Series Preview: Phillies @ Mariners
It has been a while since I did one of these and when Justin from “That Balls Outta Here” contacted me to collaborate on one I couldn’t turn him down. I’ve got a few different e-mails/comments from people who liked these and so I’ll try to do more when I can. But until then here we go!
2011 Regular Season Record: 44 – 26, 1st in NL East (5.0 Lead)
2011 Regular Season Record: 35- 34, 2nd in AL West (0.5 GB)
Friday, June 17 –Roy Oswalt vs Michael Pineda
Roy Oswalt – Best pitch right now: Slider 2.19 Runs Above Average per 100 pitches.
Michael Pineda – Best pitch right now: Slider – 2.09 RAA p. 100
Saturday, June 18 – Vance Worley vs Felix Hernandez
Vance Worley – Best pitch right now: Slider – 3.10 RAA p. 100
Felix Hernandez – Best pitch right now: Change-up – 4.25 RAA p. 100
Sunday, June 19 – Cole Hamels vs Jason Vargas
Cole Hamels – Best pitch right now: Change-up – 3.47 RAA p. 100
Jason Vargas – Best pitch right now: Cut-fastball – 2.02 RAA p.100
Chase Utley 14-39; 2 HR
Jimmy Rollins 8-39; 3 HR, 10 RBIs, 4 BB/3K
Shane Victorino 15-41; 3 RBIs, 4 BB/8K
Greg Halman 9-22; 1 HR, 3 RBIs ,0BB/6K
Ichiro 13-42; 0 HR, 3 RBIs, 2 BB/5K
Carlos Peguero 9-31, 1 HR, 3 RBIs, 3BB/8K
Raul Ibanez – 9-37; 0 HR, 2 RBIs, 2 BB/7 K
Domonic Brown – 4-33; 3 HR, 5 RBIs, 6BB/5K
Brendan Ryan – 8-39; 0 HR, 2 RBIs, 1BB/8K
Jack Cust – 4-31; 1 HR, 3 RBIs, 9BB/10k
Joe Blanton 15-day DL *
Brad Lidge 60-day DL **
Brian Schneider 15-day DL *
David Aardsma 60-day DL *
Shawn Kelley 60-day DL **
Adam Moore 60-day DL **
* Not on Active Roster
** Not on 40-Man Roster
JK: Do you think Cliff Lee made a lasting impact in Seattle or is that just a good topic for a Seattle-area blog post the weekend his new team is in town?
HC: Cliff Lee won’t be soon forgotten especially with the impact he made on Jason Vargas who worked with him to develop his cutter. Which ranks 7th right behind two Phillies (Halladay and Hamles). Not to mention he also scored us Justin Smoak who kindly reminds us from time to time that last year wasn’t a total wash.
JK: Deadspin recently put together a plan for realignment that didn’t really shake things up too much. Except they moved the Mariners. To Oklahoma City. Is that funny? I don’t know how upset people are about the Supersonics.
HC: Yeah, if you want to build any healthy relationship with Seattle fans I wouldn’t mention the NBA to them. I know I’m still sore about it and I haven’t lived in Washington in almost 7 years. If you really want to know more about what happened with the Sonics and how they were stolen from Seattle you can find out what REALLY happened over at Sonic gate.
JK: Isn’t it, like, a bad move that King County Metro provides transit to Seahawk, Sounder, and Huskie games but until recently seemed ready to pretend the Mariners didn’t exist?
HC: Being that I’m no longer a local (and that pains me to say that) keeping up with these things are hard. I often forget about some of these issues but I do hear plenty of angry fans, as well as friends from back home that are disappointed and angry about how Metro has handled the situation. I imagine that it does hurt attendance to a degree as well. Who is going to invest time to go watch a crappy team and have to make special rearrangements to and from the field? Fail.
JK: Who has the most exciting debut at Safeco Field in 2011: Michael Pineda, Dustin Ackley, Carlos Peguero, or Fremont Homefront IPA?
HC: When it comes to anticipation, Ackley takes the cake by a good margin. But as to performance I’d have to say Pineda’s 7.1 IP, 7K, 1 ER performance back in April blew fans away and posted a season high 18 swinging strikes. Pineda has been everything Mariner fans have needed and wanted plus some.
JK: Since you probably answered “Dustin Ackley ZOMG!!!!111one,” what is the deal with Dustin Ackley? Does he have mind powers? A robot arm? Acid for blood?
