Phillies Preview – April 12th 2011
April 12, 2011
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April 12th 2011 – 7:05pm
Philadelphia Phillies (7-2) Joe Blanton (0-0, 14.54 ERA)
Washington Nationals (4-5) Livan Hernandez (0-1, 4.76 ERA)
$126 million. Was it surprising he left? Obviously not. Was it surprising a team signed him for $126 million? Obviously it was. But what’s disappointing is that Jayson Werth signed with the Nationals. The team who has been the bottom feeders in the National League East since coming back into baseball (besides 2007 when they went 73-89 and somehow managed a 4th place finish) (Maybe it was the feared Dmitri Young/Ronnie Belliard right side of the infield). The team that has possibly the worst fan support in Major League Baseball, and above all a team that the Phillies have to face 18 times this season. Every one in Philadelphia loved Jayson Werth and if you say otherwise your lying. I will agree with the naysayers that it was a love-hate relationship. There were many times where it looked as if he had no clue where he was when on the bases. He also had many day-dreams out in front of the right field scoreboard at Citizens Bank Park. Above all he took about 300 swings where he wound up on one knee. But a lot of those swings resulted in home runs. He was also awake many times out in right field making spectacular plays. Most importantly J-Dub played an aggressive style of baseball that Philly fans have grown to love. Since leaving for Washington Werth has down absolutely everything wrong. Pat Burrell did this when he left. Werth never thanked the Phillies for taking a chance on an unproven platoon player who had gone through major wrist surgery. Instead Jayson said this and this. If your a Nationals fan your loving his swagger, a Phillies fan? Not so much. He’s throwing every ingredient into the pot that makes Phillies fans dislike you upon your return. We saw it with Rolen and Werth will hear his share of boos. Me? I’m going to stand up and clap for him. His departure has gone terribly wrong, but the guy played his heart out for Philly and I’ll thank him for the four years he gave us. You can’t blame him for taking $126 million anyone would jump on that offer, but you can blame him for the handling of his exit. Yup, there’s my first of many Jayson Werth rants.
As for the game tonight, Livan baby! Do you remember when Livan Hernandez was a young, skinny, pimple faced prospect for the Florida Marlins? Yeah, me neither that was like 15 years ago. I’ve always poked fun at Livan’s weight and for the fact that my dad always seems to draft him in every fantasy baseball league despite Hernandez throwing up at least four, 5 inning 10 earned run starts a season. But Livan is a cool dude. He’s a scratch golfer and use to pay a coach on the Diamondbacks who would allow Livan to punch him in the nuts. Pretty much sounds like a typical crazy, cool old man. He somehow has been decently successful in his career despite the fact he barely breaks 84 MPH with his fastball. He also looks as if he exerts absolutely zero energy when he pitches, which allows him to go deep into games. As a fat guy and ex-pitcher, I think I officially have a little bit of a man crush on Livan.
Know who I don’t have a man crush on? Country Joe. I texted one of my friends after Blanton struck out Wright to end the third inning and said, Damn Joe looks nasty tonight. Uhhhh what the hell happened? My theory is that during the long bottom of the third when the Phillies were getting him some solid run support, Joe got hungry and sent a bat boy to get him one of these bad boys, after finishing it, like anyone who eats a Schmitter, he was done for.
The Joe Blanton Kryptonite
Keys to the Game
- Get some hits against Livan. The Phillies are a fastball hitting team and I said before that isn’t exactly Livan’s strength. Jimmy Rollins is hitting just .213 versus Livan in 61 career at bats while Ryan Howard is 4-24 (.167) against the chunky righty. Livan will probably pitch deep into the game regardless of how many runs he’s allowed so hopefully the Phillies can be patient with him.
- Better consistency from Country Joe. He looked solid as hell through 3 even 4 innings sans the wind aided 2 run shot by Pagan, but the wheels quickly came off the wagon in thr 5th for Joe. Against a Zimmerman-less Nationals lineup he should have success, however as we saw against the spring training lineup the Mets threw at him that isn’t always the case. Watch out for Desmond and Morse who have solid career numbers off of Blanton.
- Jayson Werth. Control him. He clearly wants to make a statement against his former team. It’s going to be weird seeing him wearing that ugly Nats jersey, but all I want to see is a 0-4 with 2K’s next to his name in the box score.