fared against some of the NL East's best hurlers.

 
Player G IP W-L ERA Ratio Season ERA Season ratio
J Smoltz 2 14.0 0-0 3.86 1.21 3.49 1.19
T Glavine 4 25.1 2-1 4.62 1.26 3.82 1.33
D Willis 4 20.0 1-2 6.30 1.15 3.87 1.42
J Johnson 2 11.2 1-1 4.63 1.54 3.10 1.30
A Sanchez 1 4.1 0-1 16.62 2.31 2.83 1.19

Only two players made more than four starts against the Phils.  Tony Armas made five for the Nationals was hit hard, throwing to a 6.23 ERA.  Scott Olsen, deprived by cruel fate of his dream to ruin the Phillies' season in the final series of the year, also made five starts against the Phils and went 1-3 with a 4.85 ERA.  Ryan Howard was 7-for-12 with two bombs and six RBI against Olsen last year, so that might be something to get a handle on if he really wants to do something special compared to other Phillies-ruiners of his time.

Jon Daniel reflects on the trade in which the Rangers acquired Adam Eaton from the Padres in this article.

This article says that Scott Mathieson hopes to start pitching in July and that Tom Gordon won't pitch more than an inning at a time early in the season.  It's not a good sign if the Phillies don't think they can bring the best pitcher in their pen in to pitch the eighth.  If Gordon struggles with injury problems early in the season the pen is in even worse shape than we think.

In this fascinating article, Charlie Manuel says that he had more input into personnel moves when he was with Cleveland than he does today.  The piece sheds a lot of light on the relationship between Gillick and Manuel -- the suggestion that Gillick often doesn't understand Manuel's decisions may be particularly telling.  You have to wonder if Manuel could survive another awful start by the Phils.  Don't wonder too long or too hard, though, the answer is no.

Among the issues that seem the least up in the air to me heading into spring training are who bats fifth and who starts on opening day.  I'd be surprised if the answers were not Burrell and Freddy Garcia.  Batting fifth last season Burrell posted a 257/391/527 line and hit nine home runs in 148 at-bats.

It's pretty much a Pat Burrell love-in everywhere you look, which I assume has a shelf life of about four days.  I had to read this sentence in the Inquirer several times to believe I had read it correctly: "Burrell has his flaws, but is better than his critics say."

Pitchers and catchers report today.  Everyone is due in camp on February 20 and the Phillies play their first spring game on February 28.

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