Michael/Male/26-30. Lives in United States/Pennsylvania/Wexford/Christopher Wren, speaks English. Spends 20% of daytime online. Uses a Fast (128k-512k) connection. And likes baseball /politics.
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United States, Pennsylvania, Wexford, Christopher Wren, English, Michael, Male, 26-30, baseball , politics.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Since I’ve Been Gone… 

The Phillies had a rough few days, dropping two of three to the Brewers before rebounding with a win and beating the Nats twice. As I write this the Phils are a half game in front of the Braves for second, about four back of the Mets. A couple of thoughts …

Sure, the Phillies are just above .500, but one thing bodes very well for the team this season is their record against the NL East.

2006: 13-7 (.650)
2005: 38-37 (.506)
2004: 39-37 (.513)

With the MLB’s unbalanced schedule, the Phillies are going to be playing a lot of game against the Marlins and Nats down the road and that is a very good thing. In the past the Phillies have feasted on weak NL West teams to give them the edge:

2005: 22-9 (.710)
2004: 20-9 (.690)

Their record this season is o.k.: 8-5, which is a mild surprise because of how weak the NL West looks this season. The Phillies terrible 5-10 record against the Central is more excusable given that the Central actually looks pretty decent this season, with four of the six teams at .500 or better. Aside from the Pirates and Cubs, all of the teams look pretty good. I am especially impressed with the Brewers, whom I think are going to be in the playoff race in September. Thank goodness we don’t have to play them again!

In the final two months of the season they play 35 of 57 games against NL East foes. The Phils are going to be playing a lot of games against the Nats and Marlins, two of the four worst records in the NL. Oh, and we also get Tampa and Baltimore in inter-league play. Score!

Ryan Howard has been on fire of late. He’s leading the team in slugging at .614 … Interestingly, the Phillies have six players slugging above .500: Howard, Burrell (.552), Utley (.538), Abreu (.522), Rowand (.507), and Victorino (.522) …

Jimmy Rollins is really causing the team problems. His OBP is just .318 and .327 when he’s batting lead-off. That’s really terrible and something needs to be done. Bat Rowand (.353) first, deal J.Roll, do something because not having a table-setter is wasting a lot of the middle order’s firepower.

The Phillies continue to be the second-worst fielding team in the NL. The heck is going on? This is a topic in need of a little inspection.

More tomorrow.

Mike, I disagree slightly with the approach to Jimmy. I'm all in favour of moving him down the order when he slumping, but when he's on as a leadoff hitter, I'm all for keeping at the top of the order. As with many, I'm in favour of Abreu at the top of the order (something he's happy with), but would be less sure about rowand who like victorino and jimmy is more of contact hitter who takes his hacks.
When Jimmy is on, he is on, and he posts a .440 OBP and when he's not, he's not and posts a .310 OBP. Take it for what it's worth, but he is like the tide - he goes up and down and will continue to do so until age 30. It looks like he is up again and he'll probably add 50 points to his on-base going into the All-Star game. Finally, and I'm sure it's the home cooking, but after he plays the series in San Francisco (and goes home to see mom in Oakland), he does start to turn it on. He started the 36 game streak in SF last year.

The driver of his performance is attitude. When he has been sent down in the lineup over the years, he will turn it on soonafter.
Can't disagree, Mike. With him in our team, I'm in favour of a platoon in leadoff. that strikes me as a touch imaginative for manuel tho'.
Check back tomorrow fellas, I'll have some comments to make on the subject!
The problem is that rollins hasnt posted an acceptable OBP for a leadoff hitter ever in his career. Abreu post great obp numbers, but we all know hes too good a hitter to bat first. Utley could handle the job, but then the second slot would then be lacking an obp guy. I dont think Manuel is creative enough to just push rollins to 6th or 7th and move the lineup up one slot..so maybe putting rowand at number 2 behind utley would work better.
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