Lot of stuff you can pick to worry about today as the Phils open the post-season against the Rockies. I’m going to go with how many innings Cliff Lee has thrown this year as he makes the first playoff start of his career. Here’s a look at some of the guys on the Phillies and Rockies who are in the top 40 in MLB for innings pitched this year:
MLB leaders, Innings pitched
|5||C Lee||CLE/PHI||231 2/3|
|40||J Blanton||PHI||195 1/3|
On the plus side, thirteenth on the list with 218 innings might not be where you want your 25-year-old stud to be either.
Looking just at the NL now, here’s pitchers in the top forty for either team in innings pitched as a reliever:
NL Leaders, Innings pitched as reliever
|4||R Madson||PHI||77 1/3|
|19||C Durbin||PHI||69 2/3|
|37||H Street||COL||61 2/3|
And here’s NL appearances as a reliever:
NL Leaders, appearances as reliever
While we’re worrying about stuff, it’s a good time to remember that Madson has thrown a ton over the past two seasons. He was fourth in the NL in both innings pitched as a reliever and appearances as a reliever in ’09 after being fifth in the league in innings pitched in relief and tied for ninth in appearances in 2008.
Lefty Cliff Lee faces righty Ubaldo Jimenez this afternoon in game one of the NLDS.
Jimenez made 33 starts with the Rockies this season, going 15-12 with a 3.47 ERA and a 1.23 ratio over 218 innings. He was tough on righties, who hit just 206/276/309 against him. He doesn’t give up home runs to much of anyone, he allowed just 13 on the season, but will walk lefties. He faced 482 lefties and 432 righties on the season and walked 56 lefties and 29 righties. He comes into the series with a 2.70 ERA and a 1.15 ratio over his last three starts. In those three outings he struck out 25 in 20 innings.
He started game three of the 2007 NLDS and was brilliant as the Phillies were eliminated. He allowed a run on three hits and four walks over 6 1/3 innings. Shane Victorino homered off of him in the seventh for the Phillies only run of the game. He didn’t face the Phillies this year.
Feliz is 3-for-4 with a double and a home run against Jimenez in the regular season for his career. Victorino 3-for-5. Howard 2-for-5 with a homer.
31-year-old lefty Cliff Lee will be making the first post-season start of his career. He went 14-13 with a 3.22 ERA and a 1.24 ratio in 34 starts for the Indians and Phillies in 2009. Lee doesn’t walk anyone, almost literally when it comes to lefties. He walked six left-handed batters all season. Lefties hit just 241/263/320 against Lee with eleven extra-base hits for the season. Righties had a lot more luck, hitting 283/321/414.
Lee was brilliant in July and August, making 11 starts between the Indians and Phils in which he threw to a 2.06 ERA with an 0.98 ratio. Opponents posted a .590 OPS against him over those 11 starts. Things have been ugly since the end of August. In his last six starts of the season Lee had a 5.45 ERA and a 1.38 ratio. Opponents hit .317 against him.
He made one start against the Rockies this year and pitched well. On August 6 in Philadelphia he allowed one run over seven innings on six hits and a walk while striking out nine. The Phillies won the game 3-1. The Rockies had righties Atkins, Spilborghs, Iannetta and Barmes in their lineup against Lee that day and they combined to go 1-for-15 with a single by Spilborghs.
Jason Giambi is the Rockie who has seen Lee the most over his career from their time in the American League. Giambi is 3-for-10 with a home run against Lee.
Here’s the Phillies NLDS roster. And the Rockies. Just two lefties on the roster for Colorado, so we may be seeing a lot of Joe Beimel and Franklin Morales against Utley, Howard and Ibanez in the short series.
Not a huge fan of the Phillies post-season roster. The relief pitchers on the team who would make me real nervous in a close game include Bastardo, Durbin, Kendrick, Lidge and Myers. That’s a lot. Madson in the ninth, too. I’d feel great about Madson in the eighth, but I don’t think that’s when we’re going to be seeing him pitch. I hope the Phils don’t wind up missing Condrey and Walker too much.
Still, overall I think there’s a lot of reasons to like the Phillies in the series. They won more games in the regular season. They scored more runs than the Rockies. They allowed fewer. They have home field advantage. They won four of the six games the teams played in the regular season. The Rockies weren’t very good on the road this season, especially offensively. The Phils have Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels starting games one and two.
Not much of that is going to matter much if they don’t come out and play well in a few hours, though.