Results tagged ‘ Philadelphia Phillies ’
AL East: We all know everyone is discounting the Yankees completely and already trying to anoint the Blue Jays as World Series favorites, but for what exactly? I have been saying since December that Reyes and Buehrle didn’t exactly do much to create wins in Miami and Dickey & Johnson give them a nice 1 – 2 at top of the rotation (provided Johnson stays healthy) but this is still a team that needs its previous players to take that next step.
Nope, it is going to be a tight race with all five teams in the mix but I like teams with great starting pitching…and that ain’t Toronto.
1. New York 2. Tampa 3. Toronto 4. Boston 5. Baltimore
AL Central: Tigers – Do I even need to explain this one? Unless the Royals see HUGE leaps forward by three or four guys AND find a legitimate No. 2 & no. 3 starter between now and opening day nobody will come within a half-dozen games of them this year. And don’t be surprised if it is more like 10 games.
1. Detroit 2. Chicago 3. Kansas City 4. Cleveland 5. Minnesota
AL West: The Angels made a big splash this off-season by signing Josh Hamilton away from their division rivals, but none of that is enough to overcome the fact that their pitching is just not good. Weaver is fantastic, though he comes up short versus better teams (his ERA versus Yankees, Rangers, Rays & Tigers is in the mid-4.00′s), but beyond that they have a lot of hopes & dreams. Wilson is a stat compiler who owns an abysmal playoff record and has even worse numbers than Weaver versus the cream-of-the-crop. Blanton & Vargas are cast-offs. Bottom line, this team’s pitching just isn’t good enough.
1. Texas 2. Anaheim (I refuse to call them anything else) 3. Oakland 4. Seattle 5. Houston
AL Wild Card Numero Uno: Rays
AL Wild Card Numero Dos: Angels
AL Champion: It’s a crapshoot but I’ll say Yankees over Rays. It’s all about the pitching and these teams have the deepest staffs from their ace to the closer.
NL East: The Nationals have tons of pitching and just enough offense to get it done. The Braves will keep them honest, but their outfield is so over-rated it hurts. You have a young group full of potential but also full of questions about attitude, work ethic and mental fortitude. Side note: B.J. Upton has his first full blown “idiot” moment by Memorial Day.
1. Washington 2. Atlanta 3. Philadelphia 4. New York 5. Miami
NL Central: It’s hard to bet against the Reds. They have decent pitching, Chapman is a monster as a closer and they can put up runs in bunches. Cardinals will, as always, be in the mix but I don’t think they can hang over a full season.
1. Cincinnati 2. St. Louis 3. Milwaukee 4. Pittsburgh 5. Chicago
NL West: The Dodgers have spent a ton of money but I think they have done little more than line themselves up for a metric truckload of ridicule when it is all said and done. Crawford, League, Eithier, Beckett & even Adrian Gonzalez are all grossly overpaid. Kemp needs to show he is A. healthy and B. the monster of a player he has only been for about one & a half seasons.
1. San Francisco 2. Los Angeles 3. Arizona 4. San Diego 5. Colorado
NL Wild Card Numero Uno: Atlanta
NL Wild Card Numero Dos: St. Louis
NL Champion: Washington over San Francisco in a close NLCS.
World Series: Yankees over the Nationals in a pitching fan’s paradise.
I was just reading this profile on Ryan Howard over at Philly.com. It’s your standard spring optimism piece. Howard feels way better now than last year and is ready to return to form. Nothing all that notable in the story.
But midway down the story, a poll appears:
Internet polls are all pretty meaningless, especially the actual results. But this one is particularly astounding to me inasmuch as it treats something which is wholly empirical — whether or not Ryan Howard can hit lefties — as though it were a matter of opinion or belief.
Which may not seem like a big deal, but when you think about it this is the exact reason why so much sports conversation is stupid.
Sadly, this has what it has come to not only in sports, but in terms of things generally.
There is this growing resistance to things like, ya know, math.
Scientific facts, mathematical equations et al have suddenly become open to debate when they really aren’t.
Once something has been observed, the same results have been repeated successfully and the thing has gone through peer evaluations the debate is done.
The result is what the result is.
But we seem to have a great many nitwits out there who have less mental ability than a lobotomized monkey banging on a keyboard and think quantifiable things are open to “debate”.
Welcome to the “internetz”.
Jonathan Papelbon is gonna get a nice big fine.
Last night, he thought he had Dee Gordon struck out looking. Home plate umpire D.J. Reyburn, however, thought differently. After the inning was over — and after Gordon had come around to score the winning run — Papelbon sought out Reyburn and jawed at him. But that was nothing compared to the jawing he did in the clubhouse after the game.
Upon being informed that Reyburn was a Triple-A callup ump, Papelbon said:
“Doesn’t surprise me. He probably needs to go back to Triple A … You’re up in the big leagues to do a good job and when you don’t do a good job you should be demoted or fired. It’s just like anybody’s job. If I don’t do my job, I go down to Triple A. There’s no room for that up here. It’s not a knock on the umpires. It’s the integrity of the game. You want to be able to go out there and play the game the way it should be played. All night long, from [Dodgers starter Clayton] Kershaw to [Phillies starter] Vance [Worley], all the way to the ninth inning, it affected the outcome of the game.
“I thought he was terrible – all day. It wasn’t just that pitch. All I wanted to know was if he could throw me out for what I was thinking, and if he could, I thought he sucked. It’s that simple.”
Something tells me he’s going to get hit pretty hard in the wallet for that one.
But he had a point. A pretty damn good point.
Here are the pitches from the at-bat versus Gordon:
That fourth pitch is the pitch in question & it sure as s*** looks good to me.
Now Calcaterra argued that while it was on the edge of the zone it doesn’t warrant a “the umpire sucked” response.
Maybe it’s the former pitcher in me that refuses to accept that because I just don’t buy it.
You’re a professional, it’s a pivotal part of the ball game & it was a strike. Get the damn call right or go back to the bush leagues.
When you take a look at the calls for the entire game, which was what the Phillies closer went out of his way to emphasize, it becomes even harder to accept.
Take a gander at the calls that both starters got all night:
I can see around 10 balls in the zone that weren’t called and, well, that is far too many to just dismiss as “the human element”.
Additionally, I see where the guy who was more erratic, Worley, got more off the edge calls than a reigning Cy Young award winner, Kershaw, that was consistently hitting his spots all around the edges.
Not exactly a stellar job of calling balls & strikes.
Not even close.