Phillies Preview – April 15th 2011
April 15, 2011
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April 15th 2011 – 7:05pm
Florida Marlins (7-5) Javier Vazquez (1-1, 8.64 ERA)
Philadelphia Phillies (9-3) Roy Oswalt (2-0, 2.55 ERA)
After his worst start in his Phillies tenure, Cliff Lee was unbelievable last night. Feeding off the workhorse effort the night before by Roy Halladay, Clifford turned in a masterful, 99-pitch complete game shutout of the Nationals. Lee struck out 12 and walked only one on a boarder line call. Decent day at the office. The offense again looked a bit sluggish until Chooch dinked a hanging curve ball into the first row of left field. That would be all Cliff needed as he threw his entire arsenal at the Nats. After having no command against the Braves, Lee was able to throw any and all of his pitches for strikes, including an absolutely filthy curve ball that he didn’t break out until the 60th pitch of the game. It’s the first time since 1999 (Curt Schilling and the great Paul Byrd) that the Phillies had back to back complete games. That team managed to go 77-85. I think we’ll see a couple more complete games out of this team and probably a few more than 77 wins. After starting off strong with a homer in the opener of the series, Jdub went quiet going 1-8 against Halladay/Lee and fittingly made the 27th out last night on a weak dribbler to Jroll. Yeah, I think Jdub is a bit upset that he was sitting in the first base dugout for this series. The other coolest part of last night? 12th straight game under three hours. #Efficiency!
Tonight the Phillies send Roy Oswalt to the hill going after the Phillies third straight complete game. I did some deep research (just kidding, just searched in google) and found (via Phillies Insider) That the Phillies record for consecutive complete games is 5, set in 1966 and matched in 1972. There also has been 3 seasons in which the Phillies had just four complete games in an entire season. People said this rotation could be historic, and after a bumpy start it appears they are on their way. To continue the crazy number discussion, here are Roy Oswalt’s career numbers at Citizen’s Bank Park: 11 starts, 10 wins, 0 loses, 74.2 innings, 73 strike outs, and a 2.17 ERA. Yeah I’ll take him as our third starter. He’s opposed by Javier Vazquez who is somehow still pitching in Major League Baseball. Despite having his 11th straight double digit win season, Vazquez managed a 5.32 ERA last season in New York. What does that get you? Obviously a one year/$7 million contract. The fish must have thought he could recreate his 2009 season in which he went 15-10 with a 2.87 ERA for the Braves. Since that season he has lost a lot of velocity on his fastball and in turn has struggled mightily.
Keys to the Game
- Keep beating the bottom feeders. Sure the Marlins are in 2nd place right now, but they aren’t a good team. They are too young, have no bullpen, and terrible starting pitching besides Josh Johnson. The Phillies took care of the Astros, Mets, and Nationals going 7-2, expect the trend to continue as the Phillies face the bottom of the Marlins rotation.
- Raul Godamn Ibanez. I’m going to keep putting him on this list until he hits the ball. 8-25 with four home runs in his career against Vazquez. I want to let out a loud RA RA RA Rauuuuuuuul tonight.
- Ross Gload. Chuck is giving BenFran a night off against a right hander. Gload has crazy good numbers against Vazquez. Look for him to have a solid game tonight.