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March 6 2007

In 2006, Miguel Batista and Dontrelle Willis tied for the lead in the NL in inducing double-plays.  Each had 32.  Brett Myers led the Phillies with 20, which tied him for 17th best in the league.

Not many Phillies pitchers have gotten hitters to bounce into a ton of double-plays in recent years.  Over the past five seasons only one Phillies' pitcher has been in the top ten in inducing double-plays.  Vicente Padilla got 23 in 2003, which tied him for fourth in the league, and 26 in 2002, which tied him for fifth.

It's not that surprising that Myers led the team in getting double-plays last season given that he also led the team in innings pitched.  What is a little surprising is that Geoff Geary was second.  Geary got 15 in just 91 1/3 innings last year.  He either was especially good at getting batters to hit into double-plays or he got lucky.  In his 58 innings in 2005 he got five.  In 2006, 33 NL pitchers got batters to ground into at least 15 double-plays.  Of the 33, only one, Houston's Chad Qualls, pitched fewer innings than Geary.

Here's the Phillies top five pitchers from '06 at inducing double-plays:


Myers 198.0 20 9.9
Geary 91.1 15 6.1
Lieber 168.0 12 14.0
Lidle 125.1 12 10.4
Madson 134.1 12 11.2

Aside from Geary there aren't a lot of surprises.  The only guy to pitch at least 100 innings for the Phillies who isn't on the list is Cole Hamels, who got just five, or about one every 26.5 innings he pitched.

This article says the Jays aren't trading Rios unless they get Myers or Hamels.  I'm pretty sure they aren't getting Myers or Hamels.  Reed Johnson, Rios' fellow Toronto outfielder, hit 319/390/479 compared to Rios' 302/349/516 in about the same number of at-bats in '06 (I'm pretty sure the Phillies aren't trading Myers or Hamels for him either).

Pat Burrell has had some problems with his back.

Lieber points to his stats during the last two months of the season last year as evidence that he's not out of shape.  Wow.  That's pretty much all the commentary I can muster.

The Phillies lost to the Reds yesterday afternoon in spring training action.  Despite jumping out to an early 5-0 lead, the Phillies fell 9-8 to drop to 2-3 in spring action.

Karim Garcia was 1-for-3 with a double.  He left five men on base and was charged with an error in left field.  Dobbs played third and was 0-for-4 with an RBI.  Werth got his first hit of the spring.  Michael Bourn had another impressive outing, going 2-for-5 with two stolen bases and three runs scored.

Carlos Ruiz hit a two-run homer -- he was 2-for-3 with three RBI.  Wes Helms was 2-for-5 with a two-run double.  Rollins walked twice, stole a base and scored two runs.

Jon Lieber got the start for the Phils and pitched well, continuing a trend for Phillies pitching in recent days that the starter mows 'em down and the guys that follow get blown up.  Lieber went two scoreless innings, allowing three singles while striking out three.  Since Jamie Moyer was hit hard by the Tigers in the first game of spring training, Phillies starters have thrown to a 2.45 ERA in their 11 innings over four games.

Alfredo Simon followed Lieber and didn't make it through two innings,  He was charged with four runs on five hits and a walk in 1 2/3 frames.  Justin Germano pitched very well, allowing a walk in 2 1/3 innings.  Jim Crowell followed Germano and allowed three runs on four hits and a hit batter in the seventh.  NRI John Ennis, a 27-year-old righty, pitched the eighth and allowed two runs.

In yesterday's "B" game, the Phillies fell 3-0 to the Blue Jays.  Freddy Garcia allowed three unearned runs in three innings.  Burrell had a ball go off his glove in left that helped keep an inning alive.  Alfonseca and Madson each threw two scoreless innings.  I'm getting a jump on things by starting to worry about Burrell now.

The Phillies play the Pirates this afternoon.

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