Friday, October 10, 2008

NLCS Game 2 Pitching Matchup

Chad Billingsley has yielded an .880 OPS to the Phillies lineup in 83 PAs. Ryan Howard and Pedro Feliz have touched him for HRs. Philly has walked 12 times vs. Billingsley; could be a key. Their OBP is .402 against Billingsley. Giving out free passes in the Zen is a recipe for disaster.

Brett Myers has held LA to a .708 OPS in 194 PAs. Manny Ramirez, Jeff Kent, and Matt Kemp each have 1 HR against him.

Philly got 3 R on 7 H in 6 IP off Billingsley earlier this year in their only meeting against him. Myers faced LA twice, striking out 8 both times. In the first outing, he gave up 3 R on 5 H in 7 IP. In the second, he tossed 7 IP of shutout ball.

Bang ... Zoom

Thursday, October 09, 2008

King Cole

The Dodgers have limited experience against Phillies Game 1 starter Cole Hamels. LA has posted a .498 OPS vs. Hamels in 64 PAs. Russell Martin has the Dodgers only HR. Hamels faced LA twice in the regular season and gave up 2 R and 5 H in 7 IP both times. The Dodgers were 31-21 vs. LHP this year; 53-57 vs. RHP.

Lowe down

The Phillies have had very little success vs. Dodgers Game 1 starter Derek Lowe. The Fightins have posted a .598 OPS in 163 PAs. Pedro Feliz (2), Matt Stairs (1) and Chris Coste (1) have the only HRs off Lowe. Chase Utley has 3 doubles and .971 OPS. He's the only regular with an OPS above .775 vs. Lowe.

Manny and LA

Much has been made of Manny Ramirez's impact on the Dodgers. Here are some numbers to consider:

LA hit 74 HR in 108 G prior to Manny's arrival; 63 HR in 54 G after. (Manny had 17 of them.)

The Dodgers' pre-Manny OPS was .697. Post-Manny .798.

Manny's OPS was 1.093 batting in the No. 4 spot. It was 1.367 in the No. 3 spot, which is where he ended the season.

Andre Ethier posted a 1.082 OPS after Manny's arrival. He was at .781 prior. He had a 1.251 OPS hitting in front of Manny in the No. 2 spot.

James Loney, conversely, had a rather poor .697 OPS after Manny's arrival. He was at .810 prior. Matt Kemp had a .768 OPS after Manny. Casey Blake was .753.

It seems Ethier most benefited from Manny. Of course, the Dodgers didn't have Rafael Furcal when Manny arrived. Furcal + a hot Ethier + Manny = trouble. But if the Phils can neutralize that part of the lineup, they have a good chance.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Phillies vs. Brewers

Thoughts looking ahead, as well as back, in the Phil-Brewers series.

Even with yesterday's victory, the presence of C.C. Sabathia makes Milwaukee scary. Sabathia will get 2 starts, which means the Phils need to steal a win today or go 2-0 in Milwaukee to end the series. I don't think you want to go to Game 5 and have to be Sabathia.

I would have started Jamie Moyer today because I think he'd be a tricky followup to Cole Hamels. I'm guessing Brett Myers gets the nod because Charlie Manuel wants him to start at home. This makes sense given that Myers has yielded only 7 ER in 44.1 IP at the Zen since his return from the minors. That's a 1.42 ERA and even includes his rather poor final start. Also, Myers tossed a 2-hit complete game, giving up 1 run, against the Brewers in Philly on September 14. Moyer, with his experience and poise, might be better suited for the road start, I suppose.

Manuel made the right move bringing in Brad Lidge in the 9th yesterday. The Brewers had the top of the order coming up and there was no sense taking a chance on Hamels getting into trouble. Some thought Manuel was dumb for taking out Hamels the way he pitched, but Manuel would have let far dumber if he let that game get away while his 41-for-41 reliever stood in the bullpen. Sure, Lidge made the Phils sweat, but it was the right move.

Chase Utley's double would have been an error on Mike Cameron if I was the official scorer.

Sabathia hasn't faced the Phils. If Philly fans want a reason to be optimistic, Sabathia's worst outings in the NL came against the Cubs, who were the only team to score more runs than the Phils this season.