The second, fifth and ninth were pretty clearly the problem innings for the Phils in 2009. When your closer puts up a 7.21 ERA for the season you don’t have to look real hard to figure out what went wrong in the ninth, but it surely means there were some guys pitching a lot and getting hit real hard in the second and the fifth, too.

So who were they? Well, opponents put up an .802 OPS against the Phils in the second inning in 2009. There were three pitchers who faced at least 100 batters in the second and allowed an OPS worse than .802 — Moyer, Blanton and Happ. Opponents hit to a .786 OPS against the Phils in the fifth. Two Phillies pitchers faced a hundred or more batters with an OPS worse than that — Blanton and Moyer.

Blanton and Moyer are on both lists. Moyer just had a rough year all around and his numbers for the second and fifth weren’t remarkable compared to the other innings in ’09, but here’s what batters did against Blanton in the second and fifth innings compared to what they did against him in all other innings in 2009:

Second and Fifth Innings

Other innings
306 351 532 883 240 306 392 698

Nine of the 128 batters that Blanton faced in the fifth inning in 2009 homered (7%), but just four of the 266 (1.5%) he faced in the third and fourth innings.

Happ notably got hit real hard in the second and the sixth and pretty much not at all any other time in the game. Overall, the sixth wasn’t a big problem for the Phils. It was for Happ, though. Here’s his second and sixth versus all the other innings he pitched in 2009:

Second and Sixth innings

Other innings
344 395 586 981 200 273 318 592

Happ was pretty much untouchable when he pitched in the fourth or fifth innings last year. The 190 batters he faced combined to go 35-for-171 against him (205/271/304). Apparently the batters were resting up for the sixth, though, when they pounded him to the tune of 362/402/649. So there was some drop off.

Happ starts tonight against Florida State. Phillippe Aumont is also scheduled to pitch. Victorino will not play with a sore shoulder.

The article linked above also suggests that Amaro is not currently pursuing any trades or signings.

Interesting stuff on Happ in this article.

Phillies opening day payrolls 1986-2010 here.