Phillies Preview – May 16th 2011
May 16, 2011
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May 16th 2011 – 7:00 pm
Philadelphia Phillies (25-14) Ciff Lee (2-3, 3.78 ERA)
St. Louis Cardinals (22-19) Jake Westbrook (2-3, 6.92 ERA)
So I haven’t written anything Phillies related in a couple of days due to life getting in the way/alcohol, but oh hey look at that they are still the best team in the National League. The bigger issue is that they are playing like a AAA team right now. Scratch that, the offense looks like a AAA team. Roy Halladay threw his second straight complete game…and he’s lost both of them due to the terrible offense….Freak out? Of course I am!
So what the hell is going on? It’s a mix of things, but mainly when you have a lineup with Michael Martinez and Pete Orr starting, you can’t expect too much. Mix in Ben Francisco and Carlos Ruiz getting around two hits over their last 20 or so games and it’s not a mystery why this team isn’t scoring runs. It’s frustrating, but still this team is first in the NL East and is still without one of their best hitters in Chase Utley. All of the struggles have meant more pressure on the Phillies most expensive hitter, Ryan Howard. First game of the Braves series he hits a three-run home run and they win. The next two games he goes 0-4 with a strikeout in both and they lose. Is the big piece putting a lot of pressure on himself? Of course he is. He’s getting paid $20 million a year and with no Utley he is looked at as the hero. His success right now is crucial to this team scoring any sort of runs.
Key To The Game
- Get to Westbrook. Jake Westbrook sucks, there’s just no way around it. He’s got a 6.94 ERA so far this season and has gotten his titties ripped off in nearly every one of his starts. If there ever was a pitcher that could get the Phillies offense going it’s Jake Westbrook who doesn’t have any sort of good pitch and has been absolutely brutal.
- However, speaking of brutal the Phillies lineup tonight is horrendous. Victorino=injured. Polly=hurt back, needs a “blow” according to Chuck. Utley=still getting right down in Florida. So who replaces them? Wilson Valdez, John Mayberry, Pete Orr. I already touched on how terrible this lineup is, but missing these three is a huge blow to the Phillies/ a huge advantage for the Cardinals.
- Ryan Howard/Raul Ibanez. Ryan Howard loves hitting in Saint Louis. In 21 games at Busch Stadium he is hitting .388 with 8 home runs. Raul Ibanez? Well, I dunno I got feel and think he’s going to have a big game against Westbrook who he’s had success against in his career. Expect one of these two to hit a home run tonight. Yup I’m going big.
- Fourth key? Hell yeah I’ll do 4. Cliff Lee has been really good sans 2 starts. Cool stat? Cliff’s strikeouts by game: 11 – 3 – 12 – 1 – 12 – 5 – 16 -4. Read the pattern….double digit strikeouts tonight for Cliff. He’s only won 2 games so far, he’s angry. He’ll be good tonight, count on it.