It will take more than Juan Pierre on the Philadelphia Phillies to make enough additional noise for serious October baseball. From the individuals on the roster, who do you think will make a big difference?
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CAP-SIZE HINDSIGHT: 3-2 Triumph
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Above Asterisk ( *) = Corresponding Play And/Or Event
MASKED SEPTEMBER NUMBERS:
GB 2nd WC: 4.0
2ND WC Pos: 4
Elimination No: 10
The Short List:
The first place to look is the bullpen for the 8th-inning set-up. Phillippe Aumont has a 96-mph fastball with movement, and his off-speed stuff is excellent. That stated, he needs to control his curveball and split finger, which–if he does–he will reduce the load on Antonio Bastardo dramatically. Bastardo has been very consistent since the end of August, and–if that continues–he’ll take this team a long way. Jeremy Horst is a possibility for the 7th, while Josh Lindblom is nailing down the right side of that equation. Either Aumont or Bastardo could be the hero, while the other could play a strong supporting role.
Magic Juan will not be a surprise with his .300 hitting and stolen bases. However, Dom Brown is a different story, as his name–recently–appears more often when the club scores. He could swipe an important bag, smack a game-deciding homer or triple before crossing the plate without an RBI hit. Then, there is Erik Kratz who returns to a backup job, and Kevin Frandsen with his stress-fractured limitation. John Mayberry Jr. could stay hot or Nate Schierholtz could become more visible otherwise. However, Ty Wigginton and Laynce Nix would have to be perfect off the bench for a noticeable influence. Kyle Kendrick has a decent shot at securing a big win, while Tyler Cloyd with the schedule won’t have much of a chance to do so.
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The most likely players to make a difference are Bastardo, Aumont and Brown. That doesn’t mean Pierre and Kendrick will not be big contributors, because they will need to continue their excellence. Without them the red pinstripes won’t need another huge surprise to sneak into the postseason. Meanwhile, Doc Halladay will have to provide a solid 7 frames in each effort, Ryan Howard will need more production, and Chooch Ruiz must smoke more important hits. They will have to chip in with more than they have done recently. Like an unexpected star, those 3 need to supply the occasional big-spot performance.
Thank you, Rynosaur.
2nd Wild-Card Teams:
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He has lasted 7 innings in 1 of 4 outings with 2 short-lived debacles. Against the Mets in late August at home, his ledger read: 6 complete, 7 hits, 3 all-earned runs, 2 BB and 5 whiffs on 102 tosses.
He has worked 8 frames in 1 of 10 opportunities with 4 monstrosities. He is 1-3 with a 5.72 home ERA, which is 1.44 lower on the road. His log against the Phils in Queens for 2 appearances (1 relief) is: 7.1 innings, 11 hits, 6 all-earned runs, 0 walks and 4 strikeouts. However, he was 1-0 with a 4.50 ERA in the 6-frame start.
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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
* = As a starter
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20TH RIDE OF THE HORSEMEN:
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