Broken Down by Innings

Monday, May 12, 2008 ·

With baseball's loveable/hateable 162 game schedule, it can perfectly be broken into 9 innings where each inning marks an 18 game stretch. During the Phillies "first-inning" of the season, they finished with a 8-10 record and they were 3 games out of first place.

The "second-inning" proved much better as the Phillies notched a 12-6 record and moved to within 1 game of first place and even held the top spot in the division for a few games. During that stretch Chase Utley, Pat Burrell, and Jayson Werth were extremely hot as they had some nice power numbers. Ryan Howard continued to slump and so did the starting pitching near the end. They've also played most of those two innings without Shane Victorino and Jimmy Rollins in the lineup. The second inning started when Jimmy Rollins went on the DL and lasted until he came off this past friday. Interesting, but Eric Bruntlett did well in Rollins absence.

The Phillies have started their third inning of the season with a series loss to the San Francisco Giants. The good news is that Jimmy Rollins is finally back in the lineup for good and should provide a much needed spark for Ryan Howard. With Rollins and Victorino back at the top, Howard will likely have more men on base when it is his turn to hit. Teams will not be able to shift as much because Rollins and Victorino's speed will keep the opposing defense honest.

Currently, the Phillies are 10-8 at home and 11-10 on the road. The Phillies will face Atlanta and Toronto at home this week and the pitching match-ups seem a little favorable to the Phillies, so we'll see what happens. If the Phils do not go 4-2 during this stretch, I'd consider it a failed homestand. It is very important for the Phillies to start winning more games at home, especially against the Braves (4-13 on the road) and Toronto (7-12 on the road).

The Phillies bullpen continues to be one of the best in baseball even with being somewhat overused. However, J.C. Romero has allowed home runs in 2 of his last 3 appearances. Both home runs gave the lead to the San Francisco Giants. Tom Gordon has pitched considerably better since the first week and Brad Lidge continues to be absolutely dominant. The Phillies however need better production from Jamie Moyer, Brett Myers, and Adam Eaton. The entire rotation needs to cut down on their base runners allowed per inning.

Offensively, the Phillies truly need to get more production out of Ryan Howard and the 6-8 hitters. Pedro Feliz has provided some pop, but Geoff Jenkins has become a strike-out machine with 26 compared to 6 walks. Ryan Howard currently has more strike-out than hits, RBI's, and home runs combined. Gregg Dobbs has been hitting considerably well again after starting slow, and I'd like him to get some of Jenkins platoon numbers in right field.

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We Hate to Lose began in October 2007. The initial purpose of the website was to provide news updates and commentary on all four major sports teams in Philadelphia. Because of time-constraints, in April of 2009, I decided to post only on my first-love, the Philadelphia Phillies.

My name is Justin Evans and I hope you enjoy the site.

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