Road Trippin'

phils 052409.jpgThe Phillies went 8-2 on their just completed trip through Washington, Cincinnati and New York. That’s their first 8-2 trip since Sept. 2007, when they handled the Mets, Cardinals and Nationals on their way to winning the National League East for the first time since 1993.

Some interesting numbers/things/events during the trip:

  • They kicked things off at the White House on May 15.
  • Brad Lidge had three saves and three blown saves.
  • Rookies Sergio Escalona and Andrew Carpenter picked up wins in Washington.
  • Rookie John Mayberry got his first big-league hit, a three-run home run at Yankee Stadium on Saturday.
  • Chan Ho Park got bumped to the bullpen. J.A. Happ took his place and allowed two runs in six innings Saturday against the Yankees.
  • The Phillies were tied for second in the majors with the Twins with 65 runs scored in that span (May 15-24). Only the Blue Jays (74) scored more.
  • They hit .288 with 18 home runs, 62 RBIs, a .363 on-base percentage and a .510 slugging percentage. They stole 12 bases and got caught just twice.
  • They had a 4.63 ERA, which ranked 24th in baseball.
  • Raul Ibanez scored 11 runs, which tied for second in baseball in that span. Jimmy Rollins scored 10, which tied for fifth.
  • Ibanez led the majors with seven homers and 17 RBIs.

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Phillies starters have a 6.03 ERA, which is the worst mark in baseball. Lidge has a 9.15 ERA, which is the second-worst ERA in baseball for a relief pitcher. Only Cincinnati’s Mike Lincoln (9.19 ERA) is higher.

But yet the Phillies are six games over .500 to the lead the NL East and have the fourth-best record in the National League. Explain that one.

OK. They’re averaging 5.69 runs per game, which is the second-best mark in baseball. Only the Rays (5.72 runs per game) have been better. They also have committed just 13 errors, which is the fewest in baseball. That’s four fewer than any other team in baseball and 22 fewer errors than the Mets. The Phillies are hitting and playing great defense. If you’re a Phillies fan, you have to like your chances if the rotation can pitch more consistently (they looked good this weekend against the Yankees) and Lidge figures out a few things.

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14 Comments

no sweat.

Zo, how long of a leash does Lidge have? Myers couldn’t figure it out in the majors last year. He had to go down to the minors to work it out. When Romero comes back, the Phillies will need to make a roster decision. If Lidge isn’t back on track at that point, do you think he will accept a short-term assignment or go on the DL for a pick-a-name-out-of-the-hat ailment?

have you heard anything about the Phils going after Jason Marquis from Colorado? it was reported before saturday’s game on the FOX broadcast.

thanks for working on holiday, zo.

shaping up to be pretty interesting season, so far.

250 tonite for moyer, hopefully.

In my opinion, I think you should give Lidge some leash so he can straight things out. Because to be honest, in yesterday’s game those hits he gave up weren’t hit that hard, but right now, he is running into bad luck. I thought his sutff was good yesterday, but of course he could not get the job done. But you can’t give up on him now, its too early in the season to do that.

Graham73 hit the nail right on the head, in my opinion. Lidge is never going to work anything out at the Big League level so long as he is getting knocked around during every appearance. And it wasn’t just this weekend. Like Todd said, his 9.15 ERA is second worst in the Bigs. What I think he needs to do is take a rehab assignment to AAA and develop some sort of offspeed pitch. I know that it’s not easy (ask Kyle Kendrick…) and may take a while, but when a hitter can sit on a fastball and adjust to a slider, your bound to get knocked around. Aside from that, I think that Ryan Madson is more than ready to assume the closer’s role. And like Graham73 said again, JC Romero is due back. (First week of June?) If Lidge can’t sort himself out quick, he’s in some hot water.

I think ERA is a really silly stat to use for a relief pitcher, especially one used as selectively as Lidge. I guess it’s a bit head-in-the-clouds to hope for bloggers to start using WXRL though.

Lidge definitely has some problems, and they need to be sorted out in AAA or the DL, not in high leverage 9th inning situations. Charlie is just being stubborn.

You’re right though, besides the starting rotation, which seems to be evening out, and Lidge, fans have every reason to be optimistic about the Phillies so far.

I can agree and disagree. Yes, relievers are used sparingly, but ERA is a measure of how effective they have been in games. Yes, WXRL would be a very efficient stat to be discussed in terms of Lidge, but granted, you can’t toss his ERA to the curb. Let’s talk strictly ERA for a second here. Brad Lidge has given up 20 earned runs in 19.2 innings so far this year, in which case his ERA is 9.15. On the other hand, Toronto’s Scott Downs has only given up 4 earned runs in 19.1 innings. His ERA is 1.86. Who has been the more effective reliever?

I’m wondering why Lidge isn’t using his slider as much. It was killing hitters last season. Maybe they’re anticipating it, now?

I’m not one to spread rumors, but…….My son said that there is all kind of talk, on other blogs and websites, about a possible trade of Werth for a pitcher.

norma48 – that would be consistent with Manuel’s announcement today that Mayberry is going to stick aronud “for a while,” considering he is still a developing player and it’s odd to keep him around for pinch hits at the big league level when he could be starting everyday in AA.

phightinphilsmlbblog – I agree that ERA can accurately describe the differences between some relievers, but when you use examples less drastic then yours, it becomes apparent that there are far superior ones, like WXRL. Lidge is a bad example for me to bring this up, since he is clearly ineffective right now and his ERA reflects that.

Still, it seems unlikely the Phils are willing to deal Werth at this point.

I’ve heard this as well. I hope that it’s not true though, I’m a big Werth fan. I can see the thinking behind it though. Now that Mayberry is in the Bigs, he’s expendable. I really, really like Werth, so I don’t want to see him traded. The best I’ve heard though is that there have been talks with the Astros about a Roy Oswalt package. If the Astros want to send us Oswalt for a Werth + Prospect package, I think I can handle that.

Yeah I have a sentimental attachment to Werth like any Phillies fan, but there are deals that could make sense. And at this point if it takes an established MLB talent + a prospect or two to land a big name pitcher, that would be preferable to gutting our farm system for it. With Dominic Brown and Michael Taylor on their way up through the system as well, Werth is a logical candidate.

ask yourself this question.if you trade werth for a pitcher who is your everyday righthanded bat in the outfield? and please don’t give me an unproven mayberry, because all your doin is creating one hole to fill another one.

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