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April 16 2007

Tonight's game with the Mets has been postponed.


April 16 2007

After 11 games, all plans for the Phillies to get off to a strong start have been scrubbed.  Another 10-14 April is looking like something to strive for at this point rather than avoid.  At 3-8 the Phils would have to go 7-6 to match their weak start from a year ago.  After 11 games last season the Phils were 4-7. 

The Phils scored 54 runs in their first 11 games in 2006.  So far in 2007 they have scored 53.  The Phillies' offense is sure to improve as we get further into 2007, but it hasn't been bad at all to start the year.  The Phils are tied for fourth in the NL in runs scored.

What has been bad is the very part of the team that was supposed to turn things around this year, the starting pitching.  Phillies' starters have thrown to an NL-worst 5.94 ERA.  In all of baseball, their starters have thrown to the 29th-best ERA among the 30 teams.  Not only have the Phillies' starters been bad to start the year, they've been worse than they were last season when the rotation featured the struggling Gavin Floyd and Ryan Madson.  

Here's what the Phillies starting pitchers have done so far this year, and what they did in the first 11 games last season:

 

Year IP ER ERA
2007 63.2 42 5.94
2006 59.1 39 5.92

Last year the early performance by the starting pitching was miserable, but only twice in the first 11 games was a starter charged with more than three earned runs.  Both times it was Lieber, who was hammered in two of his first three starts last season.  In 2007, in five of the first 11 games the Phillies' starting pitcher has allowed more than three earned runs.  Eaton did it on 4/5, Myers on 4/7, Segovia on 4/8, Myers again on 4/13 and Hamels on Saturday. 

Of the five guys that have made a start for the Phils in 2007, three of them, Myers, Segovia, and Eaton, have all pitched to an ERA of at least 6.94.  Eaton is at 6.94, Myers at 9.39 after having two bad outings in three starts, and Segovia at 9.00.  Hamels is at 3.32 and Moyer at 3.55.

Everyone thought we could count on the pen to get blown up this season.  And we can.  So far, however, the pen has thrown to a 3.67 ERA (11th in the NL) after throwing to a 3.79 ERA (third best in the NL) last season. 

Randy Miller of the Bucks County Courier Times has a new blog.  In a post from Saturday he says that he thinks Manuel still has weeks, which is a little surprising to me.  I would have guessed less if the Phillies don't turn things around real soon.  On the other hand, I think the Phillies have a good chance to turn things around real soon.

Steve Smith sees sending Victorino on Friday night as a mistake apparently not unlike hitting on a 13 in blackjack when the dealer is showing five.  I see it more as a mistake not unlike having a runner thrown out a home with nobody out in a game you're losing by two runs in the bottom of the eighth.  The Phillies have been awful on the bases this year, not much of it has been the fault of the third base coach.

Freddy Garcia (NR) faces John Maine (1-0, 1.54) tonight if anyone faces anyone.  Garcia will make another attempt at his Phillies debut.  Maine has made two starts this season, throwing seven innings of one-hit ball against the Cardinals on April 4 and giving up two runs in 4 2/3 innings against the Phillies a week ago in New York.  Utley hit a home run against him that game, although the Mets went on to win 11-5.  Maine's career numbers against the Phillies over the last two seasons are still very good.  In four starts against the Phils the righty is 3-0 with a 2.35 ERA.

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