Sunday, April 25, 2010

Hitting And Pitching

An article in today's Inquirer indicates the Phils' believe Cole Hamels "arm angle" was off during that fateful inning two nights ago when he surrendered three home runs. Prior to that obtuse angle Hamels had retired nine of the first ten batters he faced. OK, Rich Dubee, if you say so, but let me ask you this: Do pitchers like Cliff Lee go through innings during which their arm angle is suddenly and inexplicably off after the angle has been A OK for three innings not to mention after they've been in the major leagues for three years or more? Inquiring minds want to know.

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Jayson Werth single handedly beat Arizona last night, homering twice and providing a few fine plays in the outfield including making a fine running catch in foul territory and firing a strike to double up the runner who tried to advance to second.

Raul Ibanez also homered as the Phils won 3-2. That's it folks. Other than those guys, no one is hitting a lick and, frankly, Ibanez hadn't been all that productive either prior to last night. Shane Victorino, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard have been struggling mightily. Victorino, in particular, seems totally uncomfortable batting lead off. Placido Polanco missed Friday's game with a sore elbow and didn't look comfortable last night.

The vaunted offense hasn't been so vaunted since a week ago Friday when they beat Florida.

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Nelson Figueroa must have used a few of his nine lives last night as he stepped in as an emergency starter and pitched pretty decently with a little help from his friend in right field. Figueroa has bounced around including two stops with the Phils. Pitching in front of a host of his family and friends, he pitched five innings in homer friendly Chase Field, yielding two earned runs. The bullpen, which has been very good most of this season to date, added four scoreless innings.

3 Comments:

Blogger Adam said...

Actually, Tom, pitchers very similar to Cliff Lee DO struggle suddenly and inexplicably, even after 3+ years in the league. In fact, one pitcher similar to Cliff Lee struggled after three consecutive 14+ win seasons in 2004-2006. His name was Cliff Lee and he was sent down to the minors in 2007. He came back in 2008 and won the AL Cy Young. So, to satiate your inquiring mind: yes, they do.

Lay off Cole Hamels, he'll come around. WS MVP, man. He gets at least 2-3 years of "off-limits" status.

1:58 PM  
Blogger Tom Goodman said...

Sorry, Adam, but Hamels has been a mediocre pitcher for more than a year now so he gets no pass here. As for Lee, you know for a fact his problem was the angle of his arm? Struggling and getting sent down can be due to a lot of reasons. My point remains that Hamels' problem has nothing to do with arm angle. He is a two-pitch pitcher and one of his pitches, his fastball,has to be absolutely on the money or he is going to get hit hard.

3:25 PM  
Blogger hdarvick said...

Nelson Figueroa has pitched more than decently since he relieved Jonathon Niese with two on and two out in the 3rd inning against St.Louis on August 5, 2009. He got the third out and shut out the Cards in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th innings, and got the win. Check his stats as a starting pitcher when he took an injured Santana's spot in the rotation in mid-August 2009. In 8 starts, he was 2-6; the Mets scored a total of 11 runs in his six losses. He ended 2009 with the only Mets complete game shut out at Citi Field. The Phillies now have a more than decent reliever and spot starter.

7:22 PM  

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