In Short: Despite losing the first game in extra innings and riding a 3 game losing streak, Roy Halladay and the Phillies’ starters right the ship and get out of Atlanta with a 2-1 series win for the Fightins.
Who’s Hot- The Starters. Kyle Kendrick, Roy Halladay, and Jamie Moyer. These guys are the reason the Phils dominated the series; they came to win. They went up against some of the Braves’ best arms and beat them in their home parks. The Phillies’ starters for the past 3 games have accounted for 23 innings pitched, in which they only allowed 2 unearned runs and 13 hits.
Who’s Not- Ryan Madson. Say what you want, but the Braves’ should have been swept. I’m not going to put any blame on Contreas because he wasn’t even supposed to be in that game on Tuesday. Madson epically blew that save; the only hits he gives up are back to back homers to Glaus and Heyward with 2 outs in the 9th. Glaus isn’t even batting above .180; thats how poor of an effort it was. In other news, Brad Lidge pitched a scoreless inning for the IronPigs on Thursday. See you soon.
Who’s Hot- Juan Castro? He went 5 for 13 for the series which was pretty lackluster offensively. You could also make a case for Utley, seeing as he contributed to all of the Phillies 3 runs on Tuesday. Looking back however, no one really stood out.
Who’s Not- Shane Victorino. He’s above the Mendoza line for now, but he has been doing a poor job batting leadoff. His inconsistency is really killing the production of the 3 4 5 hitters and putting a lot of pressure on the pitching. Luckily, Halladay was pitching when he decided to go 0 for 5 with 2 Ks. JRoll can come off of the 15 day DL as soon as next Wednesday, just in time for the home series against the Mets.
J.A. Happ goes on the 15 Day DL with a left forearm strain and will be available as soon as May 1st. Until then, Charlie Manuel and the Phillies will have to rely on the four remaining starters and long reliever Nelson Figueroa to carry the load. The training staff could just be cautious with Happ, but then again you can never tell with baseball injuries. 2 Seasons ago, Josh Beckett missed almost a month of the regular season because of a blister on his index finger. Seriously, what an asshole. The move makes room for J.C. Romero, who was activated from the DL before Thursday’s game and adds some strength to the Phillies’ bullpen.
The Phillies are in Phoenix, AZ this weekend as they take on the 6-9 Dbacks. Lucky for the Phillies’ hitters, Dan Haren isn’t scheduled to start. To the same extent, neither is Halladay. Instead, Cole Hamels will take the mound tomorrow night and will try to match his performance from last Sunday’s loss to Florida. The Phillies have momentum coming off a series victory for the 4th time this season and are looking to add to their 7-2 road record, the best in the NL. Reason to worry? The 2nd game of the series has Nelson Figueroa as the probable starter. Conventional wisdom says Charlie will have to go to the bullpen early in that game, so if Cole gets into trouble early on Friday, the bullpen could be decimated for Kendrick’s outing. Remedy for that is a strong offense; I like the Phils chances against Arizona.
I also want to send my condolences to anyone who was listening to the Thursday night radio broadcast. Franske flew home to be with his wife as they are awaiting the birth of their first child, so you guys got stuck with Wheels doing play by play. The last thing anyone wants is for Chris Wheeler to talk more than he already does. If Franske is going to be MIA for more than a week, could we get Scott Graham back in the interim? Do LA and the rest of us a favor.