Securing a 1st or 2nd ring, the 1st hurrah for Roy Halladay of the Philadelphia Phillies could be the final glory march from the core four. Have you caught pennant fever yet? Remember, the poll for Masked September is here, if you haven’t voted yet.
I will publish after every battle that is not washed out. I will have many summer-long highlights of puzzle pieces, especially important after drubbings and defeats. If you were directed here by a feed and this review does not mention yesterday’s contest, please go to the Phillies page for my most recent coverage. (Early morning readers may arrive before the latest post.) Scroll down to Tal’s Handy Links at the bottom. Thank you.
Check out: Philadelphia Phillies storyline: Believe
CAP-SIZE HINDSIGHT: 9-7 Triumph
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Above Asterisk ( *) = Corresponding Play And/Or Event
This is an aging group of athletes that falls into 2 categories. The first are those who want another sea-of-red parade and swelling crowds in all directions. The others are seeking that elusive first championship to complete their careers. That stated, no campaign can be easily dismissed with an eye toward next season.
While St. Louis satisfied their hunger last year, Pittsburgh is just experiencing the magic for the first time, and Los Angeles is not a cohesive unit. The Phils have the advantage of three aces to handle a must-win final game, a wild-card contest and the 1st NLDS battle. Halladay and Cliff Lee want that first sip of celebratory champagne that accompanies the red pennant with white numerals, like 2008. Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Chooch Ruiz want that 2nd ring, which no squad of Phillies has ever attained. That includes the members who peaked in 1950, 1964, 1980 and 1993.
For these guys it could be a last hurrah, because the calendar lowers the odds with each passing summer. They know how high the mountain is, and they know they better climb it while they still can. The irony is that they didn‘t succeed when they were expected to. But without the burden of the hype, they can be victorious when most wrote them off. Didn’t that happen in 1980 after the weight of 1979 was lifted?
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Today, I’ll highlight the Dodgers, who added big contracts to make the postseason, but they are a bunch of strangers. There is no jelling period or a player history to lean on. Joe Blanton has a short leash, and Josh Beckett is in the down season of his alternating good-or-bad campaigns since 2005. Los Angeles has had difficulties at the backend of their bullpen since Jonathan Broxton was their closer before relinquishing that role. They are a fantasy-team construction and I expect them to miss the playoffs, which is not a new appraisal.
He is 4-2 with a 2.84 ERA for his last 12 outings. That ledger reads: 85.2 innings, 87 hits, 30 runs (27 earned), 7 BB and 79 punch outs. Against the Fish in Florida, his late-June line was: 4.2 frames, 10 hits, 6 all-earned runs, 2 walks and 3 strikeouts on 96 misfired bullets. However, that was his last start before the 12 listed above.
He is 2-6 with a 5.22 away ERA, which is 2.35 lower in Miami. He has worked 6.1 innings or more in 14 of 28 attempts with 7 clunkers. In 3 appearances (2 home) against the Phils, his mark is: 1-2, a 4.08 ERA, 17.2 frames, 18 hits, 8 all-earned runs, 5 free passes (1 intentional) and 14 whiffs.
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Starters’ photos, not described otherwise, are in the 1st inning.
Quality number of the pitcher: 1 – 5
Slot on his club: 1 – 5
Ranking is 1 to 5 & 15 for the less adventurous.
*** = Approximately equal to after plus-and-minus computation
DISPLAY NOTE: Non-listed results can go up or down by
1 or 2 categories (This note will only appear when it’s relevant.)
* 1 Tick UP
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NOTE: This poll will appear in every September article for you to check the current results, if it is still worthwhile.
The Original Article: Philadelphia Phillies storyline: Masked September (& Poll From 9/3)
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Check out my previous publications (Behind The Numerical Illusion) and the 105 storylines–so far–for 2012 on the Phillies page, where there is an excerpt photo.
Tal’s Handy Stats is daily coverage. I am alternating the 2012 ERA For The NL East and the 2012 ERA For The MLB 5. Thank you, to all who bookmarked my page.