Phillies Preview – April 20th 2011
April 20, 2011
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April 20th 2011 – 1:05pm
Milwaukee Brewers (9-8) Chris Narveson (1-0, 1.45 ERA)
Philadelphia Phillies (10-6) Cliff Lee (2-1, 4.19 ERA)
Not good. Another miserable offensive performance. Kinda stumped with what’s going wrong with the offense, but it will turn around….hopefully. The Phils are still 10-6, you’d think they were 6-10 with all the banter and arguing on 97.5 I heard this morning. However, there are a couple points of concern.
- Raul Ibanez. Has looked old, slow, and was pulling of terribly yesterday and the night before against left handed pitching. His defense is either declining or his throws have just been eratic, but ethier way an off day is well deserved today for RA RA.
- Ben Francsico. After a sizzling start BenFran is just 3-25 (.120 BA) over his last 8 games. Maybe Dominic Brown will be roaming the right field grass at Citizens Bank Park sooner than expected.
- Power Outage. Jimmy Rollins is our 3 hole hitter. He has zero home runs. According to twitter he just hit one out in batting practice, maybe it’s a sign of things to come. The Phillies are 11th out of 16 teams in the National League in hitting home runs. They haven’t finished lower than 5th since 2005. Again, it’ll come around, it’ll come around, it’ll come around……..hopefully.
Cliff Lee takes to the hill today. He was downright filthy in his last start against the Nationals going the distance with just 99 pitches, striking out 12. It’s just the tenth time in Major League Baseball history that a pitcher has completed a game, throwing under 100 pitches and striking out ten or more hitters. He matched Sandy Kofax as the only pitcher to strike out twelve. Pretty crazy numbers. He’s opposed by Chris Narveson. Chris wasn’t one of those ten pitchers. Although Narveson is off to a solid start in his 2011 campaign striking out 19 in 18 2/3 innings, his only start against the Phillies came last year and he was hit pretty hard.
Keys to the Game
- Erase the last two games. Ugly. Both ugly for different reasons, but the Phils loss both games so it doesn’t matter why they were ugly. After this game the Phillies hop on a plane and fly all the way to San Diego to play a night game tomorrow. A loss today will make that flight quite unpleasant.
- John Mayberry/Ben Francisco. Raul is finally getting a day off and against a lefty the two corner outfielders have no excuse not to have a solid day. Expect one of them to step up in Raul’s absence.
- Cliff Lee Day. Enough said, Get em’ Clifford.