The Miami Marlins displayed a dynamic, high-powered offensive attack on the way to routing the Phils in their home opener. The Phillies’ impatient offense yet again was nowhere to be found, and the game featured more mental errors that contributed to the good guys being on the wrong side of 6-2 score.
It happened again. No, not the Pirates beating the Phillies (although that happened, too). No, I’m talking about one of the top hitters in the Phillies lineup inexplicably dropping a bunt in a situation that certainly didn’t require it in the early innings. For that matter, I’m also talking about a series of managerial miscues that cost the Phillies today’s game.
Let’s set the stage: It’s the top of the 6th inning and the Phillies have a 2-1 lead. Juan Pierre has just reached on a bunt single and advanced to second on an errant Pedro Alvarez throw. This brings the heart of the Phillies lineup to the plate: Shane Victorino, Jimmy Rollins, and Hunter Pence.
The Phillies are an experienced team with a track record of success and world series aspirations. It’s pretty simple: In order to get to the playoffs, this squad will need to consistently outscore its opponents. Run prevention is a strength of a team that, 3 out of 5 days, trots out a legitimate Cy Young contender to the mound. It’s scoring runs that’s going to be a problem.
After an offensive explosion in the first game of the year, in which the Phils defeated the Pirates 1-0, the Philllies began last night’s game with back-to-back singles. Unfortunately, this is when the team peaked offensively for the evening.
Let’s be honest: American League baseball is an inferior brand of baseball. Pitchers don’t hit and the strategy of when to yank a struggling starter never really comes into play. Just as I made National League picks, I’ve also made American League picks, although I haven’t explained my rationale in any detail now that the season has begun and there are truly more interesting things to write about than my predictions that are guaranteed to be wrong:
Now that the regular season is finally upon us, I figured it’s time to share my picks for the various division winners, wild cards, and awards. I’ll start today with the NL, and finish tomorrow with the AL and my World Series prediction.
The recent acquisition of the Dodgers has had a major ripple effect on the rest of MLB; owners are re-assessing the values of their clubs, new media contracts are being negotiated, and, from a personnel perspective, there is now a significantly increased demand for upcoming free agents given the Dodgers’ intention of spending, and spending big, to win.
Barring options and extensions and their limited commitments in the upcoming years, the Dodgers will theoretically have the opportunity to make a run at Josh Hamilton, Matt Garza, and/or Zack Greinke. Rumors indicate that the Giants have extended Matt Cain for 5-years and $110 million, and Joey Votto is also rumored to be wrapping up an extension with the Reds, meaning that the Dodgers will be able to more acutely focus their efforts on the remaining free agents.
Yesterday I discussed the production of John Mayberry Jr. and questioned why he hasn’t been given the opportunity to play full-time without a platoon partner. With the announcement that Juan Pierre will make the Phillies opening day roster, Mayberry will likely lose even more at bats to two of the least productive outfielders on any major league roster.
I used the word “inexplicable” to describe the signing of Nix, and today I will include the word “asinine” to describe the concept of both of these clowns stealing at-bats from a younger, better player. Pierre’s signing was equally puzzling, considering he arguably brings less to the table than Nix, and both are significant downgrades over Mayberry.