Phillies’ Hitting Alleviating Pitching WoesBREAKING NEWS, MLB, National League, News, Phillies Sunday, April 10th, 2011
The offseason build up for the Phillies’ pitching staff was through the roof. The expectations were overwhelming; many believed, or had hoped, the Phour Aces would each rack up 20+ wins with a sub 3.50 ERA.
Though, the numbers are a bit lofty, it wasn’t all that crazy to jump to conclusions with this phenomenal pitching staff. Of course, 20+ wins by four pitches is unheard of now-a-days but 15+ wins remains a possibility.
But so far this season, the pitching staff has been…normal. Sure, Roy Halladay has done what he always does in terms of ERA (0.69), and Roy Oswalt has compiled the most wins (2), but it’s the other two that have been anything but ‘Pheared.’
Cliff Lee started with a terrific outing, but followed it up with a horrendous display — 6 ER in 3.1 IP. Cole Hamels began his season with a dreadful performance that warranted boos from the home crowd — 6 ER in 2.2 IP.
The pitching staff, which ranks 17th in the league in ERA (4.35) and 20th in WHIP (1.34), hasn’t lived up to the hype…yet.
While the Phour Aces look to find their groove, the Phillies have managed to start the season off with a 6-2 record because of one thing: the offense.
No Chase Utley or Domonic Brown? No worries.
The Phillies’ offense is ranked 1st in batting average (.337) and on-base percentage (.386) and rank 3rd in runs (46). They also boast a .446 slugging percentage, which ranks 8th in the league.
The biggest reason for the offense’s success: Ryan Howard.
Equally impressive is Ben Francisco, who is third on the team with 7 RBI’s and tied with Howard for most home runs (2). He is batting .333 with a .965 OPS.
No matter who you look at in the lineup, every player has made a major contribution. Whether it’s Placido Polanco and his 8 RBI’s, Shane Victorino and his .375 average, Raul Ibanez and his nine hits, or Wilson Valdez and his three doubles, the Phillies’ lineup is playing terrific 1-through-9.
Oh, and don’t forget about Carlos Ruiz, who knocked in five RBI’s, including a grand slam, in yesterday’s victory over the Braves.
The offense will win us many games, but there will come a point when the offense cools down. Hopefully by that point the pitching staff will be clicking on all cylinders and relying on just a few runs each game to earn the victory.
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