Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Phillies Preview

This season is not over. The Mets will not make the playoffs but one thing we can do is still beat the Phillies. I have a lot of friends in Philly and all the buzz is about how the Sillies are poised to make a Cardinals esque run at the WC starting with a sweep of our beloved Metropolitans. We may have had a second half collapse, we may have dropped a series to the Rockies but it will be all be OK if we can beat the Phillies, regain third place and stuff down the drain any hope that they might make a magical playoff run. Let's get to work.

Tonight we face Vance Worley who Sillies fans were calling their 4th ace when the season started. Assuming the definition of ace in Philadelphia is one who has an ERA over 4 and 6 wins. Worley has pitched to a remarkably consistent ERA/xFIP of 4.06/4.05, certainly not horrible but a big dip from his fantastic 2011 ERA of 3.01. He has respectable k/9 of 7.20 but couples that with a high walk rate of 3.29. Worley is a pitcher the Mets should be beat but then again so was Jordan Lyle.

Next up is Cole Hamels. I miss baseball villains. My brother and I were watching Mets classics recently and musing how much we missed the late 90's early oughts Braves. Chipper Jones and John Rocker were such awesome villains and the rivalry was so much fun to watch. Chipper hated the Mets so much he mocked us through the naming of his own child. As much as I hate the Phillies they just lack the villainous players the Braves had. Cole Hamels is often the guy I point out to as a good Sillies black hat (especially since he broke up Dickey's no no against the Phillies last year) but at the end of the day I just can't muster the hate for him that I once held for Braves of the past, maybe I'm just getting old. Anyway, Hamels is unfairly good this year. He has an ERA of 2.99, 14 wins and a k/9 of 8.73. It's really remarkable the Phillies have been as bad as they are considering the team features this guy as well as Halladay and Lee. Our one hope is that Cole is an absolute home run giving up machine, letting up an average of at least one dinger a game.

Phillies fans love Kyle Kendrick right now and will be quick to tell you he has only let up 2 runs in his last 22 innings. I will be quick to remind them that he has a 4.62 xFIP, a low K rate (6.41) a high walk rate (3.13) and gives up just about a home run per game. Kyle Kendrick is by no means a good baseball player, sometimes he was able to trick you into thinking he was but it was always a thinly veiled glamour of low ERA and wins. In 2007 Kendrick's ERA and k/9 were...wait for it...only .23 away from each other. This is game we should win.

On the offensive side the Phillies have struggled. The now injured Carlos Ruiz was having a career year but has been out of the lineup for over a month now. After him the offensive star of the team has been, improbably, Jimmy Rollins. J Roll has hit a paltry .244/.307/.407 which isn't even very good but still about the best the Phillies have managed. That being said they still have players who despite being old and riddled with injury are still capable of brilliant games (Utley and Howard) so we shouldn't get over confident.

As a team the Phillies are 61-67 they have scored 530 runs and allowed 554 runs. The Vegas line has the series price at Mets +160.

We will close with a few thought on today's game from Metsrospectus Phillies corespondent Mark: "Both the Mets and Phillies are out of it, and neither will make the playoffs. The only thing to be settled in this series is respectability, who will play good baseball for the last month and maintain some level of dignity, and who will spiral out of control into the bottom depths of the major league to the shame of their fans." Well said.

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