Phillies Preview – April 25th 2011
April 25, 2011
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April 25th 2011 – 9:40pm
Philadelphia Phillies (15-6) Cliff Lee (2-1, 3.91 ERA)
Arizona Diamondbacks (8-12) Ian Kennedy aka the dude from Mad magazine (2-1, 5.64 ERA)
Well yesterday was insane. For a sports fan you can’t really ask for anything more. From Lou Williams dropping a huge game-winning three in Dwayne Wade’s face, to two elimination NHL playoff games that both went to overtime, it was an insane sports day. I was at the Sixers game sitting in section 119, 23 rows away from the basket that Lou hit the shot on. (video below, I was wearing a yellow shirt I’d say you can see me, but I can’t really tell). And, yeah they are still down 3-1, but its better not having any games left (cough. Knicks. cough). While the Sixers don’t get all the love like the other 3 Philly teams do, the crowd was impressive and going absolutely nuts yesterday.
Between all the sports madness yesterday, the Phillies looked to sweep the Padres sending
Cy Young Roy Halladay to the hill. Um. He was decent. He took a shutout into the 9th and struck out a career high 14 batters. Tony the B came in threw one pitch and boom:
The Phillies conclude their left coast trip with a 3 game series against the struggling Arizona Diamondbacks. They aren’t as terrible as the Padres, but don’t get me wrong any team that gets swept by the Mets is a terrible, terrible team.
Speaking of terrible lets take a look at the Phillies offense which over the past 5 games has hit .212 and scored just 16 runs, but they are 5-0 in those games. Offense that bad isn’t going to win unless you have really, really, really good pitching and well look at that the Phillies do have really, really, really good pitching. The team ERA is 0.96 over that five game stretch limiting the opposition to a .188 average with only one home run. Decent. Cliff Lee will look to extend the rotation’s success tonight. He struggled a bit against the Brewers in his last start, however managed to get through six innings picking up his second victory of the season.
Keys To The Game
- Keep beating the crappy teams. The Phillies took care of the Padres winning all four games. Their next three series are against the D’Backs, Mets, and Nationals. Pretty much, anything less than 7-2 or 6-3 in these next three series is a bit of a disappointment.
- Get the offense in order. As mentioned before the pitching has been absolutely insane lately, the offense, ehhhhh not so much. They have had clutch hitting despite their struggles. When you’re getting the pitching that the Phils are it takes a lot of pressure off the offense, however right now they are relying on scoring 1-2 runs and hoping for a good start from the pitchers. Not the kind of offense you want. It will be interesting to see the lineup for tonight. Will Chuck go back to Ibanez after a day off? I think Raul will get the start against the right hander Kennedy and if so will the day off have motivated Raul to actually make contact? We’ll see.
- Bullpen assignments. Contreras is joining Brad Lidge and J.C. Romero on the “Hi I’m old, pitch in the Phillies bullpen and got injured” club. So how exactly does this bullpen look now? It’ll be interesting to see what Manuel does. The only guy out in the bullpen right now that I have any confidence in is Ryan Madson. Sure Tony the B has been nasty, but he’s young and has had control issues. Thus far they look to be corrected and hopefully he can continue his success. However, besides those two the names are scary; Zagurski, Baez, Kendrick, Herndon, Stutes. Yikes. Michael Stutes was nasty in spring training and it will be cool to see him make his big league debut, but none of those guys are very trustworthy. Here’s to a minimum of 7 innings every night out of our starters then try to piece it together from there.