Face-Off for First Place

Friday, May 30, 2008 ·

During the next 3 days, the two best second-baseman in baseball will face off against each other. Both Dan Uggla and Chase Utley are coming into this weekend with amazing numbers for any players, let alone middle infielders. Both players will help their respected team maintain or take over first place in the division.

Thus far, Chase Utley has received the most votes among in National League player with 537,788 votes. He leads all second baseman by over 350,000 votes, including Dan Uggla, who has 125,745.

Chase Utley comes into the game hitting .310 avg/.394 obp/.638 slugging, with an OPS of 1.032. Utley also had 42 R, 16 2B, 1 3B, 17 HR, 46 RBI, and 5 steals. Also, Utley has only struck out 33 times thus far, which is below his career average. Chase Utley is constantly mentioned in MVP talks because of his demeanor and his defensive ability. He's one of the best all-around players in baseball.

Dan Uggla is also have an exceptional year. Uggla comes into the series hitting .307 avg/.386 obp/.667 slg and an OPS of 1.053. Uggla has scored 41 times while adding 19 doubles, 1 triple, 16 HR, and 38 RBI. He has struck out 58 times and stolen 2 bases.

The upcoming series will be filled with left-handed pitching, 2 starters for each team. Tonight, 6'9" Mark Hendrickson will face off against Brett Myers. The Phillies have lost the last 6 games Myers has started and he has not recorded a win since April 17th. Myers allows a whopping 1.64 baserunner an inning and that is intolerable for any pitcher, let alone for someone considered "1A" or "1B". Last year, the Phillies offense pounded Hendrickson for 7 runs in 5 innings when he pitched for the Dodgers. Hendrickson is a sinker ball pitcher and combined with his height, you'd expect to see him leave the ball up in the zone at times. The Phillies have hitters that will destroy those mistakes.

On Saturday, Cole Hamels will battle against Ricky Nolasco. Hamels is coming off his worst start of the year after throwing back-to-back scoreless games. He's also come off his first game where he failed to manage at least one strike-out since his rookie year. Ricky Nolasco is over .500, but allows a decent amount of base runners and teams hit .273 off him. I will be in attendance.

Two lefties will face off during Sunday's matinee as Moyer takes on rookie Andrew Miller. If you look at the current Marlins rotation, you will question how the team is in first place. They allow a number of base runners (see Miller's 1.68 WHIP), but they survive by their offense. Miller has an ERA well over 5 and he is a left-handed pitcher that Phillies should be able to take care of. Jamie Moyer has earned a win in his last 3 starts, so let's hope that he continues his winning streak.

Things line-up well for the Phillies though because the Marlins only hit .224 off left-handed pitching with an OPS of .684. To compare, they hit .272 off righties with an OPS of .811.

The Phillies hit .257 off left-handed pitching with an OPS of .835. One problem though is that Jayson Werth will still not be in the line-up and he absolutely kills lefties.

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A small introduction...

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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