HC: What’s funny is that I haven’t gotten a lot of Dustin Ackley comments. I see them all around our blogsphere but I’ve only written one article about him prior to the season and outside of that I haven’t really mention him.
Some compare him as Chase Utley with less power/less glove/ more speed…I think that is trying to make a comparison where there isn’t a comparison.
In reality Ackley is an amazing pure hitter. He’s got a little pop in his bat and I think with being a lefty and hitting in Safeco it’s going to play up his power a bit more. He’s a giant offensive boost to a team that is devoid of offense. It’s been a few years since we’ve been able to add an exciting young piece to the team and the best part is he’s home grown.
JK: Is it sad knowing that any day now, Chone Figgins will be led behind Safeco Field by Eric Wedge toting a shotgun?
HC: I’m actually not of this persuasion. I believe that while Figgins won’t ever be that .380-.400 wOBA guy that he was in LA. He could still be an functional every day player. The problem is either that the coaching staff continues to mess with his approach to the plate or that he thinks he needs to become a different hitter now that he doesn’t lead off. Either way he needs to go back to what he was doing at the plate prior to coming to Seattle. I wrote a “Sunday feature” about his situation this past weekend.
In his last 10 games he is 9-31, 3 Runs, 3 2Bs, 5 BB, 3 K’s… He could finally be working his way back or he could just be having a fluke on his way down to total despair. Either way he has ran a season of BABIP .224 a LD% of 19.5% and a Contact% over 90%.
You can make up your own mind about him. I personally think he can still be an every day player. But, he has a -0.9 WAR debt to pay back in order to be of any positive value this season.
HC: Should the Mariner fans throw batteries at Phillies players to make them feel at home on the west coast?
Hey, I’ve heard about how nasty you Mariner fans can get. Sometimes, you clap. Other times, you do not. My god. You people are monsters.
HC: How pist are people about Aumont, Ramirez and Gillies for Cliff Lee when the Mariners got a long term middle of the order bat in exchange for 3 months?
JK: Aumont just got promoted to Triple-A! The truth is no one really cares who we got in the Cliff Lee trade anymore because we don’t not have Cliff Lee anymore. Its like having our cake and eating it too. Just some slices are smaller and less interesting than others.
HC: Are Phillie fans concerned about all the contracts that Ruben Amaro has given out in the last couple of years? It looks good now but it could very well work against them, right or am I way off?
JK: The poster boy of the “WTF CONTRACTS” Club is Ryan Howard, and right now, its just sort of a running joke to think of him in his late 30s, still drawing money from the club and probably striking out 30 or 40 times a game. We laugh now but in a few years we’ll be furious. Also, Ryan’s tearing it up. The last thing we want to do is dwell in a dark future where he’s old and useless.
HC: Who is better in 5 years Jayson Heyward or Dominic Brown? Is it fair to even compare the two?
JK: Yeah, its fair. Domonic Brown, though. There’s a legend brewing inside of him. He’s got the speed and the power and the defense and the arm and god damn he is just nice to see out there being only 23 and all. Best case scenario, though, as always, is they join forces and fight crime.
HC: How in the world does Charlie Manuel continue to pencil Raul Ibanez name in left field? He doesn’t do anything well anymore, and he’s been -1 WAR so far this year, how much more is he going to cost the team before they finally cut ties?
JK: What you need to know about Charlie is that loyalty is a big priority to him. Raul showed up in 2009 and became an All-Star for the first time. Charlie remembers when guys perform for him. Since then, Raul’s had several white hot streaks to match his cold, barren offensive wastelands. Plus he’s a statue on defense. So to answer your question I have no idea.
It won’t be for much longer. Which sucks; the guy can contribute, and he’s done so much for us (between not doing anything for us). When he’s gone, there will be more fanfare than when we ditched J.C. Romero yesterday.
Phils announcers yesterday were wondering aloud what kind of reception Ibanez would get. They said he was “really liked” out there. I think it would take a lot more than an Ibanez reunion to get the dormant Seattle crowds to… react… in some way.
HC: What have you thought of the performance of the Phillies rotation this year? A league best ERA, FIP and xFIP despite injuries and aside a few forgettable performances this rotation has been incredible on paper.
JK: AWESOME, PHILLIES ROTATION IS AWESOME. The Big Four (Roy, Cole, Cliff, Lil Roy) went 7-1 with a 1.77 ERA on the 11-game homestand.